Venn Street is the name of a road in central Huddersfield where a large club, which became synonymous with reggae music in the north of England, was situated. Formerly the Empress Ballroom, the venue became the West Indian Social Club in 1967, before relaunching as Cleopatra’s in the 1970s and then Silver Sands in 1984. However, despite these various names it was always known to the West Indian community simply as Venn Street and when the building was demolished in 1992 to make way for a car park, it was a major loss.
The town has played an important role in the history of UK sound system culture. In fact, in relation to its size, Huddersfield’s contribution to the UK’s sound system heritage is quite phenomenal. At one time, the town had over thirty sound systems.
‘It was one big family in Venn Street especially with the Huddersfield crowd. Most people who came from out of town will tell you that Venn Street always made them feel welcome or I should say, the Huddersfield people always made them feel welcome,’ says Dee Bo General – Armagideon Sound System.