Posts Tagged ‘wendy house’

Wendy House has ended

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 | Life

Last month I invited everyone to Wendy House, saying it was probably the last one ever. With a three month summer break and declining attendance it seemed like it would struggle to keep going. Those who did not take up the opportunity might be disappointed to know they have missed their chance. They have just posted this statement…


We’re very sad to announce that June 2014 was our final Wendy House. It’s been a tough decision and I know a lot of people will be disappointed, but I’ve decided to retire as a promoter to spend more time with my young family, and Nik and I want to concentrate on other projects. Due to some financial loses and the venue making changes to which rooms we could run Wendy House in, we’ve decided to cancel future events.

We’ve been doing Wendy House for over 16 years now and we never thought we’d get this far. We’d like to take the opportunity to say a massive thanks to everyone involved and to those that have helped us over the years, there’s just too many to list. We’d also like to wish other clubs and promoters all the best of luck, especially in Leeds, which is a brilliant town for partying in.

And most of all, thank you to all our amazing punters that have dressed up, looked fantastic and been incredible fun at all our events, here’s to you guys!

Glenn (Promoter/DJ) and Nik (DJ)

The Wendy House

While not being unexpected, indeed I blogged about it here, it is very disappointing. For eight years it has proved a mainstay in our social circle. Others have been going twice that long. It was my one club night per month to go out and feel young. Now what I am supposed to do? Accept being an adult?!?

It is also a shame that they did not announce it in advance. I think that if they had, a lot of people might have made the effort to come over to Leeds and dress up. Perhaps they will end up doing a special event at some point.

On the demise of Wendy House

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 | Thoughts

Last Saturday we went to Wendy House. It recently celebrated it’s 16th birthday and a message went out from the organisers saying “we hope to be here in another 16 years!”. I am not convinced it will be though.

It was a good night. It went as a group of friends and had a good time. For proof, see this low quality photo of Hugh looking ambivalent.


Wendy House itself though, is a a shadow of its former self.

The rise and fall

I first attended Wendy House eight years ago. It was magic. They had three rooms. Stylus played alternative and 80s, Mine hosted the Mutate room (EBM) and Bat Coda (now Pulse) hosted an indie room. They were all full. Not Fruity full, but pretty full (for context, Fruity is the big Friday night student cheese event).

If my memory serves me correctly, which it probably doesn’t, Mine had a capacity of around 500. Pulse had about 350 and Stylus could hold thousands. Therefore if I was to estimate attendance I would put it at over 2,000.

Slowly, as the years have gone on, this has drained away. First they closed the indie room and moved Mutate into the smaller bar. Then they started closing some of the area in Stylus. Now even Mutate has gone and they are down to a single room. Furthermore they do not even run in the summer any more. For a second year, there will be no event in July, August or September, and they missed March this year too.

It is not hard to see why. Last Saturday was empty. There were maybe 200-300 people there, a tenth of what it might have been at its peak. You could actually get served at the bar and get space on the dance floor.


Worse, it was full of people in casual clothing. I was somewhat dressed up, but I think if I had gone full on dressed up I would have actually felt conspicuous because of the lack of other people in full costume.

What went wrong?

Some people have suggested that the students are to blame. They are not around over the summer, hence why nobody was there. This does not explain the long term decline in attendance though, nor do I think it is a significant contribution.

Firstly, in my experience, a lot of the students that went to Wendy House did not go home for the summer. That is really a first year thing, after that people have a house in Leeds and hang around to see their friends. Secondly, a lot of the patrons are not students. The summer never seemed to have a huge affect on attendance back in the day.

Perhaps a better explanation is the decline of the alternative community. When I was a kid, there was a big crowd of goths outside the Corn Exchange every weekend. Then they renovated the Corn Exchange, kicked all the alternative shops out and told the goth kids to go away. Later their lead tenant went bust. But that is a whole different rant.

The point is, you do not see that as much anymore. Much like the pensions pot crisis, there is a lack of young goths to replace the old retiring goths. Perhaps time has run out.

