After numerous incidences, Brian Potter is reopening his club under the name of "The Phoenix Club". He seems to have it all under control but a missing band member, dodgy electrics and misbehaving bouncers are the least of his worries. All he has to do is make it through the night and impress the punters.
Part One Edit
Brian Potter is driving on his motorised scooter as an announcement on Chorley FM tells us that it's opening day of the Phoenix Club. The evening will feature the act 'Half a Shilling' and TV presenter Roy Walker. Brian drives into the car park of the club where he sees Kenny Senior on the roof, placing the lights. Brian tells him that there aren't enough and that the club should remind them of Las Vegas.
He then enters the club itself where he is greeting not only with cans of paint and ladders but with a banner reading "CH--CH, What's missing? UR" and immediately goes to find the culprit, Holy Mary. He finds her blowing up balloons with religious messages after she misunderstands his request for banners and decorations. Brian then goes behind the bar but is unable to reach the spirits with his glass and so empties a vase and uses that instead.
Marion walks in and starts to moan about how many things they need to do before opening. Meanwhile, Jerry is in the men's toilets reading up on 'colon care'. Brian goes to find him and Jerry warns them that the band 'Half a Shilling' caused a riot in another venue. Brian shrugs it off, assuring Jerry that there's nothing wrong with them. The next scene shows Brian faced with a 'Das Boot' fruit machine. He firmly states to the machine's dealer that it's not going in the club due to it being the wrong machine. Brian then agrees to take it for a month's free trial.
Young Kenny helps him back into the club. Les meets Jerry in the main room, wondering whether Alan has arrived from his current trip to Stranraer. Spencer then enters with his CDs and Les introduces him to Jerry. Jerry informs this new DJ that there's no CD player. Meanwhile, outside, Max and Paddy are busy putting a banner up. Inside, Jerry is practicing his routine with two builders dancing alongside him onstage. Brian enters and shouts at them, sending the builders back to work. Les is made to reveal that Alan is in Stranraer, which more than worries Brian.
We then see Alan receiving a phone call from 'Ironside' (Brian) and refusing to answer. Alan has, in fact, broken down. At that moment, the man from the Brewery arrives. Brian hands Young Kenny headsets, to be given to Max and Paddy, before going to meet the man. Max and Paddy are outside putting up the banner when Max tells Paddy that he's going bald, starting a series of teasing. Their argument is interrupted by Young Kenny, who hands them the headsets.
Inside, Brian is been shown fliers for the club. The fliers misspell his name as "Brain" and have numerous faults. Young Kenny walks in and throws the headsets on the table with "Stick 'em up your arse!". Outside, Max jokes that Paddy didn't want to wear the headsets because they might mess up what hair he has left. He starts to then hurl abuse at Paddy for being a "baldy bouncer". Paddy snaps and furiously pushes Max off the ladder, through the window and into the Pennine Suite.
Part Two Edit
It's now later in the day and Max, who is now wearing a neck brace, is controlling the crowd. An old woman starts to moan and over the headsets, Paddy tells him to punch her in the face. At the entrance, after Brian's countdown, Roy Walker cuts the ribbon. With Alan still not having turned up, Brian tells Les to pass on the message that if he's not there in half an hour, he'll be losing his job. Brian is pushed to the front of the queue to find out why the VIP line has stopped moving to find that the Captain is holding it up.
Spencer's DJing goes off to a bad start as he starts to play slow opera to an audience of pensioners accompanied by an "Are you ready to rumble?!". In the other room, Brian is failing to small talk with Roy and Roy goes to talk to another group of people. Outside, Max and Paddy are trying to work out the range of the headsets by walking around the building, with Max asking "Can you hear me now?".
Jerry enters the main suite and starts pretty awkward conversation. In the Pennine Suite, Kenny tells Brian that Alan still hasn't arrived but also tells him that the band has. Kenny is sent to find out Alan's location. Finally, Alan turns up in his lorry and parks directly in front of the club. In the other suite, Jerry and Les Alanos then come on stage to start the cabaret. Not long after starting to sing, the electrics cut off. Outside, Paddy hears Max on the headset asking him: "Can you hear me now?" He then sees Max, who's on the top floor of a double decker that's driving past.
While lights are being handed out to the guests, Jerry is busy trying to fix the electrics but isn't able to do so. Spencer interrupts and complains that his decks aren't working and upon leaving, Brian asks Jerry who it is. As Brian and Jerry argue, Les introduces Brian to Ray Von who they say is an able electrician. Ray tells Brian that the problem is an overloaded main circuit, probably due to the amount of bulbs on the roof. He tells Brian that he wouldn't know how to fix it but when Brian mentions money, he gets instantly to work.
