In 1989 and 1990 I was the Social Secretary for Guild Entertainments. The spring end of term party was to be my last event running Guild Ents.
The permanent member of staff booked the acts for the Deb Hall and I was left to run the Cellar Bar, my preferred venue....
On the 10 March we had Play Dead as the opening act, followed by Blur and the headline act of Salvation. I’m afraid all the bands reflected my passion for indie/goth music at the time!
Blur had been pushed on us at the time by their agent and EMI records as the next great thing – and listening to the demo tape – they did sound good – so we signed them for the event – I think the fee was £150, more than Play Dead who got £25 and a plate of sandwiches, but less than Salvation!
The soundcheck was promising, though the amps in the cellar bar were on their last legs! Blur were due to do on stage at 8.30, but did a disappearing act on me from their dressing room. They were found with Voice of the Beehive in the deb hall changing rooms. After politely dragging them back to get their instruments – they eventually appeared on stage to a half-full room at 9.30. Most people had given up waiting for them and had gone off for a beer!
After one song the room was overflowing – beer sales dropped, because it was impossible to get to the bar! No one cared though as they went through some of their material including future singles like 'She’s so high' and 'There's no other way'.
They left the stage to a massive ovation, with knowing smiles on their faces, that they had gone down really well. They did one brief encore, partly because I needed to get the next band on – but I suspect that they had run out of songs anyway!