Is this Roxy mystery ‘alright fyuzs’ or would you say ‘for youse’?
Marketing straplines come and go but few have had quite the longevity of Barry Noble’s “is that alright fyuzs”.
The brash, no nonsense phrase quickly became part of the language of South Yorkshire after it was first unveiled in the 1980s via a Radio Hallam advertising campaign.
The strapline was the perfect pairing for the product it was pushing – the sprawling Roxy nightclub that dominated Arundel Gate for much of the 1980s and 1990s.
Though the venue shut its doors two decades ago, the mystery surrounding its owner and his catch-phrase carry on unabated.
Barry Noble is recorded as a millionaire who had a habit of naming clubs after himself – he also had Barry Noble’s Astoria in Nottingham – and who, at the height of his success, apparently owned eight cars, three homes, 40 amusement arcades and seven nightclubs.
He is reported to have died in the Isle of Man in 1985 at the age of 43 from a heart attack – but there have also been rumours that no one has even seen a death certificate.
For a man with such a high profile and name that adorned the front of multi-million pound turnover venues, it seems quite bizarre that not a single picture of him seems to exist. You’ll find nothing online.
Though he died before his Roxy venue in Sheffield was still to reach its full potential and welcome landmark gigs by the likes of Kyle Minogue and Jason Donovan, his catchphrase lives on – in various baffling forms.
Organisers of a massive forthcoming Roxy reunion event have spent weeks trying to agree on the correct spelling for his catch phrase and are still perplexed.
A spokesperson said: “Even official Roxy literature from the time uses a couple of different versions so even the venue couldn’t agree! We’ve found everything from ‘is that alright fyuzs’ to ‘Is that alwright fer yuss’ with plenty of other versions in between.”
Thankfully, most other things about the legendary Roxy were far more straightforward.
This venue epitomised nightlife of the 1980s and 1990s. Dresscodes were strict, bouncers were stricter and there was none of this late licence malarkey – nightclubs opened from 10pm until 2am. End of.
Weekends were shamelessly mainstream and uber popular.The Roxy became famous nationally as a base for the ‘Hitman & Her’ TV series – the dance music show fronted by Pete Waterman and Michaela Strachan.
The Granada TV production – which ran from 1988 to 1992 – broadcast late-night clubbing direct from the venue right across the country.
The Roxy’s pulling power extended far and wide – Doncaster, Chesterfield, Rotherham and further – and it knew its place amongst the competitive nightscene of the Sheffield area.
The Roxy was looked down on by the poseurs of nearby Josephines in Barker’s Pool and given a nod of respect by the class of Romeo & Juliets (later to become Cairos) which resided on Bank Street.
It thrived in the era of Roger & Out bitter, cheap late night buses and people still staggered through the Hole In The Road to get home.
Back To The Roxy is set to be held at the 02 Academy on Saturday, May 4th. Find the event on Facebook.