Open top bus, Electric Avenue old sign, TALK smoking area
Marine Parade Southend
In 2016 the Southend Film Festival included “Essex Disco Fever“, a look back at the whole disco phenomenon particularly in clubs in Basildon and Southend in the ’70’s through to the ’90’s. During that period TOTS was probably the top of the pile, it had started off as a cabaret nightclub, The Talk of The South and TOTS when it became a disco, and was hugely successful but like a lot of places like that it was caught out when house music came along, it either wasn’t welcome in established clubs or, it wasn’t what the music needed. It’s still open, not 5 days a week like it used to be with regular student nights, promotions, over 25 nights etc but seems to be more a venue for hire.
Way back then you could be on the seafront and have next to no idea you were right next door to a cultural hotspot, but these days when it’s open you have no trouble hearing the bass at 1.00am and, with the “new” smoking laws, a sound you never used to hear anywhere, the outside smoking area. You can see this in the photo, the white area, some distance from the main body of the club but there are interconnected rooms, and this night was a Free Party Friday and the people going out to the smoking area are here.
Incidentally, the Electric Avenue sign, which was a sensation when it was first installed, and the New York New York sign a couple of doors along have both this year but upgraded, the tubes have been replaced with, I presume LED bulbs, they can change colour, are way brighter and have much more animation. I presume it’s the same in Clacton and Walton.