One of East Yorkshire’s most legendary nights out is making a triumphant comeback this week. Bus Stop delighted a generation of clubbers at the much-loved Lexington Avenue (LAs) venue in Hull.
The disco extravaganza - which began in 1995 and ran for seven years - was famed for its authentic 70s costumes, fun stage set and, of course, fantastic, floor-filling tunes. Now, it will return to Beverley Racecourse on Friday for the hugely popular 70s Race Night.
DJ Tony Loveshaft and his larger-than-life cast of 70s throwbacks will be getting the party started at the Westwood course after an exciting evening of racing. How well do you remember LAs and Bus Stop? We’ve been taking a trip down memory lane...
1. The floor fillers
At the heart of one of Hull's biggest and best party nights was a killer set list of 70s classics, played by DJ Tony Loveshaft, that was guaranteed to get people on to the dancefloor.
Tony said: "We had 30 or 40 huge, big disco numbers that got everybody going. I couldn't narrow it down to a single favourite floor-filler but the tracks that stand out in my mind are Dancing Queen by Abba, The Jacksons’ Blame It On The Boogie, and Disco Inferno by The Trammps."
2. The costumes
LAs became a Tuesday night time machine as clubbers donned platform shoes, flares and Afro wigs. Whether you fancied yourself as John Travolta or a Vegas-era Elvis, Bus Stop was your opportunity to relive the decade that fashion forgot.
"We actually had a 70s shop inside LA's a one point where you could buy all your bits and bobs,” said Tony. “I'd say about half the people who went were dressed up, some in Afro wigs and others fully decked out. Quite a few would dress up like me with the big blonde hairstyle, which was funny. Others got their mum's fur coat down from the loft and really went for it."
3. The name
Veteran clubbers will remember the night was originally called Car Wash, until a copyright issue prompted a change of name. Tony said: “At one of our original nights in Sheffield we had a full front of a bus on stage, so when we had to change the name from Car Wash, it seemed like a great idea.”
The new name also referenced the Disco classic (Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop.
4. The set
The first thing you would notice on a Tuesday night at LAs was the fantastic, fun 70s set, complete with a car in the centre of the stage.
"When we did Car Wash we had a hot rod on stage and when we moved to Bus Stop, we used a VW Beach Buggy,” said Tony. “We still have it and we'll be using the same one at the Beverley Races show. We also bring along other classic 70s props such as a Rally Chopper and old iconic stereos.”
5. The cast
What set Bus Stop apart from other retro nights was its brilliant cast of “heart-throbbing seventies rejects” with such glamorous names as Tricity Bendrix and Crystal Maze.
"All but two of the original cast are still in the show,” said Tony. "As well as Tricity and Crystal, Gordon Gold and Lino Davis, who used to come on as a postman, are also still doing it."
6. The Dance Competitions
One of the highlights of the show was the weekly dance competitions.
Tony said: “We'd get the girls up first and then the lads and we'd have a final dance-off. It was freestyle and we'd choose different songs from night to night."
7. Dancing on the podiums
LA’s may have been infamous for people dancing around their handbags, but you couldn’t say you’d truly arrived unless you’d danced on one of the much-loved podiums.
“We used the podiums as part of the production,” said Tony. “There was even a dance podium on the upstairs balcony which we would utilise as part of the show.”
8. The crowds (and queues)
At the height of its residency at LAs, Bus Stop performed to over 2,000 revellers, making it arguably Hull’s best ever Tuesday night out.
"We had hundreds of people queueing outside,” said Tony. “We had 300 outside at one point. People wouldn't do that now."
9. The last dance
Every great night ends on a high and leaving clubbers wanting more, and Bus Stop was no different.
"We often played Bohemian Rhapsody to finish the night,” said Tony. “It's six minutes long and has everything to it including a singalong part so it always goes down very well. We played it to round off the Beverley night last year."
10. The venue
Bus Stop and LA’s went together like Elton John and Kiki Dee, and Tony believes the venue was a big part of the night’s long-running success. "It was a proper nightclub with an unmistakable decor, with the neon lighting and the whole grand frontage,” said Tony. “It was an old-school venue of the kind that you don't really see any more. Everybody was in it together and dancing to the same songs.”
And while the famous Lexington Avenue is long gone, Tony says its spirit lives on. “The nightclub scene goes through cycles and I do think it will come back again,” he said.
While you’re waiting, get down to Beverley Racecourse on Friday, July 6, to relive those glorious 90s nights and stomping 70s tunes. "We'll be bringing an outdoor PA system and we're expecting a brilliant atmosphere," said Tony. “It’s going to be a cracking night and a real blast from the past for all those people who remember going to LAs on Tuesday nights back in the nineties.”
With the fun-filled disco night expected to be popular, racegoers are advised to book in advance, and Premier tickets are already sold out, although you will still be able to get access to the show after racing. Doors open at 4pm with the first race at 6pm and last race at 8.55pm.
Tickets for all the fixtures are available to buy online here or by calling the ticket hotline on 01482 867488.