Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Merseyside landmarks, buildings, streets and events from bygone days with how they look today.

Our main image this week shows teenagers dancing the night away at the Mardi Gras club on Mount Pleasant in May 1959.

Housed in a converted church with two squat spires at the front, the Mardi opened its doors for the first time on September 28th 1957.

Some of the city’s biggest names played there, including the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black and the Big Three.

Other regulars were the Swinging Blue Jeans, the Escorts and the Chants – a prominent band of the era managed by Brian Epstein. The Chants were actually backed by the Beatles when they played the Cavern club in 1962.

mardi gras club
Sound City 2016
The Mardi’s walls were decorated with Beat City murals by Liverpool artist Bob Percival. The club was also used for location shots for a Rank feature film in 1964.

An important feature of the Mardi was its size. It could hold around 900 people, twice the amount of the Cavern, and also boasted a licensed bar at the back of the grand balcony.

The Mardi closed down with an epic all-night session featuring the bands Thin Lizzy and Nazareth in 1971.

It was later demolished to make way for redevelopment – and the site ended up as a car park.

Our modern image, taken more than half a century later, again shows youngsters dancing in Liverpool – this time at Bramley-Moore Dock during Sound City 2016.

*Unmissable wartime images from Liverpool and the North West are included in Clive Hardy’s latest hardback book The Home Front – Britain 1939-45.

It’s available for £14.99 from inostalgia.co.uk or the order hotline 01928 503777 – or get three books for 25 per cent off in iNostalgia’s Summer special promotion.