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Top DJs, Spandau Ballet and the rave scene…one soul queen’s memories of destroyed seafront club

I first went up there when it was Teleny’s, all crombied up with my skinhead mates. It was full of hippies and a strange, waterfall thingy in the middle of the dance floor.

It was full of small dark rooms like rabbit warrens and you never knew where you would end up. They did not sell alcohol and the music was crap…this was about 1972-ish.

The next episode would be when it was Khristiano’s when we had lost our soul club, Dantes. We started going up Khristy’s and Tony Mears used to have Sean French, Jeff Young, Martin Collins, Tom Holland, Paul Clark, Mick Fuller, Godfrey Flavel — all famous soul DJs. It was amazing and we enjoyed a few good years there.

I had my engagement party there I was so drunk I fell asleep on the loo — as you do — and woke up to doorman banging on the door. All I could say was I had “fizzy hands” due to pins and needles.

Spandau Ballet came up one weekend — word of the venue was getting round as far as London as they were soul boys when not performing. They were great times.

The next episode would be Bentleys. My big 30 took place here and I had been on it all day at the Berkeley Arms then on to the club for a joint Birthday do with Jon Don. Oh blimey, it was a “down in one champagne and vodka frenzy” and I had to be carried out by six blokes and ended up being rather ill for three weeks.

Empire was the next instalment. At this stage I wasn’t going out in Bognor much but did go a few times. They had the most amazing world class house DJs it was the time of rave as well.

Lots of off-shoot gigs from Ed and Lorraine were happening as well as Empire and still doing today in other venues they have a massive following quite rightly so.

Next phase was the Mud club — again some amazing world famous DJs have played at club I had some fantastic times here.

Eddie, Lorraine and myself put on a Dantes/Khristy’s reunion and we had 278 people attend it was amazing to see so many old faces there. We had two rooms: the Shoreline room for 60s soul and reggae, and the Dantes room for jazz funk and stuff. We thought we had found the perfect venue for our reunions but sadly it closed about three months later. This venue holds a lot of special memories for a lot of people we are so lucky to have them.

It’s so sad to see this building gone but we were so lucky to have had it.

Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son.