Bucking the trend

It is also worth nothing that Wendy House has actually done really well to get this far.

Alternative nights have never been popular. When I first started clubbing in Leeds there was Bar Phono and another alternative club. They both closed. Then Subculture opened. And closed. Rock Of Ages used to be based at the Union, now it is upstairs in the Library which, as James points out, is where nights go to die. Halo’s indie night suffered a similar fate. Basically all alternative nights everywhere are unpopular. Even the legendary Jilly’s Rockworld (Manchester) has gone.

The fact that Wendy House has survived this long really is to its credit.

Scaling down

Unfortunately, as it has begun to shrink, it is possible that it has hastened its own decline. Take the music they played in Mutate for example. I just do not want to listen to it. It just is not music. Take a listen to this:

It is just annoying. When they closed Mutate they merged it into the main room. This did not really keep anyone happy. Those that preferred Stylus were suddenly frightened and upset by them actually changing the playlist, while those who had spent their time in Mutate were unlikely to find enough songs on the playlist to keep them interested.


Wendy House is still a night worth visiting. The music is still good. However, on Saturday it felt just like a regular run-of-the-mill alternative night. Not the magic night that it once used to be.

With them taking a break this summer, and the low turn-out this week, who knows if they will return. But here is to hoping.

Here are some old photos to make us all feel better…

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zài jiàn

Saturday, March 8th, 2014 | Friends

Professor Richard Dawkins talks about the anaesthetic of familiarity. We forget the every day wonder, he beauty all around. The same applies to friends. It is great to see someone you have not seen for years. But when they are living in your house in December, and January, and February, they quickly blend into the every day.

Of course, I mostly said that for dramatic effect. It is technically true that Michelle was in my house for those months. But she arrived New Year’s Eve, stayed for two weeks, then went home and then came back for half a week. Not quite the imposition that Alan Partridge would inflict on people.

Turns out that visiting Leeds in January is not a great time to come. Tropical World closed for a month for refurbishment and the Thackray Medical Museum was closed too. Luckily the last visit even fell on a Wendy House, so it was back to old times.

Michelle is now heading off to China to teach English for a few years. Hense the title of this blog post – see you soon!

The good news is that my blog is not blocked in China anymore. What more could you possibly need to read?

Post-Wendy fry up

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 | Photos


For too long has the lack of a cooked breakfast after Wendy House haunted our steps. No more I say, no more!

Wendy House playlist

Monday, November 18th, 2013 | Distractions

Leeds based club night The Wendy House basically never change their playlist. It’s comforting. As Hugh points out, you don’t need a watch because you can tell what time it is by which rendition of Sweet Dreams they are currently playing.

The advantage of this is that I’ve been able to make a note of all the songs they played (although we didn’t arrive until 12:30) and published them on a Spotify playlist. It’s shared, you can find it here. Drop me a message with any songs I’ve missed and I’ll add them.

Wendy House returns

Thursday, October 31st, 2013 | Events

After a three month break covering July, August and September, Wendy House finally returned this month. Here are some truly terrible photos.

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Wendy House May 2013

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013 | Events, Life

With limited time before Wendy House takes a massive three-month summer break, we partied hard post-Eurovision.

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Wendy House November 2012

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 | Friends, Life

A Wendy House without The Fonze? Oh the horror. Somehow, we survived it though, with good memories intact.

Wendy House October 2012

Thursday, November 1st, 2012 | Friends, Life

I tried out my new lens at the pre-party. Unfortunately, I had to be in Donington the next day, so I was getting my coat out of the cloak room as people were still queuing to put theirs in. Never the less, good times were had.

September Wendy House

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 | Friends, Life

Due to Freshers’ Week, Wendy House was moved to a week earlier – which means Wendy House sooner, but then of course a huge gap between this one and October’s. It also should have landed bang on Norm’s birthday, but ended up seven days earlier – inconsiderate.

Never the less, we took quite a good crowd there – we booked taxis for 19 people and despite still not drinking, I made it to a very respectable 2am before heading home.