SFTS meets the Sheffield Samba Band

Drum Roll please….

The Sheffield Samba Band have been bringing the sounds of the favelas to the festivals and fetes of Sheffield for the past six years, and prides itself on it’s accessibility. Whether you’re male or female, young or old, musically talented or tone deaf, the Sheffield Samba Band will have a drum for you.

While Samba music is not what you’d usually find on Sounds From The Steel, we decided to head down and meet the Sheffield Samba Band on a rainy Tuesday night, to get into the spirit of the Samba!

Although not quite as exotic as Brazil, the Broomhall Centre in Sheffield hosts its own night of South American influenced beats every Tuesday from 8:15 to 10:00pm, as the Sheffield Samba band descend on the little community centre armed with steel drums, bells and whistles.

As well as religiously practicing every week, the band often perform at events around the region, whether it’s the Halloween Fright Night, the Sharrowvale Lantern Festival or the mysterious Pagan Beltane festival, complete with a burning wicker man.

Samba Band leader Charlie – drumming at the 2012 Beltane Festival

Samba itself originated in South America, particularly Rio de Janeiro, from the African population in the early 20th century. Creating large ‘drum orchestras’, former African slaves would take to the streets, with their drums in hand, bringing a welcome distraction to the crime and depravation of the favelas.

Fast-forward to modern day Sheffield, and it’s a very different atmosphere altogether. The Sheffield Samba Band are simply all about fun and enjoyment. At any opportunity, founding member Charlie will dress her drumming contemporaries in fancy dress, while Surdo drummer Dan claims that ‘doing an organised rehearsal in a band once a week is the equivalent psychological feeling of having a pay rise!’

If the tricky tempos and the intricate rhythms tickle your fancy, then get in touch with the band via Facebook, or their own website.


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