Celebrating Birmingham's Popular Music History
La Dolce Vita night club in Birmingham was opened by Lance Percival in 1967. Our aim is to build a complete list of gigs at Dolce Vita. Here’s a start but we need your help!
Plastic Penny 23/06/68
I saw Light Fantastic her in 1971 ish
I remember taking my girl friends their saw Shawaddy waddy and some Reggea bands, stayed behind one Sat night when they turned the main lights on the carpet looked horrific. Roger
I was there to see Showadywady. My wife was pregnat and missed the whole show being sick. A great night!
Showaddywaddy 1973 great night 👍
I worked the ‘Dolce’ and its sister club, the Cavandish, (nr the Swan, Yardley) in the very late 60s/early 70s as a drummer with a couple of bands, one was Sunstroke. We supported the Avons, the Hollies, Tommy Roe (Dizzy), Dick Emery (who was marvelous fun) and a few others. The manageress was a blonde lady with a wonderful smile and tits bigger than your head. I remember the waitresses being particularly nice and dated one called Chris, who was a head taller than me. The contrast between the glitzy public arena and backstage was indeed stark with the latter finest unpainted breezeblock. I saw some great artistes there but by far the best was The Hollies.
Do you remember Derek Johns who I believed managed/owned the club in the 60’s some time?
In the early 70’s I saw Roy Castle, a brilliant Australian Hypnotist whose name has slipped my mind, and the greatest one man stage act ever, the late Tommy Cooper. My jaw ached after an hour and a half.of his comedy.
Martin St James was the hypnotist at the Dolce Vita Birmingham
Yes it was him I remember him well.
The Australian hypnotist was Martin St James.
worked at the dolca casino and part time dj and host at the club ,still djing and run retrosoundsdj.com
colin roberts retrosounds dj face book
would love to hear from any one from them times or any one who used to go the rainbow suite the mayfaire soundwave disco at the silver blades henrys blues houes the parisian pub,
I worked at the dolce as a dancer from 1973-1974. The resident band then we’re called the ides of March. I too saw the hypnotist, tommy cooper, and many many more. I even shared a dressing room with Johnny Johnson’s bandwagon. I can list many of the artists. I got autographs from many of the. Bernard manning. Mike Reid. Norman wisdom. Carl Wayne. Showaddywaddy. Polynesian dance review, sweet sensation, real thing, I loved it there.
Hi it’s Sue also a dancer at both La Dolce Vita and bloomers, I was working around 73 / 74 I moved on to other Bailey clubs in Liverpool Stoke on Trent etc.. Do u remember me blonde shoulder length hair?
Yes, I remember you.
I also have a staff photo which may have you on it.
Hi Sue, I remember you very well. I was assistant manager at Bloomers and then the ldv under Tony Sprang. How the devil are you Paul
Hi Deb, I used to go to the Dolce from around 1970, met my now wife there around 1971. Great days or nights, fantastic entertainment, oh how I wish there was somewhere like that today. Do you remember Kenny Robbins he was the manager at the time and there was another guy called Lindsey Hustler, it was Kenny’s mate, not sure what he did. Happy days eh?
The manager when I first started there was a middle aged chap who used to be a singer. Can’t remember the name of the group he sang with right now. [Age is a terrible handicap to memory]. OH, yes, I remember now – he used to be one of the Dallas Boys, apparently. He dated my sister for a short while. His successor was Mr Spragg. [I think] I have a photo of him somewhere, saved on my pc. Happy days, eh!?!
I worked there in 1966 when it first opened. Many great stars of their time including Bob Monkhouse, Dave Allen, Michael Bentine, Lionel Blair, Martin St James, Showaddy waddy, Mickey Curtis and the Samurai and many motown groups. The cabaret room had three bars including the Long Bar. There was a disco half way up the stairs between the Latino lounge where meals were served while a trio played and the cabaret room. There was a wimpy bar next door to the club where we took our breaks. The bar manager and myself a barman were the only two men amidst dozens of barmaid and waitresses, heaven for an eighteen year old. Would have worked there for nowt.
would you remember Derek johns who I think was the owner/manager for a period?
In the 60’s does anyone remember a resident singer name Janet Starr or Janet Evans
My first professional gig as resident singer with the band Coda..1979…I think?… loved this place.
I was the bandleader of Coda – wow – Hello Fay – Hope you’re well?
