Win tickets to Suffolk Soul Nights’ Friday Fright Night classic soul and Motown disco

AS darkness falls across the land and the midnight hour is close at hand; whosoever shall be found, without the soul for getting down; won’t be able to withstand the might, of Suffolk Soul Nights’ Friday Fright Night. Entertainment writer WAYNE SAVAGE finds out more

HOPEFULLY it’ll just be the music sending shivers down your spine as Trinity Park welcomes back Ipswich-based Suffolk Soul Night’s classic soul, Motown and disco next week for some freaky Halloween fun.

The first time they transformed it into a nightclub with a difference in 2009 they were overwhelmed admits Graham Lloyd, who set the company up in 2008 with Tony Mills.

“We had a quarter-of-a-mile traffic jam of taxis dropping people off and picking them up at the end of the night, we had to instigate a one-way system on the site,” he laughs.

The duo, who knew each other from doing the mobile disco circuit for 35 years, run regular events every month usually in and around Ipswich. They came up with the idea after noticing as people got older they missed the classic clubbing experience they’d grown up with.

It’s snowballed, with people coming from Bury, Romford, Peterborough, Cambridge, Clacton and Lowestoft to enjoy their nights. They’ve even had people rearrange their holidays so they don’t miss out; as well as welcoming music-lovers from as far away as France.

While the nights regularly attract 35s and over more young clubbers are finding their way there because of the atmosphere; that and the dancefloor are all that matters to Graham and Tony.

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“We don’t care about the bar as long as it’s not too expensive for our punters,” says Tony. “The dancefloor is phenomenal. If everybody doesn’t know everybody by name they’ll certainly know each other by sight.

“The atmosphere is so warm that when new people come along, they come again and again. We have old-fashioned rules; no drinks on the dancefloor, everybody is courteous to everybody else.”

Graham says the focus is on clubbing days of old when you could go out, have a laugh and enjoy good music; adding “Girls, lads, they come to us, have a dance, a good night and away they go. They don’t want the hassle [that comes with clubbing] in town.”

They even employ the same burger van – Big Daddies – that a lot of clubbers enjoyed back in the day to keep the nostalgia flowing as they leave.

Graham is the main DJ, bringing others in now and then to keep the music fresh and unpredictable.

“We change the music around; I don’t always know what I’m going to do each night myself,” he laughs. “It’s nice when you drop in a different tune and you hear the whole crowd go ‘yeah’ because you’re playing something they remember dancing to.

“If I haven’t got a full dancefloor by 8.10pm something is wrong. Once they’re there they’re there for the rest of the night. This is no ordinary disco.”

Staff will get into the Halloween spirit by dressing up for next Friday’s event and clubbers are invited to check their worries at the door and do the same.

There will be some scary surprises too; make sure you’ve got somebody to cling on when the lights go down and the video projectors come on later in the evening.

As well as great music, revellers can expect lasers, mirror balls and more lights than you can shake your groove thang at.

“They’ll have a really good night and won’t be disappointed. They’ll go home happy guaranteed,” promises Graham.

Time to dig out my disco duds.

Suffolk Soul Nights’ Friday Fright Night kicks off at 7.30pm at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on October 28. Over 21s only. The next event is a soul night at Greshams, Ipswich, on November 25.

We have eight pairs of tickets to Suffolk Soul Nights’ Friday Fright Night to give away. Just tell me which classic horror film actor provided vocals on Michael Jackson’s Thriller. E-mail your answers to by next Wednesday.

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