Bumped into a ghost from drunken past last weekend and we started talking about places we used to frequent in the early 90’s. There was an abundance of places to go out in Preston back then, the country was in recession but everyone was still partying hard. I wanted to pay tribute the the crazy days and ask you, the readers of Blog Preston, to share your memories of the following places and any other of Preston’s memorable venues and nights.Advertisement
Byrons – It was once the Piper and went on to become Barristers but my fondest memories of this little club by the bus station is when it was Byrons. Saturday was the night for shoe gazers, crusties and indie kids with the odd football casual and Manc baggy thrown in. Cider and black, sass or Mad Dog 20/20 was the drink to be throwing up all over your docs. The dancefloor was slippy, the carpet sticky and the toilets often left a lot to be desired but nobody cared. Friday was rave night, still as packed but with a different crowd. The smell that hit you as soon as you walked through the doors was a heady combination of dry ice, Vicks and other potent substances. Sweat dripped off the ceiling, the music was ace and everyone danced all night with massive smiles on their faces. We used to come out with our clothes wringing wet through and steam coming off our heads.
Nono’s – I haven’t a clue how or why we came to frequent this strange place, which went onto become the Corner Club and later Method. All I remember is paying for entry and being given a raffle ticket for a free portion of chips. Must have been for a late drink, I can’t think of any other reason why we’d go. I don’t remember anyone smiling in there.
The Gatsby – After Byrons we graduated onto The Gatsby. On Saturdays it was soul/northern soul and upstairs it was rave. By then we’d also stopped going out in jeans and Fila trainers, we’d moved onto heeled boots, tops from Royal Exchange in Manchester and designer jeans with poker straight hair parted in the middle, before everyone and their auntie had poker straight hair. I remember meeting people with lower jaws a flapping, ‘Buzzin’ cha!’ The venue later became Green.
Buzz – A miniscule club on Aqueduct Street, sometime in the very early 90’s it ran a night called Tunes or more than likely called Choons, with flyers that looked like a packet of Tunes. To tie in with the flyer theme they gave away a free packet of Tunes on the first night. A bloke called Welly DJed there. My only memory is a friend pulling out a Vicks inhaler on the dancefloor and a crowd gathering around for a sniff. Did she share? She was very giving. Eurrgh.
Bone Cafe – Sometimes we’d roll up here after a club, not literally as we’d have been thrown out – although we tried. We drank tea and talked about the night, the DJs and other rubbish. In fact we talked none stop and made friends easily.
Ark – A night from Leeds that preceeded Feel at the University. Rob Tissera often played with a host of others. Big and popular. It was around this time The Prodigy played in Preston at the same venue, saw them three times there, when they were at their peak with Keith Flint and the tall thin one flying around the stage dressed in colour co-ordinated outfits.
Tokyo Jo’s – Often derided as the ultimate in tacky night out I will now defend Tokyo Jo’s. It will always have a special place in my heart, firstly for their Wednesday student night which was the best student night in Preston. For their Thursday night, which was equally as fun and for the ‘jungle techno’ night they had on a Tuesday sometime in ’91/’92. On the first night Phantasy DJed, at the time he was playing at all the big clubs around the midlands, subsequent Tuesdays featured Grooverider who played to a handful of Prestonians. ‘Jungle Techno’, as it was termed on the flyers, was the forerunner to jungle and drum n bass, so it was a real shame more people didn’t make it. But then everyone was pretty much going out every other night in the week.
The Cherry Tree – A tiny club just down the hill from The Gatsby, we went in for a late drink after finishing work in a local bingo hall.Can’t really remember much other than it was very, very small and dark!
We’d love to read your memories.
Did you go to Byrons, The Gatsby, Buzz, The Cherry Tree, Tokyo’s student night or Nono’s? Perhaps you went to The Warehouse or The Mill?
I left Preston in 1993 so missed Green, Feel, Artlab and Barristers – perhaps you have fond memories of those places, or others like Easy Street, the Manxman or Top Rank.
We’d love to hear from you, if there is enough interest I will follow this up with articles dedicated the most popular venues. Please post your memories in the comments box below.
Image Credit: Tony Worrall