I had the resident band there in 1973. We worked with Del Shannon/Bobby Vee/Hank Marvin & John Farrar/The Fortunes/Showaddywaddy, and many many more….Happy happy days….we had a compere and 2 blonde dancers as well……….
Three. There were three blond dancers.
2 full times and a part timer.
Hi I was one of the blonde dancers how are you
Hi, Sue. I was the part timer – the underage girl with a love of dancing. I usually danced in the downstairs disco, on a podium shaped like a 50 pence piece.
I saw with a friend from Nuneaton The Alan Price Set on the 25th of July 1968 there.
It was the first of many times I saw Alan play live. It was such a great performance.
With Paul Williams in the Set. They started with “The time has come” and we were sitting on a table straight at the stage. When the brass section set in, it really blew me away.
Oh what amazing times and memories!!!
I know Dave Berry was apppearing there on Dec 19th 1975 as he was staying with us in Hall Green, Birmingham as we went to the club after her third birthday party.
I started working as a drinks waitress at the Dolce on the 18th December 1973.I met the man of my dreams on the 20th December. As he started to take me home he stated working as a doorman.We celebrated our 40 th wedding anniversary this year.Tonight we will celebrate the day we met 43 years ago at the wonderful La Dolce Vita Birmingham.
Marie & Mac
I was in the miss night club 1970-71 bob monkhouse hosted it! All contestants went to watch the golden shot! Can’t find any pictures of the night! Has any one got any photo’s of that night? Love to see some!
Looking for pictures for miss night club! Hosted by bob mokhouse has any one got any of this night! Would love to see some!
I played here with a band called the real thing in 1972. e went on to other things but i remember this was the first gig we did after forming
Hi, Tubhead – I remember The Real Thing playing the club and absolutely loved them. It must have been amazing to have been part of that band.
I worked as a dancer in 1972 at the Dolce Vita along with a good friend Margaret Cusack I remember The Real Thing’s first performance there after Opportunity Knocks . They became good friends for many years.
Do you remember Pat Locheran and the manager of Dolce Vita? I can’t remember the name of the chain of these clubs.
I went on to work with Peter Gordeno and 2nd Generation. Great years!!
I worked at La Dolce Vita from 1969 as a waitress two girls I remember Annie Pearman and Gretta, Sheila St clair was the manager and after her Bill Anderson, the band was the Johnny Woodham trio and my husband was the bass player, ,,great place to work.
Hi Linda i was the bar manager at the time Bill Alderson was manager, I went out with Annie Pearson, didn’t the drum players partner work with you on the cocktail bar? if you are on facebook my wife June can befriend you.Bunny Hedges
dj and croupier from 1974 till the dolca closed i am on face book if you want to get in touch its colin roberts retrosoundsdj
Hi Bunny I remember you well, didn’t you and Annie move into the flat under us.I have recently got back in touch with Annie, would love to hear from you.x
I remember you too. You tried to warn me off one of the bouncers who had me in his sights. LOL. Thank you for that, but i was smitten. I went on to have a good life without him, though, eventually.
Looking for any photo’ of miss night club hosted by bob monkhouse early 70’s carol
Play there with a local band the Blend on the bill with Roy Or bison it was his birthday
he bought watches for his band members, also the grumble weeds
I worked in the Dolce Vita during the early 70’s as a dancer it was just fantastic .
I would like to know what was the name of the chain who ran these clubs all over UK I just can’t remember.
I was there during the appearance (for the first time after opportunity knocks) of The Real Thing, worked with Dave Allen, and many more.
3 yrs on Thank you!
Hi Bailey organization ….
I worked at the Dolce Vita in the early 1970’s with Roy Orbison. There was a sweet girl working there called Grace. A waitress getting some money together before going off to University. Good memories.
Worked as a dancer at the Dolce la Vita in the 70s Brother Lees Frankie Vali Shawaddy Waddy also Cavendish Club Great fun!
Does anyone remember a lady working there late 60’s named Sheila Tayles ?
Did I see Favid Essex there. Ot was that the night out?
I worked La Dolce Vita as a 17 year old guitar vocalist Val Joyce opening for Anita Harris
the week of the 26th August to the 1st September 1973. The Ides of March were the backing group and they were fab. Two IRA bombs went of in Solihull on the Wednesday of that week.i
Hi David Horner I was working ( Dancer) at La Doce Vita when the ira bombs went off in centre of bham a scary time
I remember being on a work course for a month approx. July/August 1975 and we all used to go to La Dolce Vita at night for a fair few drinks. I’m not really sure how we completed the course as the social life was much better. So much so that I still remember the club name some 45 years later and decided to have a quick look to see if there was any info about it. lol.
