Pics bring back memories of legendary Sunderland club Annabel’s

EIGHTIES SCENE: Annabels in 1982 - when it was celebrating its 14th birthday.

EIGHTIES SCENE: Annabels in 1982 - when it was celebrating its 14th birthday.

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IT was on November 27, 1968, that what was to become a Wearside institution arrived with a musical fanfare of Swinging Sixties tunes - Club Annabel.

Three decades later the children of those first excited revellers were still hot-footing it to Annabels - and today, more than 10 years after its closure, its memory lives on.

ON FIRE: Fire-eaters at Annabels in 2002.

ON FIRE: Fire-eaters at Annabels in 2002.

“Owner Kayu Poostchi and designer Keith Gibbon opened Annabels on Walworth Way just as the Swinging Sixties were making way for disco tunes,” said Echo archivist Susan Swinney.

“Fashions and music changed dramatically over the years, but Annabels always offered a great night out. The club just kept on going through mini dresses, flares, mullets and grunge.”

Among the early visitors were Jimmy Nail, Dave Stewart and Free guitarist Paul Kossoff - even Pink Floyd, The Who and David Bowie all enjoyed a drink at Annabels over the years.

Big name musicians, such as Status Quo, Slade and Simon Dupree all performed there too, as did Desmond Decker, The Foundations and Martin Stephenson and The Daintees.

It was the first time I had sung through a microphone and, needless to say, I made a pillock of myself.

Martin Stephenson

“We did our first gig at Annabels,” Martin later recalled. “We turned up with our amp and guitars at 11am, hung around all day on the stage and the PA didn’t turn up till 9pm.

“We were so naive and stupid we helped the bloke up the stairs with the speakers. It was the first time I had sung through a microphone and, needless to say, I made a pillock of myself.”

Just before the 1980s transitioned into the 1990s, Annabels moved from Walworth Way to High Street West - giving it a chance to expand, upgrade and add lots of flashing lights. “Yet another generation of clubbers adopted Annabels as theirs over the next few years, but today it is just a memory.

“At least we have these Echo photos as a reminder,” said Susan.

ALL FIRED UP: Fire-eaters at Annabels nightclub in 2002.

ALL FIRED UP: Fire-eaters at Annabels nightclub in 2002.

SWEET DREAMS: Annabels boss Bob Senior surrounded by a bevy of beauties in 1985 - who were selling kisses to raise cash for cancer.

SWEET DREAMS: Annabels boss Bob Senior surrounded by a bevy of beauties in 1985 - who were selling kisses to raise cash for cancer.

GONE CLUBBING: The dance floor at Annabels in 2000.

GONE CLUBBING: The dance floor at Annabels in 2000.

TIN TIN: Annabels DJ Paul Davison up to his waist in tins of food collected by clubbers over the Christmas break in 1984.

TIN TIN: Annabels DJ Paul Davison up to his waist in tins of food collected by clubbers over the Christmas break in 1984.