Tokyo Jo’s draws ‘legendary crowds’ for nightclub return

Posted on - 19th April, 2019 - 7:39pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, Nightlife, Nostalgia, Preston City Centre, Preston News, What's On in Preston
On the dancefloor at Toky Jo's Pic: Simon Kirkham
On the dancefloor at Tokyo Jo’s Pic: Simon Kirkman

Preston saw the return of its ‘legendary’ nightclub during Maundy Thursday and the early hours of Good Friday.


Tokyo Jo’s was a mainstay of the clubbing scene in the 90s and early 00s and Evoque in Church Street was transported back to that era.

Nearly 2,000 clubbers turned out for the Tokes Reunion with some flying in from as far away as America to take part.

Put on by DJ and promoter Brian Hudson who runs the Toky Jo’s Memories Facebook page he said he was ‘proud’ to see the dream he had three years ago become a reality.

He said: “There was just such a great atmosphere inside the club and everyone I’ve spoken to said they had a fantastic time.

“It had to be authentic and so we made sure the music was of that era of Tokes.”

The queue for Toky Jo's stretching down Church Street Pic: Kate Rosindale
The queue for Toky Jo’s stretching down Church Street Pic: Kate Rosindale

A huge queue stretched down Church Street around 10.30pm to add to the authenticity as ‘town was rammed’ was the general view from other bars and clubs.

Brian said: “When I saw that queue I just couldn’t believe the scale of it. I was just so proud that we’d done it and got Preston out, out.

“It was just so busy all night and it was great to see the dancefloor still full at 4am with people absolutely going for it and having a dance.

“My only regret is I missed the main room being opened up and the charge down the stairs.”

Read more: Promo for best/worst nightclub goes viral

Brian said there had not been any trouble on the night and he has already booked the second Tokes reunion for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Mark Freejack behind the Decks at Tokes Pic: Evoque/J Andrews Photography
Mark Freejack behind the Decks at Tokes Pic: Evoque/J Andrews Photography

He said: “I think for a lot of people, with a connection to Preston, then it’s a special place and a special time whenever you were growing up here, studying or whatever.

“Me and the team just wanted to make sure everyone had the night that took them back to that time in their lives and ensured it was as authentic as possible.

“We invited back a lot of the former managers of Tokyo Jo’s as well, and some staff, and they were just amazed at the turnout. One of them was saying it’s rare now to see places this full.

“I also had a lot of feedback from other bars and clubs that they had been busier than normal in the run-up, so people clearly came out and made a night of it.

“I think there is still a place for nightclubs, but it has to be done right and especially for those over-30 it has to be a certain type of night.”

Read more: 11 things that definitely happened during the return of Tokyo Jo’s

Posing before a big night out in Tokyo Jo's Pic: Evoque/J Andrews Photography
Posing before a big night out in Tokyo Jo’s Pic: Evoque/J Andrews Photography

He said one of his observations from the night was the difference in clubbers now compared to the generation who came out on Thursday night.

Brian said: “There were hardly any phones out.

“I think for the youngsters now it’s all about that social media profile, that shot, that thing which shows you’re having a night out.

“But apart from say when the main announcements happened it was a dancefloor of people dancing, not just on their phones. People happy, enjoying themselves and not worrying.

“Or maybe they just didn’t want their pictures ending up on social media of them on a night out.

“But it definitely has changed. You think back to when Tokes was Tokes and you only had the little disposable cameras and the odd Polaroid.

“Hopefully everyone who came has woken up with a hangover, and perhaps some sore feet, but more than anything with a smile on their face after a good night out.”

Read more: Five things you only know if you went to Tokes in the 90s

You can see hundreds of photos from the night on the Tokyo Jo’s Reunion Facebook page.

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