Ashton Palais
Gas Street

It became The Birdcage in the 70s.   We used to watch Paper Lace on there.  The lead singer had left them by the time they had BILLY DONT BE A HERO out, the original lead singer used to sing with a false arm (should have used a mike really).  The drummer had already took over lead vocals after they made it.

The Palais/Birdcage was demolished sometime around the early 80s I think. I saw The Small Faces and The Yardbirds on there.

Philip Hindley

Here's a great band guide from Steve Hadfield:

Groups seen at Ashton-under-Lyne Palais. 1966/7 ?? I obviously fancied myself as an A & R man as I made a few comments at the time!!

THE AVALONS. From Widnes. Great sound and entertainment. 9/10
THE BEES KNEES Quite good. Bit gimmicky but good value and good sound. 7/10
THE CYMARONS Lousy as a beat group but very good ballads. Great singer. 6/10
THE DETOURS. Excellent! Good choice of songs. Very entertaining. 10/10
THE FOUR BLADES. From Sheffield. Neat clean sound. V.good guitarist 9/10
THE LANCASTRIANS. Top pop group. Worth the money. 9/10 (seen twice)
THE METEORS Too loud! Give out a great beat though. 5/10 (seen twice)
Mr SMITH & THE SUM PEOPLE. Good. Great sound 7/10
THE ORIONS. Alright but nothing special. 5/10
DAVE PLUM AND THE STONES. Far too loud. Can’t hear them clearly. 4/10
WYNDER K FROG. Very good group. Includes sax, organ. 9/10 (seen twice)
THE STIX. Not bad, but too much of the same type of songs. 6/10
REV BLACK & ROCKIN’ VICARS. Great! Excellent beat & songs. Exciting to watch. 10/10 (3 times)
TERRY KING & THE SAINTS. Good sound, but they don’t look right! 7/10
THE SILHOUETTES Quite good. 7/10
THE NITE PEOPLE. Very good instrumentals. 8/10
IVANS MEADS Very good indeed. Well worth watching. 9/10
THE WARRIORS. Good. 6/10 (seen twice) From Blackburn, featured Jon Anderson, later YES
THE SIDEWALKERS Ordinary. Not good sound quality. 5/10
THE DOLLIES. A bit different, but not as good as a group! 4/10
THE COUNTRY GENTS. Too loud! 5/10
DAVE DEE, DOZY, BEAKY, MICK & TICH Very good. Just like the record. 10/10
THE TROGGS Too loud. Rather drowned themselves 7/10
RICHARD KENT STYLE Too loud. Distorted sound. Not much variety 6/10
DAVE BERRY & THE CRUISERS Professional act. Very entertaining. 9/10
THE MEASLES. Good. Did a comedy routine! 7/10
THE NEW VICKERS. Tried to copy the originals but not a patch on them! 6/10

Groups seen at various venues.
THE MISSING LINKS. Good sound, good singer. 6/10 (Delph White Elephant )
REV BLACK & THE ROCKIN VICARS 10/10 (Delph White Elephant)
THE STYLOS Good choice of songs, but nothing special. 6/10 (Oasis)
REV BLACK & THE ROCKIN VICARS 10/10 (Seen three times) (Oasis)
THE CHUCKLES OK. Beach Boys Numbers. 6/10 (Oasis)
THE MEASLES Very good. Used a comedy routine. (Seen twice) (Oasis)
HARI KARI. Manfred Mann numbers. Quite good. 7/10 (Belle Vue)
THE MOVEMENT. Sax band. Not too bad. 6/10
THE MONTANAS. Comedy group. Take offs of Batman, Goons etc. Quite enjoyable! 7/10 (Belle Vue)
THE SHANNONS. Very good. Girl guitarist. “Lets Hang On”, “Monday, Monday” 8/10 (Belle Vue)
THE EXECUTIVES. Sax band. Ordinary. 5/10
THE ORIGINAL CHECKMATES. Very entertaining. Cabaret rather than beat. 6/10 (Belle Vue)
SPENCERS WASHBOARD KINGS. Cross between Dr Crock and Temperence 7. Very good entertainment. 7/10 (Belle Vue)
THE GAMBLERS. Very good indeed. Sax, guitars, etc. 9/10 (Belle Vue)
BILLY FURY (AND THE GAMBLERS) Very good, like the record. Bit dated! 9/10 (Belle Vue)
THE SCOTS OF ST JAMES. Tamla stuff. Not too bad! 6/10 (Belle Vue)
LEE DORSEY. Not my type of stuff. 6/10 (Belle Vue)
THE BOSSMEN 4/10 (Ashton-under-Lyne College of Further Education ) For some reason I never added a comment on groups that we booked at college.
KINGS THINGS 5/10 (Ashton College)
THE JOKERS 6/10 (Ashton College)
THE SAINTS Jazz band 7/10 (Ashton College)
THE POWERHOUSE 9/10 (Ashton College)
WATSON BROWN 8/10 (Ashton College)
THE ZOMBIES 8/10 (Ashton College) I was on the Students Union and we made a profit of £70 on the first “name” group we had booked.
ART NOVEAU 6/10 (Ashton College)
THE NASHVILLE TEENS 8/10 (Ashton College) This was the second “name” group we booked. We lost £70. So we went back to less risky local groups!!
BAGS GROOVE 7/10 (Ashton College)
THE RUMBLE FAT BAND 8/10 (Ashton College)
MIGHTY JOE YOUNG 5/10 (Ashton College) Merseyside band

webmaster comments in red



The Birdcage took over from Ashton Palais on Friday 20th September 1968. It was my 21st birthday and also my friends batchelor night.

