Shelley's (Stoke On Trent)


Shelley's Laserdome was a night club in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. It was at the heart of the house and rave scene of the late 1980s and early 90s too, helping to launch the career of Sasha and featuring regular appearances from Carl Cox, until it was eventually shut down by Staffordshire Police.

The club's heyday, circa 1990, saw a number of DJs at the beginnings of their careers: both Dave Seaman and Sasha were resident, who later found fame and success on a global scale.

The first weekly night was Sindrome and was ran by Birmingham's Logical Promotions, then came Delight from Manchester, these two nights ran concurrently for a whilst and was probably the best era. In 1990, The Hacienda had closed due to shootings by drug gangs, so when Delight began at Shelleys it had a large Manchester following.

The friendly nightclub has since become legendary because of the diverse crowd (Shelley's was half way between Manchester and Birmingham), quickly making its mark on clubbing history with help from first-rate, pioneering DJs of the emerging UK house music scene.

Before becoming a hit with ravers the Shelleys building had been used as a roller rink in the early part of the 20th century, before becoming the Panopticon Theatre, and then later Alexandra Palace Cinema. After closing as a cinema in the fifties, it housed bingo and shops.

At least two dance music videos were filmed there. It was the scene of the now legendary performance from Altern 8, for their "Activ-8 (Come With Me)" video in 1991. The video shoot took place outside in Shelley's car park before it was halted by police.

In the early days there wasn't much trouble at the club, but Police attention was drawn to the club after a rave (after party) which occurred in 1990 in a disused abattoir in Hanley, where a young man overdosed and died. The club was blighted by drug dealing and regular (albeit mostly underground) violence between rival gangs. In the early 1990s, there were fights, shootings and drug arrests and in the end Staffordshire Police succeeded in closing it down.