Beautiful People: The Bamboo Club Story

It is fifty years since one of the most iconic clubs in the country, The Bamboo Club, opened in Bristol.

The world-famous blues and reggae club, in St Pauls, was the first West Indian nightspot in the city.

It opened in 1966 and stayed open for 11 years until it burnt down in 1977.

See more on Inside Out West on BBC One on Monday 24 October at 19:30 BST.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Bamboo Club, BBC Radio Bristol are broadcasting a special documentary about the club’s legendary history.

For pop music Liverpool had the Cavern, for jazz you had London’s Ronnie Scott’s and for reggae there was the Bamboo club in St Paul’s.

Hosting the likes of Ben E King and Bob Marley, the club on St Paul Street just off Portland Square was one of the first in the UK to cater for the growing West Indian population.

The Bamboo Club not only served as a music venue, but was also a lifeline for people in the St Paul’s community who were not welcome elsewhere because of the colour of their skin.

The road where the club once stood

The documentary hears stories from the people who set up the first black cricket team in Bristol, those who grew up with Desmond Dekker to then find him singing on the Bamboo stage the week he was number one and artists who graced the stage themselves before the club sadly went up in flames in 1977 and never reopened.

BBC Radio Bristol will air the documentary on Friday, October 28, 2016



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