Valentino’s/White Elephant

Valentino’s in East Fountainbridge, behind The Point Hotel, started out life in 1866 as The Palladium, a variety theatre, it was then converted to a cinema in 1912 during the silent era.  Closing as a cinema in 1932, it reverted to it’s variety roots. In the late sixties, and into the early seventies, it was known as the White Elephant club, the picture below was taken in 1971, and if you look closely you will see white elephants painted on either side of the entrance. It became Valentino’s in the late seventies, with the balcony area being transformed into the members only club JJ’s. I have also had an email from Dave Paton of Pilot and Elton John fame who kindly told me he saw Slade, and The Writing On The Wall  there during it’s time as The White Elephant.  Many bands played here, some were to go on to massive success.  In it’s time also known as The Muscular Arms.

The site of Valentino’s 25th April 2009. ©S.S. 2009.

Photo courtesy of the Scottish Screen Archive/CTA archive taken 1971.
  • 1980  9th March Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, & The Flowers 
  • 1980  6th April Shake, & Boots For Dancing
  • 1980  27th April The Delmontes, The Ettes, & The Fire Engines
Julie Hepburn (nee Hogg).  Thank you to Simon Clegg for the picture. 

Simon writes “Julie Delmonte of the Edinburgh band the Delmonte’s. I was experimenting with an 8mm Minox spy camera – terrible result!”

Gill and Trash from The Ettes at Valentino’s .  Thank you to Trash for this picture.  © Pete Tainsh 1980.
  • 1980  4th May The Cure, & The Passions
Thank you toIan Dunipace for this rare badge set.
  • 1980  11th May The Monochrome Set,  & Josef K                            
  • 1980  18th May The Teardrop Explodes
  • 1980  1st June Adam & The Ants
Thank you to Nigel for this scan.
  • 1980  8th May Pink Military                                                                                 
  • 1980  29th June The Fall, The Thursdays, & Fire Engines
  • 1980  17th August Bauhaus                                                                                  
  • 1980  21st August The Scars, The Associates, Josef K, & Fire Engines
Paul Research of Scars.  Thank you to Simon Clegg for the picture.
  • 1980  12th October Echo & The Bunnymen
Ian McCulloch, Valentino’s 12th October 1980.  Thank you to Simon Clegg for the picture.
  • 1980  26th October The Mo-dettes
The Mo-dettes, Valentino’s 26th October 1980.  Thank you to Simon Clegg for the picture.

Simon Clegg writes: “The Mo-dettes most well-known song is “White Mice”, which was self-released as their first single in mid 1979 on Mode records, with “Masochistic Opposite” on the b-side. The single was distributed by Rough Trade. It spent 5 weeks at No.1 on the Indie charts. This gig at Valentino’s was to promote that single. June Miles-Kingston (in this picture) re-emerged in the late 1980s as the drummer for The Communards; and she also worked with Fun Boy Three, Thompson Twins and Everything but the Girl. She is the sister of the former Ten Pole Tudor guitarist, Bob Kingston and now performs as a jazz singer in London.”

  • 1980  9th November The Teardrop Explodes, & The Thompson Twins
  • 1981  25th January U2, & Fire Engines
  • 1981  8th February A Certain Rato, & Josef K
  • 1981  15th March Nash The Slash
  • 1981  19th April New Order & The Visitors
Thank you to John of Tantrel Records for this ticket.
  • 1981  10th May Orange Juice, & Blazing Saddles
Thank you to Melanie Pearson for this poster.
  • 1981  24th May Dead Or Alive
  • 1981  21st June Scars, & Article 58  
Thank you to John of Tantrel Records for this ticket.
  • 1981  11th July Blue Orchids (this gig took place in JJ’s)
  • 1981  9th August Fire Engines
Thank you to Melanie Pearson for this poster.
  • 1981  16th August Josef K, & Aztec Camera
Thank you to Kathy Boudreau & Steve at Stepkat music for this ticket.
Thank you to Alan for the Scan.
A review of the gig from Dundee’s “Cranked Up” fanzine.  Thank you to Gordon for the scan.
  • 1981  30th August The Delmontes, & Article 58
  • 1981  25th October Bow Wow Wow
Thank you to Kathy Boudreau & Steve at Stepkat music for this poster.

1981  26th October The Au Pairs, & The Visitors
1982  10th January A Certain Ratio

Thank you to Andrew for this scan.
  • 1982  20th February Blue Rondo A La Turk                                                           
  • 1982  1st April Spandau Ballet aftershow party
The ticket for Spandau Ballet’s party after their gig at The Usher Hall.  Thank you to Simon for this item.
  • 1982  4th April Orange Juice
  • 1982  24th April TV21, & Peter Capaldi                                                     
  • 1982  1st May Scars (Mk2 without Bobby “Rab” King)
  • 1982  9th May Mari Wilson & The Wilsations                                                       
  • 1982  15th May Passage
Liana Martella at JJ’s.  Thank you to Simon Clegg for the picture.
Simon Clegg writes “This picture of my then girlfriend Liana was taken upstairs at Valentino’s in the early 1980’s. She now goes out with a famous Scottish sound engineer called David Henderson.”
From the 1981 Edinburgh telephone directory.
Thank you to Elspeth Levi for this item.