The Florida Rooms

The Florida Rooms at the Brighton Aquarium was for a number of years a premier venue for not only local bands but was one of the first Rhythm & Blues clubs in the country.

The Club was run by a colourful local promoter known as "Uncle Bonny Manzi".  He ran a popular Traditional Jazz session that was billed as “The Chinese Jazz Club” from 1963 onwards.

Appearing at The Florida were all the current luminaries of the British Jazz Scene: Chris Barber, Monty Sunshine, Terry Lightfoot, Humphrey Lyttleton and Acker Bilk, as well as mainstream jazzers The Tubby Hayes Big Band.

At an Easter All-Night-Rave The Chris Barber band played a set which was followed by the seminal Blues outfit The Cyril Davies All-Stars featuring Long John Baldry and a very young Rod Stewart.

Rod Stewart still owes "Uncle Bonny" a fiver he borrowed from him in Bristol!

On Saturday nights groups from across the country played before packed crowds eager to see the best bands around.  One band which I never tired of seeing was Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages.


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