Gallery: Nightclub battle remembered

TWO legendary nightclubs that closed more than a decade ago made a triumphant return after a Facebook campaign to resurrect them for one night only.

TWO legendary nightclubs that closed more than a decade ago made a triumphant return after a Facebook campaign to resurrect them for one night only.

In their heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hollywood and Libertys were well known in Ipswich as the only places to be on a night out.

Staff and former partygoers reunited for “Hollywood vs Libertys” at Club Fire on Tacket Street, formerly Libertys, after a Facebook page dedicated to the clubs gained more than 1,000 members in three weeks.

Former Hollywood DJ Graham Perry, known as DJ Pele, organised Wednesday's event and took to the decks again along with other former DJs Paul Ankrah, “Flipper”, Russ Rayner and Duncan Edwards.

Pele said: “It's been a dream come true, and it's really nice to know that everybody still remembers it. It was just an idea from the spur of the moment and it has blown out of all proportion.

“We wanted to show that everybody still remembers the good old days. You could see the smiles on people's faces all night, it was amazing.”

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The crowd of former regulars and a few younger members of the current Ipswich music scene enjoyed the night so much that they demanded three encores.

Former Hollywood manager Trevor Hollinsworth, who now owns Club Fire, said: “It was an excellent night, everybody had a great time. It was a very good turnout and I think people enjoyed themselves a lot.

“It wasn't exactly like old times because we are all 20 years older, but what was the most fun thing was that there were some people there who were probably only seven or eight years old 20 years ago.

“It is fabulous to see people that are the same age as we were then enjoying it as much as we used to. It was almost like a vindication of our style of music.

“I think Pele is probably still the best DJ ever to hit this town because he knows how to play to the crowd. The most fun thing was watching all the youngsters all on the dancefloor with their hands in the air.”

The momentum started when DJ Pele made a page on social networking website Facebook called: “WERE YOU A “HOLLYWOOD” or “LIBERTY'S” FAN...?!”

Within just a few weeks more than a thousand people had joined the group, now scattered as far as Brunei, Australia and New Zealand, all exchanging fond memories of the nightclubs.

Pele decided to team up with Mr Hollinsworth to hold a ticket-only special night of nostalgia for the two clubs, with old staff and DJs, and soon sold more than 400 tickets.

Staff and partygoers came from as far away as Spain and France for the party, and there were even married couples who met at Hollywood and Libertys more than a decade ago.

Pele said: “There was even a guy who came up & thanked me, saying that I got him to propose to his girlfriend on stage one night.

“He had not only brought his wife of 19 years with him, but also brought their son and showed me a picture of his grandson!”

A similar party has already been confirmed for Easter Bank Holiday Sunday, and there could possibly be even more regular nights.

The special night included the same DJs, music and many of the same staff as the 1990s, but one thing that sadly did not make a comeback was Pele's legendary lycra outfits.

He said: “I didn't wear spandex. Trevor posted a video of me on my Facebook page and that was horrendous! Those were my bad days.”

A selected set list - do you remember these classics?

Felix - Don't you want me

Sandy B - Make the world go round

Snap - Rhythm is a dancer

Sash - Encore Une Fois

House of Pain - Jump Around

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Boom shake the room

SL2 - On A Ragga Tip

The Prodigy - Out of Space