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27 photos from the '90s Birmingham club scene

Stir some memories with these photographs from the '90s Birmingham club and rave scene

Written by
Jon Cook
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Punters at The Bubble Club, The Que Club, 1996.

Ultimate Orange at The Sanctuary, 1997.

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Ravers in the main arena at The Bubble Club, The Que Club, 1996.

Grooverider at Nu Tonik, 1998.
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Main room at Miss Moneypennys, Bonds, 1998.
Henry Ratcliffe

Sweaty raver in the main arena at The Bubble Club, The Que Club, 1996.
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Andrew Weatherall at Nu Tonik, The Attic (above the Venue, home of Wobble), 1997.

Back Room at The Bubble Club, The Que Club, 1996.

 

 

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The Scratch Perverts at Just 'Illin, The Steering Wheel, 1998.

Chantal Passamonte, aka Mira Calix, at Oscillate, The Chapel, 1997.

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Groovism, main arena at The Que Club, 1997.

Raver couple dancing in the back room, The Que Club, 1996.
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Boogie Down Brum, Bonds, late '90s.

Back room at The Bubble Club, The Que Club, 1996.

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Member of The Freestylers' breakdancing crew doing his thing at Vapour, Medicine Bar (The Custard Factory), 1998.

Atomic Jam, The Que Club, late '90s.
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DJ Krust at Summer Madness, The Custard Factory, 1998.
Henry Ratcliffe

Two ravers, Atomic Jam, The Que Club, late '90s.
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Mistress Mo, Flashback, The Que Club, 1998.

Crowd at Chemical Brothers gig, The Que Club, 1998.
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Nu Tonik, The Attic, 1997.

DJ Dick (Rockers Hi-Fi, Leftfoot), Boogie Down Brum, Bonds, late '90s.
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Flashback, The Que Club, 1998.

Nu Tonik, The Attic, 1997.

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Carl Cox at Fact 2, The Que Club, 1997.

21:3 record label launch, Spacehopper, The Que Club, 1997.
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Atomic Jam, The Que Club, late '90s.

Behind the lens

While putting together our recent 15 Signs You Were On The Birmingham Club Scene In The '90s feature, we came across the photography of Henry Ratcliffe.

A freelance club and rave photographer throughout the '90s, Henry's images of sweating crowds and pensive DJs in Birmingham's clubs were printed in magazines such as DJSkyWax, UK Club Guide and The Face. As soon as we saw them, we knew we had to track him down and give him and his photography some well deserved attention.

Taken at many of Birmingham's most legendary club nights and parties, including Miss Moneypenny'sAtomic JamFlashbackNu TonikOscillateThe Bubble Club and Boogie Down Brum, these images offer a fascinating glance back to a long-passed era when the clothes were bad, the haircuts were awful, but the music and parties were incredible.

Now living in Moseley, Henry organises record fairs with his partner and keeps busy with travel and live music photography and collecting music memorabilia. 

As well as tracking him down and insisting he scanned his old images for us to show off here, we grabbed a few words from Henry, who was more than happy to oblige.

'I became seriously interested in photography in the early '90s. I started to approach various magazines during my second year of a Photography HND at Sandwell College, West Bromwich and then began to pick up some freelance work. 

'While documenting nightclubs, I was also attending and taking pictures at many illegal raves and free parties particularly those organised by DIY, Smokescreen, Pulse and Krunch. 

'My favourite nights as both a punter and a photographer were The Bubble Club, Nu Tonik and some of the early Capsule events at The Medicine Bar. 

'The atmosphere in The Que Club was second to none, it was such a friendly club in the mid-'90s. Nu Tonik was a great little sweatbox and The Med Bar was just different to anywhere else at the time.'

Contact Henry on henryratcliffe@yahoo.co.uk

Like this? Check our other '90s clubbing feature

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