In 1960s Mr. Newton Dunbar arrived in the UK from Jamaica and founded the one of the first Reggae-oriented music venue’s called ‘The Four Aces Club’, which for some 33 years was home to the most influential black music and musicians to date.
It showcased new music genre’s like; Blue Beat, Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, Jazz and Soul performed at the time by artists like Alton Ellis, Desmond Decker, Jimmy Cliff, Count Shelly, Ann Peebles, Percy Sledge, Ben E King Billy Ocean, Cimarons, Aswad, Black Slate, Matumbi and many others. This gave the club authenticity to attract artists like The Clash, Chrissie Hynde, The Slits, Bob Marley, Sex Pistols, Marc Bolan and Bob Dylan who were heavily influenced by the infectious pulsating rhythms!
The clubs success led to regular raids from the local Police, which gave it a bad reputation, the press targeted the venue as ‘A Yardie Drug Club’. Despite the negativity that clouded the club it went on to pioneer the early indoor Rave scene’s called ‘Labyrinth’ in the late 80s during the days of Acid House, Happy Hardcore, Drum & Bass and Jungle music. It hosted artists like; The Prodigy, Ratpack, Ragga Twins, DJ Slipmat, Billy Bunter, Vinyl Matt and Kenny Ken. Eventually the venue was forced to close its doors in the late 90’s due to a compulsory re- possession ordered by the local Authorities.