A look back at Norwich’s nightlife ‘icon’

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Published:
6:52 PM January 15, 2022



Update:
7:56 PM January 15, 2022

It has previously hosted The Who, Cream and The Kinks, but after 65 years The Talk, Norwich’s nightlife staple, will close its doors for good.

The venue, which has been called The Talk for 15 years, will close at the end of March after Covid fears and restrictions saw crowds dwindle.

But in the 1960s and 1970s, the venue was one of the city’s most popular.


Eric Clapton, pictured backstage at the Industrial Club before Cream’s gig in Oak Street, Norwich on January 5, 1968.
– Credit: Archant

The club was then known as the Melody Rooms, attracting some of the biggest beat and psychedelic bands in the world before being visited by glam rock royalty Slade and Sweet in the 1970s.


The Talk - Oak Street, Norwich Old Programs Photo: James Bass Copy: Derek James For: EN

Old programs from the room.
– Credit: Archant © 2004

Its history began in 1954, when the then Mayor of Norwich, Horace Allen, opened it as the Norwich Industrial Club, with over 800 people attending.

Over the next 65 years, the club would go by many names, while hosting cabarets, comedies and nightclubs.


The Talk - Oak Street, Norwich Danny La Rue and Arthur Askey 1976 Photo: James Bass Copy: Dere

Danny La Rue and Arthur Askey during their site visit.
– Credit: Archant © 2004

When news of the sites closure broke, readers reacted with sadness, with Facebook commentator Ann Gowen describing it as “the end of an icon”.

Another Faye Starling said: “So sad this club is closing, it’s still a place I choose to go to as it feels very safe, especially since it’s out of town.”

While Lorraine White added: “Sad news, good memories, when I was 17 I saw Sweet there and more recently the Bo Nanafana parties which were fabulous.”

Take a journey through the history of this classic Norwich club, with these nostalgic images.


September 28 The Talk Norwich Photo: Al Pulford.

Crowd on September 28, 2017.
– Credit: Archant


Photo of drag performer James Webber aka Roxi Monoxide at The Talk, Oak Street, Norwich.  Copy: Jon W

Drag artist Roxi Monoxide to The Talk.
– Credit: Archant © 2004


Cream drummer Ginger Baker, pictured backstage at the Industrial Club before their gig at Oak St

Cream drummer Ginger Baker, pictured backstage at the Industrial Club before their gig in Oak Street, Norwich, 5th January 1968. Photo: Archant Library
– Credit: Archant


Cream singer-guitarist Eric Clapton pictured ahead of the supergroup's appearance at The Industrial Cl

Cream singer-guitarist Eric Clapton pictured before the supergroup’s appearance at the Industrial Club, Oak Street, Norwich on January 5, 1968. Photo: Archant Library
– Credit: Archant


Norwich - Buildings Mr Geoffrey Fisher, spent £15,000 to make such a place of the Melody Roo

Then-owner Geoffrey Fisher spent £15,000 on the Melody Rooms at the Norwich Industrial Club.
– Credit: Archant


Cream bassist Jack Bruce, pictured backstage at the Industrial Club before their gig at the Oak Stre

Cream bassist Jack Bruce, pictured backstage at the Industrial Club before their gig in Oak Street, Norwich, 5th January 1968. Photo: Archant Library
– Credit: Archant


This photo of the Norwich Eyes of Blond band was taken on the flat roof at the front of the Melody Roo

This photo of the Norwich band Eyes of Blond was taken on the flat roof at the front of the Melody Rooms – now The Talk… Left to right – Paul Watts, Phil Dimitri, Neil Applegate, Phil Wade.
– Credit: Archant


Live music at the Melody Rooms, Norwich on 5 April 1971. Photo: Archant Library

Live music at the Melody Rooms, Norwich on 5 April 1971. Photo: Archant Library
– Credit: Archant Library


The melody rooms.  Date: Unknown.  Image: Archant Library

The Melody Rooms in the early 1970s.
– Credit: Archant


Gene Pitney at Talk of the East, Norwich, November 12, 1974. Photo: Archant Library

Gene Pitney at Talk of the East, Norwich, November 12, 1974.
– Credit: Archant Library


The Talk, Norwich 10 February 1998. Photo: Archant Library

The Talk, Norwich 10 February 1998.
– Credit: Archant Library


September 28 The Talk Norwich Photo: Al Pulford.

Crowds at The Talk in 2007.
– Credit: Archant


The Talk, Oak Street, Norwich Photo: Adrian Judd Copy: For: FR FR pics © 2007 (01603) 772

The memorable sign The Talk in 2007.
– Credit: Archant © 2004


Saturday April 27 The Talk Norwich Photo: KC

Crowds at The Talk in 2007.
– Credit: Archant

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