10 things you might remember about Coasters and the Top Rank Suite

Posted On 09 Mar 2016 at 8:26 pm

Everyone at Brighton and Hove News was saddened to hear of the death of Jarrod Marchant, the founder of a Facebook page in homage to Brighton’s best known 80s nightclub, earlier this week.

In tribute to Jarrod, here are 10 things you might remember about Coasters and the Top Rank Suite.

1) Coasters was open from late 1981 to early 1986 and was the place to be for young Brightonians. On some nights admission was as much as 50p. The club/bar was situated under the Odeon cinema then known as the Kingswest on the corner of King’s Road and West Street.

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2) The venue was formerly known as Jenkinsons and catered for an older cleintele than Coasters, which was aimed at the late teen Brightonian.

3) Coasters’ resident DJ was Rory, a moustachioed chap with a penchant for leather trousers.

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Rory also liked a bit of a dance.

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4) If you got there early admission was free and drinks were cheap.

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5) Performers such as Bananarama and Divine appeared at Coasters, as did semi-resident band The Liquorice Allsorts …

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… who had a remarkably convincing Prince lookalike.

6) The Top Rank Suite was around the corner in West Street and was for a slightly older clientele. Now Pryzm virtually occupies the sites of both venues – and ironically a Costa Coffee now occupies part of the Coasters site. The Coasters Facebook page have arranged a reunion at Pryzm on 30 June this year.

7) The Suite or Event as it became, was the biggest of Brighton’s nightclubs, with a 2000 capacity.

8) Coasters had general assistants, the Suite had “bouncers”. Anyone under 18 needed to know their false date of birth, star sign and year they left school. Off by heart.

9) On Saturday 21 May 1983 both venues advertised post Cup Final parties. The Suite’s advertisement read: “Win or lose, we’ll be celebrating tonight.” Brighton was a frenzy that day.

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10) Take That appeared at The Event in 1990 before they were famous.

  1. Michel thoroe Reply

    Sad sad news about Jarrod. RIP mate

    • Darren Reply

      Went to school with JJarod absolute lovely guy his dad gave me my first job on scaffold wirk experiance RIP Jjarro. From Darren Gahan

  2. Tina Reply

    RIP Jarrod did not know you personally but without you Coasters memories would of been lost ,you brought it all back to lifeI,would of never had heard Rory’s voice again .hope what you have created carries on.wish I got to meet you and we need to keep the photos coming that you kept asking for.xx

  3. Jen Reply

    Jarrod was so excited about the event to happen in June,l hope that it will go ahead for him….fly with the Angels Jezza xxx

  4. Daron Hogg Reply

    its soo sad to hear that jarrod died . he arranged the school reunion which was amazing .. bless him for that .. he also came to coasters to see my band liquorice allsorts … i was at school with him ….bless him …RIP Jarrod xxx

  5. Karen Reply

    Great place coasters, met my partner there in November 1986, so celebrating our 30th anniversary this year. Didn’t know jarrod but knew his partner Helen well. R.i.p

  6. John Reply

    Saw some great shows in both venues when I was 16 or so… U2, Depeche Mode, Tina Turner at Top Rank Suite, Spiz & Dept S at Jenkinsons to name a few oh and The House Of Love much later…

  7. Clare clancy Reply

    RIP jarred, I remember working behind the bar of the suite when I was 19 in 1989 and then the night it closed down many of the staff got paid extra in hand if we help through the night. It was opinional but was provided drinks and food while we worked and music and we all had a good laugh whilst doing it. The worse thing about when it re opened was the stupid uniform the gave us. Part of my life I will always remember and the people I worked with.xxx

  8. Trevor Pole Reply

    I was the chief engineer in the suite and relief Dj. worked for Top Rank from 1962 ( Regent ) until 1978. Good days lots of happy memories from there, met my wife WENDY in Jenkinsons been married 44 years now love to everyone Trevor

  9. Jim scannell Reply

    I worked as a General Assistant at the Suite from 74 to 81, had some great times, miss all those people, so many went on to Motown Night at the Hove Greyhoind Stadium…… Gone too now, apperently…….

  10. david holmes Reply

    In 1967 I put two gigs on at The Top Rank Suite for the colleges. The first time a gig had been held there , other than their own.

    It was a Friday evening when oddly enough they did not hold their own functions.

    The first we had The Yardbirds and Bozz and the Bozz people and the 2nd Manfred Mann and ( local band) The Laymen .

    Frank Lord was mangaer at The Suite

  11. Gill Reply

    I thought that Tony buck was the general manager right from the beginning ?

  12. Trevor Pole Reply

    No Frank Lord opened the suite in 1965. Then there was Colin Fox a gent I think that is when Tony Buck came I helped to move him from Wales.Tony has been the longest serving manager,nice bloke.

    • Marla Reply

      I met that Tony Buck. He wouldn’t let us in one night in 1999 so we let all his tires down. He’s thankfully long since gone and Damian King is manager of the club now.

  13. Rob winter Reply

    Yeh used it in 83 a bit trendy for us yobs thou we used the Richmond.Alhambra.and the one underground on the front?

  14. suzie Reply

    who worked here at jenkinson in 1976 , there was Peter the guy on the door and the Italian guys from crawley, and the greek guys in the club underneath, we use to after party all over the place after 0200 when jinks closed oh my

  15. Della Reply

    Saw group of young lads bounce out and sing who were The soon to be famous Take That ! Great times fond memories x

  16. Jan Morley Reply

    Gosh few names on here I remember I worked at Suite in the 70s cooked the burgers then worked behind the bars ..

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