Samantha’s Club – New Burlington Street. What clubs and venues do you remember in London? Tiffanys Club and Gullivers People chat.


All images supplied by Colin Bell

Colin Bell… I was looking for something in my archives (I must organise them one day!) and came across this. I was struck by the artwork and how creative it was then. Samantha’s was in a basement off Regent Street and I was introduced to it on a night out with Clem (from the Foundations) and Jimmy James, from memory  it was around late 1969 early 1970. A great place with soul bands appearing and the D.J. ‘booth’ was the body of an E Type Jag (very swinging sixties). Drinks 2/6d! You could get well pissed for a coupla quid! I was lucky enough at that time to have the use of a mate’s flat in Berwick Street Soho, ideally placed to go to all the great clubs. Many hours spent at the Marquee, Whisky-a-go-go, the Flamingo, Middle Earth and Hatchetts in Piccadilly, a great club over 3 floors with a chill out bar level, a restaurant with a glass wall overlooking the ‘disco’ floor. I’d be interested to hear any memories of this period from other Smart members? Great times and great memories…………..

Alan Esdaile… Happy days in Wardour Street at The Marquee. Also the Speakeasy. Also remember auditioning bands at Tiffanys nightclub in Shaftesbury Avenue and a club in Piccadilly with the disco on the top floor, mirrored lift and the club had records stuck to the wall. 100 club, Roxy, Ronnie Scotts etc.

Peter Fairless… Went to some dodgy, some good clubs in London. Some were very dodgy but very good! Can’t remember all the names but most of those listed above.

Steve Gage… My mate Ray was a bouncer at Samanthas where are you now mate??? 🙂

Mick O’Dowd… Went to The Q Club in Paddington after seeing James Brown at The Rainbow in the 70’s I think. JB turned up after we got there and jammed with the band. Awesome!

Wendy Weaver… I went to Samantha’s in the 70s, loved the E Type jockeys booth. I worked in offices above La Valbonne in Regent Street for a few years. It had a large glass tank where people went for a dip – sometimes with their clothes on !

Eugene Hughes… I went to the Valbonne Wen. And Skindles in Maidenhead. Louis Brown has them both. Kingley St was la Valbonne.

Lena Jansson… Tiffany´s in Shaftesbury avenue was my favourite disco in 1977-1979, I remember the live band Gullivers people and the two DJ:s Ken Norton and the other one I can´t remember the name of, Dave? David? Would be great to hear from someone else who used to dance the nights away at Tiffany´s!!


Gullivers People. photo source:

Lena Jansson… I only remember the female singer of  Gullivers People, I think her name was Kim or something like that, a name that both women and men use. She was quite tall with dark curly hair and a very strong voice. Their best cover was Alright now, a great song by Free.

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SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell – reviewing Pickettywitch/Polly Browne/Sweet Dreams the anthology 1969-1976 (2cd set)



This 52 track compilation covers the complete recordings made by Pickettywitch, Polly Browne’s solo album and her Sweet Dreams collaboration with Tony Jackson. Best remembered for the January 1970 top 5 hit ‘That Same Old Feeling’ and for those with long memories the follow up ‘Its Like A Sad Old Kinda Movie’ Polly and Co made some breezy sunshine pop. At this distance 46 years on (where did the time go!) listening to this compilation the Pickettywitch material, apart from the aforementioned hits is not particularly memorable to be fair, its all a little too samey, although the album did sell well at the time. However Polly’s solo album is far more satisfying with some nice takes on ‘To Love Somebody’, ‘The Composer’ and especially ‘Amoureuse’ which Polly recorded months before Kiki Dee but didn’t release til after Kiki had hit with it. Her voice given more free rein from the confines of PW has a breathy quality very reminiscent of the great Dionne Warwick which is very appealing.
The last half of disc 2 is devoted to Sweet Dreams. Polly teamed up with Tony Jackson ex Skatalite and lead singer of Gullivers People, co-incidentally there has been recent discussion of GP elsewhere on SMART, Abba had yet to release their ‘Honey Honey’ track in the UK, Polly seeing its potential was quick to record it and was rewarded with a return to the charts with a Top Ten hit. I actually prefer this version much as I admire Abba. Although not included on this comp she also recorded ‘Up Up In A Puff Of Smoke’ on the same day as HH, which was also to become a hit, a good day in the studio for our Polly. The combination of Polly and Tony’s vocals blend very well and a nice surprise for me is the inclusion of their version of ‘I Just Want To Stay Here’ the Gerry Goffin/Carole King song made famous by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme and a guilty favourite for this old reviewer! So in conclusion overall a good package, excellent sleevenotes and great sound quality. Now if RPM would be kind enough to do the same with PYE labelmates The Paper Doll’s i’d be a happy bunny!

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Til next time………….  Colincolin-head-111x150-111x150



Dave Nattress… Remember the single “Same old Feeling” very well – good old TOTP”s!!!So long ago…..