Mike Duffy

According to the Manchester Evening News, the Fleur Dy Lyes played here on 13 November 1966
Nick Warburton

I only did 1 gig here, it was June 1966, supporting the Yardbirds. I believe this was Jimmy Pages first with them on bass guitar,. It was an audition for Don Read Agency. We were only kids & its an ever lasting memory, our group name was Blues Action & we came from the Atherton area. We never got paid but we had a lot of fun.

Josh Price

A scene from the film Billy Liar starring Tom Courtney was shot here in the 60's.

Geoff Chisnall

Started going to The Palais 1964 or 65,Sundays. The resident DJ then was Alan Garner who I knew from working at Mosley Rubber at Ardwick.Another DJ was The Baron,bit more modern than Alan who was more 50s than 60s in style.
Stopped going for a while than started going again occasionally 67-70 on Saturday/Sunday.

Great place. Anyone remember Pete Stratton, Ian Gardner, Carol Tassaker?

Mike Cooney

Remember a college mate of mine called Jeff Kirk (he was from Dukinfield). He was with a band called, I think, The Fat Sound. They played this place on Christmas Eve in, I would guess, 1965 (might have been '64). It'd be good to hear that they are still rocking!

Allan Jones

I was the drummer with the Hornets. We used to play there most Saturday afternoons 1965/66ish, great times, good crowd.

Alan Cottam

Regular bands at the Palais in the 60s were The Hollies and Dave Berry and the Cruisers who i would always go to see, both top quality bands even before they were famous, a great night out and all for about 4 shillings entrance fee "20p in today"s money" not a bad deal eh!

Geoff Kershaw

My thanks to Steve Hadfield for the excellent list of groups at the Ashton under Lyne Palais and I would just like to make a comment to make at least one entry historically correct. I refer to the entry about The Four Blades. I played Lead guitar for the Four Blades and remember well the night at the Ashton Palais. The date of the Gig could not have been after June 1964. Steve asserts that the list covered 1966/67. By 66/67 I had left the Band, as had, Graham, (Rythm) and Phillip (Drums) and in effect the band had ceased to exist.

All the original Members of the band are still the best of friends although scattered around the north and midlands.

I will send a photo of the last time we all met at WH Smith in Meadowhall Sheffield, August 20th 2009.This was at the book signing of Bobby Knutt. He used to sing with us under the name of Bob Andrews and had left for pastures greener by the time we went to Ashton Palais. 

Roger Bailey

I remember playing there with my band Hobo Flats. All the girls dancing round their handbags. We went down pretty well as I remember.Think it was part of the mecca circuit, probably through Kennedy St. I always  remember a crazy fat guy in a red suit. He had two dustbins full of petrol soaked rags which he used to set on fire as a climax to his act. This on a wooden stage in a wooden building !.Health n safety, those were the days.

Les Crompton

I remember going here in 1958/9 and Johnny Dankworth was playing. My boyfriend at that time got the autograph of the drummer who was Kenny Clare and I kept it for many years.

Greta Halliday

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Comments (10)

Topic: Ashton Palais
Jennifer McFie Curiel says...
I remember going to the Palais and dancing a 'slow' under that silver ball hanging from the ceiling. Used to meet a guy there named Adam!!!
Happy Memories from Paris!!!
14th December 2015 3:25pm
Judith Morris says...
Am I dreaming this but dose anyone remember a large screen in the Birdcage showing the 1966 World Cup final.
16th May 2016 10:45pm
anne says...
Have lots of great memories of the Palais.

Went out with a drummer who I met there, Graham, lots of groups played there, was maybe 64-66, Occasionally my friend and I had a lift home of Alan the Dj in his Bubble car!! remember them?.Happy days.
14th October 2016 1:32pm
Lesley Murdoch nee Jay says...
Gave me a real cold shudder reading this page, as I'd forgotten I was a contestant in Miss Great Britain, in 1963 (possibly 1964)and I think I was the only local girl in the competition and I was terrified! There were only 7 or 9 girls in it and ... Read More
14th October 2016 3:21pm
Paul Bradshaw says...
Just a small correction in the otherwise excellent side bar listing all the groups who played at the venue. Ian Anderson went on to join Jethro Tull. It was Jon Anderson from Accrington who joined Yes.
14th October 2016 7:42pm
Paul webmaster says...
Correct - sorry I missed this error. Thanks for heads up - always appreciate corrections.
18th October 2016 10:06am
william scarratt says...
wELL , I remember.Les Crompton, super guitarist, we used to turn up at each others gigs, in Glossop. Fond memories, from the "Surrey Arms". Still got my , Jumbo Gibson bought in the 60.s. Hello , Les, never forget we did it our way!.
3rd May 2017 2:16am
Sharon haigh (Dukinfield) says...
Dose anyone know allen haigh he was a drummer in somebands but i dont know which. He was from dukinfield. Really would like to hear off anyone.
29th October 2017 1:35am
Geoff Kershaw (Stone) says...
Think I remember Allen did he live opposite Astley Arms top of town lane ? if so i remember him driving a mini van saw him in a few bands but don,t know the names I got him a couple of gigs with local singer pianist Brad Newman from Oldham mid 60s
4th November 2017 9:07am
Sharon haigh (Dukinfield) says...
Thanks for replying yes he lived the cresant. I think he played with danny and the strangers for a short while.just know he played a few places but not what any of bands called.
5th November 2017 12:12am


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