Sunderland rockers hold Locarno reunion

The Locarno nightclub in Sunderland, also known as the Mecca
The Locarno nightclub in Sunderland, also known as the Mecca
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ROCKERS are holding a reunion to raise cash for charity.

Fans of the famous Locarno club in Sunderland - also known as the Mecca - and Fillmore North, which stood on Seaburn’s seafront, are reuniting after more than 30 years.

Bulldozers tore down the venue’s home in the Excel bowling alley in Sunderland Retail Park to make way for a Tesco supermarket in April last year.

The Locarno ballroom, also known as the Mecca, and Fillmore North at the Bay Hotel, were a buzzing clubs in the 1960s and 70s, welcoming some of the world’s then biggest bands, including Free and The Who.

Now nostalgic clubbers have decided to organise a get together, aided by legendary music promoter Geoff Docherty, who booked many of the top acts to play at the Mecca.

Tickets are on sale for the reunion gig, which takes place on Sunday, at The Point nightclub in Holmeside in the city centre.

The music lovers who once filled their dancefloors are coming together again for a good cause.

Money raised at raffle on the night will be donated to the Macmillan Nurses Charity and Sunderland Hospital Radio.

Prizes up for grabs include a £175 sports bike, from Darke Cycles, tea for two worth £30 at Serendipity Tea and Trinkets, a £150 holiday voucher from Hays Travel, a £50 bar tab at Bar Justice, a SAFC season ticket, a year’s membership to Ashbrooke Sports Club and more.

Four acts will be appearing on the night, including blues group the Trevor Sewell Band.

Trevor praised former club promoter Geoff, who helped organise the event, along with friend Jerry Manekin.

He said: “Geoff, from Fillmore North, has really put an awful lot of effort into promoting this gig, as it’s a cause that we both care a lot to about so it’ll be great to see as many as possible down there on the night.

“There are also another three bands on, so I’m looking forward to seeing Zephyr, Brian Vasey and the White Elephant Band too.”

Guitar-player Brian Vasey, from Houghton, has travelled the world, playing with bands including Wizzard and supporting Gary Moore.

He went to gigs at the Mecca and Bay Hotel as a teenager and said he jumped at the chance to see his name on posters for the reunion.

He added: “I’m thrilled to do this for Geoff and for charity.”

Tickets are available at Arizona Bar, The Points and Hot Rats Records, priced £3.