Rolling back the years for roller disco revival

The Coasters roller disco in Edinburgh 1982.

The Coasters roller disco in Edinburgh 1982.

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IT WAS the era of big hair, bold make-up, boiler suits and leg warmers.

Many of the fashions have already made a come back but now the city is set to witness another revival – this time of the roller disco.

Coaster nights – roller disco with a retro vibe – are coming back to the city at Craiglockhart Leisure Centre.

Teens of the 1980s are being asked to dust of their faded denims and throw on their sequins to skate to the hits of their youth.

They’ll be able to whizz around the tracks to the likes of Duran Duran, Madonna and Guns N’ Roses, at the special adult-only sessions on Friday nights.

City personality Grant Stott began his DJing career at the roller disco held at Coasters Nightclub, in Tollcross, now The Cavendish, which was the “must-go place for the youth of Edinburgh”.

He said the hobby has enduring appeal with different generations and the new sessions would bring back memories to a lot of people in the ­Capital.

“It’s a hard thing to put your finger on what the appeal is of it – people would just skate round and round in circles to their favourite tunes which seems a bizarre thing in this day and age,” he said.

“Roller-skating has never really gone away, it’s always been there since the 1950s and 60s in different guises. Through the 1980s roller skates got a bit more tech and sassy, then blades came in. The idea of coming and skating to the music is still popular. If they’re doing it to 80s music and people get up in their rara skirts and neon t-shirts then that might well work. It’ll be different from the 1980s though as you have to go in the right equipment now with knee pads and elbow pads so it won’t quite have all the glamour of the time.”

It is also seen as a great way to keep fit – burning up to 500 calories an hour and testing all of the major muscle groups. It can be better for older groups too as it puts far less pressure on the joints than running, with the same aerobic benefits.

Ally Flannigan, supervisor at Craiglockhart, said they hoped it would be a fun way for people to get into shape – while taking a ride down memory lane. Not owning skates is no excuse as pairs can be hired for £2. Youngsters can also get on board with kids’ sessions at the centre on Sundays.

He said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming Roller Beats to our venue for their first over-16s event in Edinburgh. Held in our huge hall in virtual darkness with disco lights and pop music, it promises to be a real old-school experience.”

kate.pickles@edinburghnews.com