The State nightclub – a look inside iconic Liverpool ballroom

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The State Ballroom

Once Liverpool’s premier nightclub, Getintothis’ Kevin Barrett and Terry O’Callaghan take a tour of the historic State Ballroom.

When you speak to Liverpool clubbers of a certain age there is only one place that mattered, The State, in its heyday, was the premier club for the city’s night owls.

In an era when Liverpool boasted a wealth of nightlife venues to choose, the Dale Street hideaway will be the first, and most talked about for many of the Scouse clubbing fraternity.

Famed for its interior grandeur, yesteryear’s elegance still wearily adorns the picturesque walls, mosaic floors and gold painted ceiling.

The flamboyant masterpiece has witnessed an abundance of inhabited transformations throughout its history, from its 1906 restaurant beginnings to tea rooms, a social rendezvous for the Littlewoods staff of the city, department store, and tragically, aesthetically glorious storage spaces.

Disused for a large number of years before the intervention took place in the 80s, The State Ballroom opened it’s doors as a nightclub.

Playing host to artists such as New Order for gig nights and being a location for The Tube TV series, it then became a focal point for the dawn of Acid House, with Andy Carroll and Mike Knowler providing the tunes.  Packed out most nights of the week, history wrote itself within these walls.

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Following a brief hiatus the doors were reopened to a new wave of revellers, the early-to-mid 90’s saw the second coming of the club, with DJ’s Lee Butler, Mark Simon, Pez Tellett, & Ste Mcgee picking up the mantle, the Monster Jam nights held are synonymous with everything that house music stood for at the time.

The venue is still used today for The State Reunion nights presented by Lee Butler, albeit in a much lesser frequency.

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Yes, the once grand decor may look a little tired compared to previous generations but, as we can see in the photo gallery below, there could certainly be life in this old dance floor yet.

Images by Terry O’Callaghan.

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2 Comments

  1. I was the original resident DJ on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from the opening night until nov ’84. I shared DJ duties with Steven Proctor on Thursdays, we did 30 min alternating spots, the Laser operator was Toni Mallen.

  2. Steven Birchall on

    We use to go the state in early and mid 1980s we also went when the music went dance and rave we lived around the corner from there so we were regulars in there for years. Great momeries in the there in the early days the music was great alternertive they played the smiths new order the clash talking heads etc. We still talk about it to this day we sort of grew up in there and seen many changes and people come and go over the years. I went in there one Sat afternoon a couple of years back whilst they were setting up a event in there felt quite emotional when I walked in brings it all back to yer PS in the early days we use to give the DJ a blank cassette when you first went in and he would tape you the music they played that night and you would pick it up on the way out how times have changed. Eveyone would be gutted when the lights would come at the end of the night because you knew the night was over you would hear the bottles getting lashed in the buckets. It would be great to have a monthly night in there playing the old school music in there smiths neworder talking heads that area of the state early to mid 80s what a night club
    Steven Birchall

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