Ray Davies – Breezy Bounce
The Top Rank Suite was known to everyone in Brighton during the seventies. Locals joined the waiting line with thrilled-to-death exhange students who once back home could not stop raving about it: you can’t believe this place we went to!
Top Rank was a chain of clubs owned by the Rank Organization who were big shots in the film distribution business in GB. The Brighton branch was designed by Russell Diplock to resemble a set from a James Bond film, inside and out. The huge entertainment complex housing bars, a massive dance hall, a bowling alley and a cinema was a sight to see in the middle of the properly British buildings among the seafront. It’s still there to annoy Prince Charles every time his highness comes to town.
The place opened originally in 1965 as a major concert venue for popular, even massive bands. During the early 70s it hosted acts like Genesis, Rod Stewart and James Brown. Discothéque nights were equally popular, though the mods had to wait for their Motown until the aunts and uncles had finished walzing and foxtrotting the early evening away.
From 1975 onwards when disco gained popularity Saturdays were often reserved for deejays. These would – horrors! – grab the mike and introduce the records, crack the usual lame jokes or appear in drag, as the Brits often feel compelled to do. Tracks danced to at the club as an exhange student late in 75 included Juggy Jones: Inside America, Biddu Orchestra: I Could Have Danced All Night and Eddie Drennon’s Let’s Do The Latin Hustle (which nobody there knew how to do).
The hall was refurbished in 1990 and re-opened as the Event. The tacky grandeur of the interior was lost. Of course in a few years time, there’ll no more be any horny exhange students in the town either or anywhere else on the island.
The music: a British library tune from 1979.