Mothers as it is today. The club was the top floor above both shops.
This was a favourite haunt of mine, and a significant part of Brum Beat life, including my own.
The club opened 1968 and closed 1971.
In this time over 400 acts performed there, incuding many ‘Super Groups’ Here are just a few:
Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, Family, Alvin Lee.
Other bands were like an ‘who’s-who’
Taste, Liverpool Scene, Fleetwood Mac, Edgar Broughton Band, Traffic, Free, Roy Harper, Blodwyn Pig, Strawbs, Fairfield Parlour, Quintessence, Steppenwolf, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Jon Hisemans Colosseum, Nice, Tyrannosaurus Rex, The Who, Fairport Convention, King Crimson and hundreds more.
Pink Floyd recorded part of their album Ummagumma at Mothers on 1969-04-27.
John Peel, who was present, was moved to say,
In a moment they unfold sonorous layers one on the other in a sinfonico bang; to another block, incredibly melancholic sounds that are intersected between them as plants of dying galaxies lost in time corridors and space.
The Who performed Tommy and Traffic’s world debut took place at Mothers along with fledgling rock bands like Black Sabbath playing some of their earliest gigs there.
What they said: John Peel:
People are amazed to hear that for a few years the best club in Britain was in Erdington.
Oh blimey – that was the first club outside London that meant anything at all and that’s why there’s been this long association with Birmingham. I played there about six times between 1968 and 1970. I have always enjoyed playing here.
Mother’s was acclaimed as one of the most significent Progressive Rock clubs in history
I had the pleasure of meeting John Peel at Mothers, it is a meeting, I will treasure all my life.
Here is the blog from my web-site;-
John Peel, A Pint and Me!!
It was in February 1969, that I met John Peel, at ‘Mothers’ a club, in Birmingham’s, Erdington High Street.
John, who had written the sleeve notes for the 1969 Velvett Fogg Album, had been playing tracks off the album constantly on his radio shows. He was in Birmingham, visiting the club, which was renowned for its Progressive music acts. I was there the same evening as John and I introduced myself, and he and I had a couple of pints, and discussed both his sleeve notes, and my participation in the album. It is a night, I will of course, remember.
On the sleeve notes John Peel commented “There is a lot of good music on this record. Remember Velvett Fogg – you will hear the name again.”
Here’s a piece posted by Stircher on The Birmingham History Forum
Re: Mothers Club Erdington
I worked as a bouncer for Mothers AKA The Carlton AKA Carlton Johns Agency. It is not widely known but Mothers was a huge stepping stone for Brum Groups. Groups looking to make it in the music scene were allowed to play at Mothers for free by way of an audition. If they went down well, they would be booked to play at all the peripherals for a proper fee. John Singer was the owner and he had a team of about twelve managers or partners. I am not sure about that side of things. These twelve were in charge of Different venues around Birmingham. I said I worked for Mothers, that is true but I was mostly at these outer venues. I worked at ‘The Sydenham’ in Small Heath, ‘The Station’ in Selly Oak, ‘The Hollybush’ in Quinton and ‘The Bull’ in Hay Mills. I did the odd night here and there at Mothers and saw some great names there.
Here are a couple of posts from The Birmingham History Forum
Isle of man
|I was at mothers when the “Fairies ” were playing and John Bonhan was in the audience Pissed. And he had a drumming “Battle” with the “Fairies” drummer and came second….There were socks and under-pants thrown in to the audience from the end of drum-sticks…Say no more……..Also there when Floyd recorded Umma Gumma and they did “Careful with that Axe Eugene” absolutely the best performance I seen there….walked back to Sheldon afew times at Christmas….
Ps I have still got my “Mothers” Membership card..
Alberta bacons end
I used to go to the Carlton in the late 50s.
No live bands then just a bloke putting vinyl recorders on the record player.
It was the ‘place to be’ in Erdington 1950s along with the Milk Bar a couple of doors away and the Coffee Bar further up towards the Green.
Oh to go back to the days of fluorescent coloured socks(for girls and boys)
Compiled by Keith Law
The predecessor of Mothers in Erdington. Our aim to build a complete list of gigs at the Carlton Ballroom. Here’s a start but we need your help!
Soft Machine, Sam Gopal Dream 03/02/68
Plastic Penny 11/02/68
Syd Wall was a regular at Mothers and on the ‘scene’ in Birmingham at this time. Sys has sent some really incredible posters and photos into the archive and I’ll be adding to them over the next few weeks but they really are amazing and shed a light on the consideration and detail and thought given to the design process of promo posters for Mothers (and others) during this period. Simply stunning.