Samantha’s – It had to start somewhere for so many people

Samantha’s was an upstairs venue above the Silver Blades Ice Skating Rink in Queens Road, Sheffield. A room about three times as long as was wide, it had a relatively small dance floor, with a bar at the far end and ample seating. As you climbed the stairs and entered the room, the decks were on your left, readily accessable for requests. No stage to climb up onto! Unfortunately, the decks were so close to the dance floor that any enthusiastic “stomping” resulted in the record jumping… ‘Elusive’ by Babe Ruth often caused problems!


There was a second room too, the Hallam Suite (later the Mayfair Suite), that ran as an oldies room. Thanks to Andy Stacey from Barnsley for putting me right on that one. The oldies room was hosted by Howard Sorsby, aided and abetted by Billy Paul (Wigan), Paul Curzon (Doncaster), Derek Banner (Mansfield), and Rotherhams Derek Sheldon, who I am told named his daughter Sandie! Thanks to Howard who got in touch via email to fill in my rather vague memories here.

The “resident” DJ here was John Vincent (on the right, Keith Minshull on the left), often ably assisted by Richard Searling, Ian Dewhurst, Twink (from Leeds), John Manship, the occasional appearance from Colin Curtis, and later Paul Rowan and the inimitable Soul Sam.

The music policy was notable in that Samantha’s seemed not to have any preference. In fact the playlist sat squarely between all camps, and changed rapidly with the times. With no particular allegance to stompers, white acts or funky stuff, anything went. Music often ranged from out and out 100mph stormers to tracks by Earth, Wind and Fire!

I believe that it is this variety and freshness that made Samantha’s stand out from the bunch, and commanded a loyal following. Ask many old soulies who went to Samantha’s, Wigan, the Mecca etc “What was your favourite venue?” and many will say…. Samantha’s.


Compare these two Samantha’s play lists, one from 1973 and one from 1975.
Samantha’s 1973
Sam & Kitty I Got Something Good
Soul Twins Quick Change Artist
Eddie Parker Love You Baby
Virginia Wolves Stay
Danny White Cracked Up Over You
Samantha’s 1975
Boogie Man Orchestra Lady Lady Lady
Rosie Jones Have Love Will Travel
Prince George Wrong Crowd
Esther Phillips What A Difference A Day Made
Kim Tolliver I Don’t Know What Foot To Dance On
It can be seen from the vast difference in musical styles that Samantha’s certainly moved with the times… to sample the sounds of Samantha’s, listen to live recordings in Live Venues.


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