Hi Paul Hanson there is no reply button Im good thanks I moved out of Birmingham now living in Wales how are you what you up to these days
Hi Debbie Cadman would love to see the photo, hope your’re well
HI, i’ve only just seen this. Not sure how to share photos on here. Are you on Facebook?
Hi Paul Mason sorry got your name wrong on last message couldnt respond as no reply button
I was a dancer there in the early 70’s. Worked with lots of great people. Best memories were working the spotlight. I was hopeless at it. Remember doing it for Acker Bilk and getting it all wrong. The audience were in fits of laughter and afterwards he said it was so funny to keep it in for the rest of the run (all week). The Rocking Berries were often playing there and always hilarious.
our tiny Dressing room was shared by all the supporting acts, the DJ and the band. The toilet was bigger! Great times.
Hi Margaret you must have worked there before me then, my time was 73 onwards I left to work at other Bailey clubs around uk … Liverpool, Stoke on trent, Watford, Newcastle also at the head office South Shields . fun times
you must have worked there before me then, my time was 73 onwards I left to work at other Bailey clubs around uk … Liverpool, Stoke on trent, Watford, Newcastle also at the head office South Shields . fun times
Hello Margaret I was dancing there in the early 70’s , I remember having to use the spotlight too, The Real Thing asked me would I not use the blue light it was not to their advantage LOL.
So many good times there . I have a few photos of the girls working with me Margaret Cusack & a girl called Lorraine
I went twice in the same week to see Alvin Stardust in 1977
I worked at La Dolce Vita between 1974 and 1976, in the Booking office and on reception . Loved it one of the best jobs ever, such good fun and such lovely friendly staff. Graham Burbridge was the sales manager sadly no longer with us . I remember him organising a curry night which didn’t turn out to be that successful but the staff enjoyed the spoils as their staff meal for the next few days! John Padley was Manager and Tony Spragg took over when he left in his position as Area Manager . Maureen Meadowcroft was in charge of the front of house and I think it was Trevor who ran the bar John Ellis was the chef, Maurice was the resident photographer, Bunny was Reception Manager and the amazing George Stanners was Assistant Manager, again sadly no longer with us. My 5 min of fab came when the hypnotists assistant went down with chicken pox and I was the last minute stand in! Great memories ! !
What a shock to fine this thread about the La Dolce Vita where I was a resident DJ/Compere in the 70s. To see so many names of people I worked with there. Hi to Dancers Deb, Sue and Gail. Maureen, Front of House Manager too. The Dolce was and still is my all time favourite club to work at. The second venue was Bloomers in the Tivoli Shopping Centre, Yardley. I worked for Tony Spragg, General Manager at both clubs. Memories!!!😊
Hi Peter , how you doing here’s my email address get in touch
firstname.lastname@example.org or anyone that knows me be good to here from you x
I remember working with you too!! I loved it here, and had an absolute Ball!! Its so lovely to be remembered. I have so many happy memories of working there. Everyone looked after me so well – it was a privilege. [I was under age at the time, but tried to hide that fact.] At the time, it felt like my second home, and everyone were family.
I took my girlfriend who is now my wife of 48 years and saw Gene Pitney, Roy Orbison, Bob Monkhouse, Rockin Berries, Tommy Roe & others. A great night club, living in Texas now but loved Birmingham.
I dont know how I found this site but I used to manage the Dolce.I came up from the Sheffield club just after they had a burglary there.I was there for a few years and enjoyed it so much.I remember staying late one night after Tommy Cooper had finished his act and I was told by his wife(The Dragon) not to let him drink too much.He did card tricks for us both myself and superintendant Peach from Digbeth and I have never been so impressed with his talent.I left LDV and went back to my glass trade at Pearce and Cutler .I now live in Prince Edward Island Canada.But still remember a number of staff.
Hi everyone I have set up a Facebook group click on the link or copy and paste see you there
Hello there Michael Thorpe, I remember when you arrived at the Dolce Vita.
I was dancing there.
Great acts and great times.
I worked as a drinks waitress 1976/77 with Jane and Lubi. Had a great time
We saw Billy J. Kramer there on Saturday, Sep 26, 1970. GREAT show!!!
Started at La Dolce Vita in early-mid 1960s as a doorman, progressed to assistant manager. No one has mentioned the Casino ?? Saw many acts perform 🙂
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