Ace faces and places

Musician Joel White at his favourite place, the Okeh Cafe on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield
Musician Joel White at his favourite place, the Okeh Cafe on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield

ALTHOUGH he came of age in a different era, there couldn’t be a more apt person to front the act playing centre stage at next week’s recreation of Peter Stringfellow’s King Mojo. Joel White plays keyboards and is son of Frank White, the guitarist who first made his name at Club 60 on Shalesmoor. Frank, alongside another sixties music star, Dave Berry, is set to perform spots at the Leadmill on Wednesday. Originally from Nether Edge, Joel is married with two boys and now lives in the Gleadless area.

His band, The Esquire, live and breathe the sounds of Georgie Fame, Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles and other icons of the era, and are named after King Mojo’s main rival, The Esquire, which was above where the Leadmill is today. Peter Stringfellow, who ran King Mojo in Pitsmoor from 1964 to 1967, will return to the city for the big night, which marks the publication of Neil Anderson’s Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1960s Sheffield. Tickets costing £10 are available from the Leadmill, Arena, City Hall, Okeh Cafe and other outlets.

Okeh Cafe, Abbeydale Road

Sixties Sheffield was awash with stylish coffee bars, probably the-best remembered being the Sidewalk on Chapel Walk. My dad always tells me stories of meeting people there. The cafes were the hub of the scene for much of Sheffield’s youth – frequented by mods or rockers.

If you want to know what the scene was like you’ve got to try Abbeydale Road’s Okeh Cafe, it’s like a trip back in time. It’s covered in King Mojo memorabilia and attracts scooter clubs and their followers from across the region. The jewel in the crown is its fab free jukebox. My eight-year-old son is always the first to request Elvis.

The Greystones, Greystones Road

I don’t go to half as many gigs as I’d like to because I’m always working, but I’ve managed to see a few here and also played it a couple of times. What a venue and what a position, smack bang in the suburbs. Fantastic atmosphere, caters for all tastes and quality performers night after night. An electric venue – if you’ve not been, try it.

The Pheasant, Sheffield Lane Top

This is always going to have a special place in my heart as it was the site of my professional gig with my dad, who had a residency here for 19 years. It was in 1988 and I was absolutely terrified! The place was rammed and the people seemed to be hanging off the roof. It was fantastic. It was also the venue where I totally fell in love with the Hammond organ, the instrument I’ve played ever since. I was hooked as soon as I heard my dad’s keyboardist of the time, Craig Broadhead, playing it.

Cubana, Trippet Lane

I don’t mind saying I’m pretty picky when it comes to eating out. I’ve got three favourites (this and the two below) and I tend to stick with them. You get the best of both worlds in Cubana – great food and great live music three to four times a week (and I normally do a monthly blues/jazz duo spot alongside saxophonist Simon Peat).

Try their hake in sambuca sauce, it’s to die for.

Ashoka, Ecclesall Road

Opening in 1967, the year of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album, this is one of the city’s oldest Indian restaurants. It offers consistently good food and great service. My favourite’s normally a kashmir bhuna.

The restaurant is also brilliant for kids. Whilst many restaurants play at catering for children, this place bends over backwards and makes special dishes for them. My two love it.

Bar & Grill, Leopold Square

One of the most stylish eateries to appear in the city centre in recent months. The Bar & Grill cook their steak and fish dishes to perfection. Spacious and airy, it’s one of the city centre’s best-kept culinary secrets.

Richard Hawley

I genuinely love his music. His ability to remould his influences into a sound and feel that’s totally original is an inspiration. Richard Hawley has done more for the image and feel of Sheffield than many realise and you get the feeling he’s only just started. I did my only gig with him at The Limit on West Street in the guise of Treebound Story about 20 years ago.


I know it’s a cliché but we are lucky to live (at least some of the city) within the Peak National Park. I’m better qualified than most to make that statement. A family member recently spent two years doing our family tree and it turns out, 300 years ago, we came from Hathersage!

Colin Starsmore

For a man who wears his sixties-inspired suits with pride, there’s only one place to get the right cut. Colin Starsmore of Station Road, Darnall, is the tailor of choice for any discerning mod in 21st-century Sheffield.