The Marquee Club - A tribute site dedicated to the history of the legendary Marquee club at London's 90 Wardour street.

Interview with Colin Harkness of Spider

Vocalist and guitarist Colin Harkness played at The Marquee Club in numerous occasions from 1981 to 1986 as a member of Spider.


What is the first image that springs to your mind when you hear the words Marquee Club??

Hot sweaty nights. It was so hot in there when the place was packed, we had to have industrial coolers blowing across the stage to ensure we didn't pass out with the heat.

As a member of the audience at The Marquee Club, is there any band that you remember especially?

As a member of the audience? Y&T, great hard melodic rock band from San Francisco.

Which was your most memorable night at The Marquee Club?

The most memorable was on January 3rd when Spider headlined the gig and Marillion were the support act.

Can you remember who got your gigs at the club?

We were asked to play there as support to somebody or other... I cannot remember who or when exactly. After we had supported Slade on a national tour, and had a session on BBC Radio One Friday Rock show in late 1981. From then on in every gig we played at The Marquee was a headliner.

Do you have any particular memory about any of the managers of the club?

I remember very well a guy that we used to know as 'Bush'. He was a great guy.

Can you remember if you or anybody else from your band ever signed your name on the walls of The Marquee's dressing room?

I'm sure we must've done, though thinking about it we'd of been hard pushed to find space.

Spider played at Reading Festival in 1982. Which is your memory about it?

My memories of it are that we opened the days proceedings on the Sunday and went down particularly well. Also on the bill that year were Y&T, Twisted Sister, Marillion, Michael Schenker Group, Jackie Lynton etc... We had a track on The BBC album Reading Rocks 1? which is a good reminder of the day 'All The Time'.

Is there any particular anecdote from The Marquee that always makes you laugh?

Yes, diving offstage to urgently pay a visit to the backstage toilet to take a leak and being unable to do so because the support bands drummer was engaged in 'relations' with a young lady. A plastic bottle was urgently sought out and put to good use.

Did you ever visit The Marquee Club or keep in touch with people from the club after you quit playing there?

I Visited a couple of times to see other bands and saw 'Bush' regularly there.

What did you think when you heard about the demolishing of the original building at 90 Wardour street in the 90's?

My first thought was: “there goes a great piece of music history?.

If you had to define the effect that The Marquee Club had in your life or in your musical career, how would you put it into words?

It was a great honor to play The Marquee Club. There was a certain sense of achievement as a musician if you got to play there. I was fortunate to do so many, many times.

Interview by K. Barroso, February 2008.
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