One of the most unusual small music venues going, The New Adelphi Club was originally a three-bedroom terraced house with a garden, but now has legendary status, not least for being among the first places to host Pulp.
Built in 1888 as part of the expansion of Hull northwards, the building opened as a venue in 1978 and had several iterations before being bought by legendary owner Paul Jackson in 1984 and ultimately becoming a long-standing Hull institution. Jackson’s ambition was to run a venue where daring, original music could be played. The venture had a rocky start; situated in a run-down residential area, with few surrounding venues apart from a handful of retail units, The New Adelphi Club’s clientele on opening were ex-cons and members of the local gangster fraternity, with fights in the bar and car park a frequent occurrence.
Back then, regulars at The New Adelphi Club had names such as Mad Dennis, Biffa and Midge the Cellarman, who reportedly ‘looked like a character from Captain Pugwash’. When bands began playing the venue more regularly, however, the crowd changed: ‘People of extreme violence would share the bar with people of extreme peace’, according to a former member of Hull band The Gargoyles. A younger generation of locals and students gravitated towards the unconventional, intimate space, which began to play host to emerging bands; often newly formed outfits that couldn’t find a stage elsewhere.
It was at The New Adelphi Club that Pulp had some of their earliest gigs: having played some formative shows there, frontman Jarvis Cocker is now a patron – alongside bands and musicians including Philip Selway from Radiohead, Idles and This Is The Kit. With a front taproom and larger concert room joined by a bar, there’s little room to manoeuvre downstairs – but the limited capacity of around 220 people is part of the appeal, and the feature that perfectly suits the very best new and emerging acts.
Why not combine your visit to The New Adelphi Club with some of the cultural, heritage and culinary delights the city has to offer? Our guide to Hull will set you on the right path.