As soon as Ray leaves, a member of 'Half a Shilling' enters and asks whether he's going on. Jerry says it's unlikely as there's no electric but is soon reminded that a folk band doesn't require electricity. They rush the band straight onto the stage who start singing. While the band starts to perform, Debra Quinn of the Bolton Independent Leader who asks him what's wrong with the electricity. He lies and says it's part of the act. The lights shortly come back on.
Meanwhile, Max is at the chippy and communicates via the headset with Paddy as to whether he wants salt and vinegar. Debra conducts an interview with Brian asking about the previous clubs. She asks how he expects to compete with more successful clubs like the Banana Grove. Brian tells her that what Den Perry, owner of the Banana Grove, doesn't understand is that their acts mustn't be offensive and must cater to the family. They then sing a song apparently about communion shoes called "Send the Buggers Back". Debra points out to Brian that the song is racist and when Brian realises, he orders them to stop singing.
They find it difficult to get them off and so Brian calls for security. With Max on the other side of Bolton, Paddy informs him and he starts to run whilst still eating chips. The band is pulled off the stage by Max and Jerry and Jerry restarts his cabaret. Meanwhile, halfway across Bolton, Max misses the bus back to the club. At the club, a drunk Roy Walker is staggering out of the club singing "Send the Buggers Back".
Brian is talking to Ray Von about him having saved them from the blackout. Ray reveals that he's actually not an electrician but a DJ. Brian then offers him Spencer's job, which Ray then accepts. The episode ends with Brian and Jerry discussing the repercussions of the opening night and predicts headlines calling the club racist. Max's comes running back, carrying the chips, and then trips, throwing the chips as he falls. Paddy exclaims his disbelief to Brian, Jerry as Les Alanos that Max has "brought the chips and [dropped] them".
Max then staggers off and the power goes out again. Brian sees a wire and wonders where it goes. He follows it and sees that Ray Von has wired the whole club up to a lamppost. Les reveals that he probably learnt it while he worked on the waltzers. Brian then realises he's hired a gyspy and isn't too pleased. Alan then let's slip that Ray Von is a changed man since he left prison, making Brian realise how big a mistake hiring Ray could possibly be. He elaborated, telling Brian that he was locked up for killing his a former Talent Trek winner.
We see an audition with a man in a spacesuit stuck to a spinning wheel. Brian shouts for the next act but the man can't hear so he writes 'NEXT' on a piece of paper and spins it so he can read it.
- Peter Kay - Brian Potter, Max
- Archie Kelly - Kenny Senior
- Justin Moorhouse - Young Kenny
- Janice Connolly - Holy Mary
- Beatrice Kelley - Marion
- Dave Spikey - Jerry St. Clair
- Tony Skipp - Delivery Man
- Ced Beaumont - The Captain
- Toby Foster - Les
- Daniel Kitson - Spencer
- Paddy McGuinness - Paddy
- Steve Edge - Alan
- Neil Fitzmaurice - Ray Von
- Roy Walker - himself
- Tim Healey - Mike Fiddler (lead singer of Half a Shilling)
- Jayne Bickerton - Debra Quinn
- Tony Xu - Chip Shop server
- Alice Barry - Moira
- Brian's use of a vase for his drinks becomes a running joke. In Series Two, his vase is salvaged from the fire but has been melted. Regardless, he still uses it.
- Brian's terrible choice of entertainment becomes almost the centre point of every episode.
- Brian tells the fruit machine seller: "I want to speak to the organ, not the monkey grinder." Brian's misuse of popular sayings becomes a regular feature in the episodes.
- Max says: "Two words- Falkan." This is the start of another long-running joke in which they say a number of words followed by a word or phrase consisting of another number of words.
- Upon discovering that Alan is in Stranraer, Brian exclaims "Ooh, me angina". This shows the start of a joke of Brian's numerous medical complaints, all of which may or may not exist.
- Alan has Brian saved as 'Ironside' in his phone. Many people passively refer to Brian as such.
- Upon receiving the headsets, Paddy says: "Sets... for your head?". This is in reference to Peter Kay's famous cheesecake joke, in which he plays the character of a dad who has been shown cheesecake for the first time and exclaims: "Cheese... cake? A cake of cheese?"
- When letting in the customers, Paddy starts to womanise. This introduces Paddy's sex-drived character.
- Brian tells Roy Walker that if he's hot, he should slip his jacket so that he would "feel the benefit when [he's] outside". This is another famous Peter Kay joke.
- Debra Quinn retells the events of Brian's previous two clubs- the first having flooded and the second having burnt down. These events are mentioned (and one is seen) in the episode "In the Club" of That Peter Kay Thing.