King Mojo Club

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Coordinates: 53°23′47″N 1°28′05″W / 53.3965°N 1.468°W / 53.3965; -1.468 The King Mojo Club, often known as the Mojo, was a nightclub in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England located at 555 Pitsmoor Road, that operated between 1964 and 1967.

Peter Stringfellow and his brothers (One being Geoffrey, who was the brains behind the club) had been running the Black Cat Club in the city, which proved a success, Elsie Stringfellow (Geoff and Peter's mum took the money on the doors and Geoff's wife Carole served coffee) In 1964, they opened a new venture, the King Mojo Club, in a converted house on Pitsmoor Road to the north of the city centre.[1] The house had recently served as Dey's School of Ballroom Dancing and benefited from a sprung dance floor.[2] The club never received a drinks licence, but did have a coffee bar.[2]

The club quickly became a centre of the Northern Soul scene, with popular American acts such as Wilson Pickett (backed by Reg Dwight's Bluesology), Stevie Wonder, Ike and Tina Turner,[1] and Geno Washington playing.[2] It also hosted Edwin Starr's first UK gig. Don Covay and The Goodtimers also appeared

Stringfellow experimented with a records-only night on Tuesdays, then an original concept. He advertised the list of records which he would play in advance in the local newspaper.[3]

The club hosted up and coming live acts, including Pink Floyd and The Who. The Small Faces played their first gig outside London at the Mojo,[4][5] and The Kinks worked out the arrangement of "All Day and All of the Night" while at the club.[6]

The Mojo Club was also known for its art. Its walls were decorated by Dave Manvell and Paul Norton in a pop art style, Stringfellow himself painting African warriors dancing.[7] Colin Duffield designed innovative posters for the club, later using his skills to produce a wide range of posters for other local venues.[8]

In 1967, Stringfellow along with his brother Geoffrey decided to refocus the club on psychedelic music, renamed it the "Beautiful King Mojo", and redecorated it accordingly.[9] they booked Jimi Hendrix, who played despite a complaint about drug use. The Mojo also received complaints about noise, and its licence was revoked later in the year. It was converted into a bingo club and was demolished in the 1980s.[2] As a stopgap before their new club "The Penthouse" opened, Pete and Geoff ran Mojo nights in the basement ballroom at the City Hall.This was a much bigger venue than the old club with a proper stage. Pete played records an introduced live acts including Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon and Martha and The Vandellas. The Monday club night after Otis Redding's death in December 1967 he played Redding's songs virtually all evening.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Profiles: Peter Stringfellow", BBC News, 19 June 2008
  2. ^ a b c d Nikky Wilson, "Big names at the King Mojo Club", Burngreave Messenger, February 2007
  3. ^ "Record Doctor: Peter Stringfellow", The Observer, 23 April 2006
  4. ^ "King Mojo Club Collection". Atom Retro website. Indie Apparel Ltd. 2004–2009. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  5. ^ Frame, Pete (1999). "Yorkshire South Riding". Pete Frame's Rockin' Around Britain: Rock'n'roll Landmarks of the UK and Ireland. Music Sales Group. ISBN 0-7119-6973-6. 
  6. ^ Hinman, Doug (2004). The Kinks: All Day and All of the Night. Backbeat Books. p. 36. ISBN 0-87930-765-X. 
  7. ^ Martin Dawes, "Art's psychedelic charm", The Star, 22 October 2008
  8. ^ "Mojo Is Coming!", Sheffield Children's Hospital, 15 October 2008
  9. ^ "1967: The summer of love", The Independent, 5 May 2007