The 051’s rise to prominence as the greatest Scouse nightclub in the 1990s and early 2000s
Over the years, many clubs and locations have left their stamp on Liverpool, but the 051 is probably the ultimate Scouse nightclub.
The building’s odd but striking facade at the foot of Brownlow Hill and Mount Pleasant has seen a variety of uses over the years – cinema, paintball arena, bar – but it’s the worn yellow sign that still stands as a reminder of its previous greatness.
The 051 developed itself as one of the largest clubs and brands in Liverpool during the 1990s and early 2000s, many stories beneath the fading lettering of ‘0 five one.’
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Inside, a family-like raft of DJs would play to excite revellers eager for their weekend retreat, thanks to its rite-of-passage stairwell descent to the subterranean area.
The 051 one’s reputation as THE scouse club began to grow in the mid to late 1990s, while the venue was caught up in the expanding waves of acid house around the turn of the century, possibly best depicted by local photographer Mark McNuly’s now iconic portrait of ravers at the club.
With resident Dave Graham establishing himself as one of the club’s defining tastemakers, the arrival of Lee Butler, who’d earned his career DJing at The State, ushered in a new era at the ‘0 five’ and began building one of the region’s most devoted followings.
In the 1990s, Liverpool had a plethora of nightclubs, and CREAM at Nation was home to a global brand with enough clout to ensure that DJs like Carl Cox, Sasha, and Digweed were never far from the bill.
The 051 wanted to try something new.
Aware of the competition at the time, the 051 one chose to focus its offering on its local resident DJs, which were spearheaded by the Graham and Butler duo.
It developed a homely brand in the process, which connected with the loyal dancers who came week after week to get their fix of progressive house, disco reworks, and Graham’s legendary spins. “The summary has come to an end.”