Stories of Sunderland’s New Monkey, Blue Monkey and After Dark rave clubs to feature in new documentary

A photo from the Echo archives of the building which housed the New Monkey in Pallion Road.
A photo from the Echo archives of the building which housed the New Monkey in Pallion Road.

A search has been launched to find stories of Sunderland’s rave scene as a city documentary maker puts the music and its culture the centre of his next film.

Sunderland University digital film production student Rob Kilburn is appealing for people to tell their tales of clubs including the Blue Monkey, New Monkey and After Dark as he begins to work on his next documentary.

I want to know any stories about any significant events and from people who can remember what they were like.

Rob Kilburn

The 25-year-old from Seaburn has put out a call to find people who danced, worked and performed at the venues to tell their stories.

The film will also focus on dance music genres including Makina, a form of hardcore techno which originated in Spain with a keen following in the North East, and Monta, the events held to dance and listen to it.

It will follow on from others made by Rob including those on Seaburn Zoo, Parkour and freerunning, North East paranormal investigations and graffiti in the region, with that due to be released soon.

Rob said: “I was born in 1993, so I missed out on a lot of that sort of scene, but I’ve heard about it from others.

“The idea evolved from there and there are still people who talk about the Blue Monkey, After Dark and then the New Monkey and there are still nights like Rave to the Grave.

“I know there are stories about them being closed down and the New Monkey being raided a number of times.

“I want to hear from who remember them, people who worked there, went to events and when they opened and closed and I know they were in a couple of different buildings.

“I want to know any stories about any significant events and from people who can remember what they were like.

“Any video footage or photos anyone might also have would be greatly appreciated.

Rob runs the Tyne and Weird Facebook page, which looks at “strange history, urban legends and folklore” from the area.

Anyone who would like to get in touch can send a message via the page or email Tyneandweird@outlook.com.