Anyone for a can of Red Stripe? Annabel's is back!
Backcomb your hair, stick on your shoulder pads and dust off your stonewash denim - Annabel's is back!
The music and fashions of the legendary Sunderland city centre nightclub is being celebrated at a reunion on Saturday night.
With the nightclub serving its last can of Red Stripe at its site in High Street West a decade ago, the reunion will be held at Dandy’s in Silksworth Row.
The reunion falls 48 years after the clubbing institution first opened its doors at its original base in Walworth Way in November 1968 as Club Annabel.
Through the changing fashions of mini dresses, flares, mullets and grunge, the club kept going, attracting visitors including 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.
Some of the original DJs including John Banwell, who spun tracks from the mid ‘70s to ‘80s, will be at this weekend’s reunion night, as well as former bar staff, doormen and punters.
Former Annabel’s clubber, and owner of Dandy’s, Graeme Lish said: “It started, like many of these reunion things these days, with a Facebook site that was started by some friends talking about ‘the good old days.’
“From that it rolled into a get together earlier this year and now we are onto our third reunion.”
The previous two reunions attracted more than 150 people who all remember swinging their flares on the dancefloor.
Graeme said: “We are all about 50 years old and, to be frank, there are not a lot of places to go to relax with old friends and relive the days when we were young. The Annabel of that era was a special time for all of us and it was great to see the people come back to talk to old friends again.
“The music was the thing that kept people coming back for more week after week. You would now call it commercial soul and funk, but at that time it was new and exciting. Moreover, it was one of the few places that you could hear and dance to it in the town after the pubs had shut.”
The club was the haunt of most of the Sunderland footballers at the time, as well as any other ‘celebrities’ that were in the area.
“Before the days of social media, seeing a footballer or a celeb that might have been on at the Empire was a big thing” said Graeme, “Bryan Ferry was a regular and KC and the Sunshine band played there, as well as an appearance from Pans People.”
•The Annabel’s reunion takes place at Dandy’s Bar and Grill, in Silksworth Row, from 8pm on Saturday, November 12. Entry is free.