The Weh Aye Cocker Club, was set up at Norwich Arts Centre as part of a Community Arts Team initiative in the early 1980's, The team was part funded by the Manpower Services Commission, as an incentive to get the callow British youth off the unemployment figures. The team was run by Guy Myhill - a film-maker and co-run by John Franklin musician and sound man. The club was generally held on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, and featured a couple of local bands with the occasional national act in the café bar. Entrance was 50p and included a curiously assembled booklet which was a collection of surreal ramblings from the various alter ego's of team members, and curious button badges, films made by local teenagers, and bits of ageing celluloid were played in the background during the evening which culminated in a raffle to win a dodgy 12" someone had found in the office, The night was compered by Russell Trout (Russell J Turner); other notable staff and volunteers included Andrew Hackett (Sly Buck Hacker) of The Love Explosions later of Milk, The Rockingbirds and Edwyn Collins fame, who now runs a guitar shop in Angel Islington, and Rupert Orton of The Spitz and The Windmill "Not The Same Old Blues Crap" club nights, brother to Beth Orton. Many other staff were in bands too, who mostly took full advantage of the venue at their fingertips, these included members of The Love Explosions, Piggly Wigglies & Dr Stick.
The club also played host to Cocker Records which funded three releases by local bands. Grunt Grunt a go-go and Monkey Club night were a natural extension of the club on a larger scale, once every few weeks in the main auditorium. The summers also featured a Monkey's Big Day Out a bus trip to the beach with music, food and beer.
Local bands that appeared included:
Dig Those Heels, Morty McVicar, Streetlife, Bite, Great Big Helpings of Georgie, Gudvil, Cary Grant's Wedding, Piggly Wigglies, The Love Explosions, Those Silly Vicars, The Gooners, The Elephants, The Avons, The Nivens, Dizzy Sharks, (featuring a fresh from Norwich arts School Shane O'Connor) Giant, Harvey Lane, Fountain of Love, Bob Hope to Die, The Kickshaws, Caz Carnaby Five, Kaisers Advisers, Mickey One, Undercover, Evening Bags, The Nice Guys, Fisherman's Friends (have you ever thought of sucking on a Fisherman's Friend - as a famous lyric went), Nick Barber, Ascendency, The Marilyn Monroes, Dr Fondle (Ex The Farmer's Boys), Duel, Foolhardy Folk, Tender Lugers, Belguano bros, Sneakin Suspicion, The Bronte Brothers, The Masqueraders, The Fabulous Furry Toilet Pirates, Fred Brezhenev, That Final Fusion, Milk,
National Bands included:
Richard Jobson (who punched a punter who abused him while on stage), The Bridge, The Bodines, Marc Riley and the Creepers, The Bible, The Janitors, The Wolfhounds, McCarthy, The Deltones, Billy Bragg and Captain Sensible (Red Wedge Tour), Three Wise Men (who didn't turn up), Band of Holy Joy, Ted Chippington, We've Got a Fuzzbox and We're Gonna Use It, Mighty Mighty, Stump, The Wedding Present, Brilliant Corners, The Mighty Ones, Age of Chance, The Shamen, My Bloody Valentine, The Atom Spies, PigBros, The Nightingales and Bogshed.