Around the same time, he introduced Saturday afternoon record sessions for teenagers at the club.The Downbeat eventually succumbed to rock and blues music featuring local bands such as the Alan Price Combo (originally the Pagans), the Kylastrons and a Whitley Bay band called the Invaders, the first ‘non-Jazz’ band to play there.The Club A’Gogo was situated on the second (top) floor of the Handyside Arcade building on Percy Street in Newcastle’s Haymarket area.
The audience it attracted was younger than that of the New Orleans with a mixture of students and non-students.
Although there were several large dance halls in the town such as the Oxford Galleries and the Majestic (where the Beatles had their first live appearance in the city), there were only a handful of small, more intimate venues around at that time.
However, had it not been for Mike Jeffery, there would have been no Club A’Gogo and the careers of many well known musicians may not have turned out the way they did.
His 1957 venture, the University Jazz Club did well as a music venue.
There are, of course, many references to the Animals being the resident band at the club in the early sixties.
The Animals also recorded a live album at the Gogo and even wrote a song about the place.
The Club A’Gogo has become an important part of Newcastle’s musical heritage.
The club is probably best remembered for the few years between 19 when iconic British and American blues, rock and soul acts regularly appeared there; acts such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, the Rolling Stones, Spencer Davis, Wilson Picket and Ike & Tina Turner.
The club was only nominally linked to the university, with the profits going into Mike Jeffery’s pocket.