Visited Europa Swansea – but felt a bit uneasy!

During June 1999 we visited Europa Swansea – but felt a bit uneasy.

Not sure why! The building had been recently refurbished, there was good attention to detail by the management.

But I think we were experiencing the worst door supervisors imaginable.

Maybe that was it. Maybe they just didn`t like people.

Gordon Anderson had been brought in the manage the business, after the previous door team had terrorised both the Manager and the Regional Manager.

The door team had been dismissed,  because of their alleged involvement in drug dealing and their threatening approach. The police had been involved, who in turn, had considered the closure of the premises. Understandably the whereabouts of the previous manager was unknown, so Gordon had taken over, and seemed to be running the business from his office. Support management scampered around in effective mode, which produced a good standard of entertainment and hospitality.

Europa was located at the side of a roundabout on the main Swansea thoroughfare into pub and clubland, where the main opposition was the huge Rank venue, and the Escape “Rave” club.

Students were on holiday so the Europa traded to a lower level than normal, when up to 600 customers would flock the lower floor, and 250 on the one above. Clearly the reduction in attendance was also due to the drug problem, unfriendly door staff, and the previous manager, who feared more for his own safety than his club.

At that time the future of Europa was in serious doubt. The police were watching very closely, and formal complaints had been made by residents living closely to the club, regarding nuisance and noise.

All of which was really sad, because the club itself was great; there was nothing wrong with the customers, and the management were keen.

Full marks to the current management for create a good atmosphere despite all the distraction.

Though it felt good to drive away!



The night we visited Play nightclub Swansea

On the night we visited Play nightclub Swansea we realised we had unearthed one of the UK`s best kept nightclub secrets. It was April 2006, and we were in for an absolute treat.

By 11pm the club was packed with a friendly clientele, whose ages ranged from 18 to 40 years, with the majority being under 25 years old.

Eighteen bar staff worked diligently  as they served at the four bars. There was no evidence of discounted drinks, excessive consumption, or service to those under the influence. Customers were served in order of queuing with lots af smiles and eye contact

The atmosphere was excellent. Toilets, floors and bar areas were spotless, and the volume and presentation of the entertainment were exactly right.

All four bars closed at 1am, at which point the disposition of the staff was 100% professional. Customers were refused any further service of drinks other than tap water – all in a courteous but firm manner, while expressing empathy and understanding. Bottles and glasses were removed from tables in a speedy and efficient manner, and the whole area was spruced up for the remaining customers` comfort.

Management gave constant attention to detail and customer needs – and we loved it.

Play had to be one of the best clubs of the era.


I visited – Time – Ikon and Jumpin Jaks Swansea on a Saturday night in June 1999

I visited – Time – Ikon and Jumpin Jaks Swansea on a Saturday night in June 1999 and found an interesting collection of diverse clubs in close proximity.

By 10pm there was a huge queue for Jumpin Jak`s. Manager Tony Fox greeted me and took me into a room resembling a nightclub manager`s paradise.

Wall to wall customers to die for. All smartly dressed, 25 plus, and smiling, laughing and dancing as though at one big friendly party.

Entertainment was from a lady who looked like Bette Midler and sang like Annie Lennox. She had the audience in the palm of her hand, and the atmosphere was electric. The room was huge, and looked as though it could accommodate 1500 people, and judging by the queue it could have been filled twice over. Support entertainment came from “dueling pianos” –

And the audience loved them too.

Tony showed me into Time, which is the smallest of the rooms, and with a clientele of around 22 to 25 years old. The music was diverse, but the room was popular. Hand stamps allowed customers to move freely into into Ikon, which was large, but not busy.

Swansea had allegedly suffered a huge drug, threats and protectionism problem during the previous year, whereby local door agencies had attempted, and sometimes succeeded in taking over some of the nightclubs and bars.

Consequently Tony had an army of thirty door staff, overseen by a smiling giant of a man called Eden.

Eden came from Birmingham, and knew Linkie Wilson who controlled the door at The Black Orchid Nottingham. In fact many of Eden`s staff travelled from Birmingham to Swansea each night.

They worked for a company called Leisure Security

The European Leisure club Uropa had almost lost its licence because of drug problems, and the police had allegedly stated that there wasn`t a decent door agency in the area. Consequently the front doors at Time, Ikon and Jumpin Jak`s looked heavy and sometimes uncompromising, but the interior of the premises felt relaxed and safe.

As for the other premises around?

No contest!

Swansea was the first Jumpin Jaks I ever saw. It was also the best I ever saw.

What an atmosphere!


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