Get Low vs. Redux at Jamm
So, it’s April Fool’s day and where better to go than an April Fool’s Ball? So, to Jamm it was and what a line up they had on offer.
DJ collective Get Low Cartel joined forces with Redux (hosts of live music events and warehouse parties) and put on a night to remember. I was especially looking forward to were Man Like Me. I also wanted to see for myself, a legend I’d heard of called DJ Derek…
The night was going on in two rooms so I’m going to stay from the start that I wasn’t in both rooms at the same time (surprising eh?). I stayed put in the Stage Room (so anyone reading this that spent time in the Bar Room, please leave a comment saying what went down). The Get Low Cartel DJs warmed things up, providing a lively sound to the room filling up, Jamie XX beats and carnival vibes a plenty.
Next up was Sampha. Although he only had a half hour set he made his presence known and felt. He recently released Valentine with Jessie Ware (a former member of Man Like Me) and his unique style of his live soulful voice combined with the mixing of beats and melodies, makes him a stand out. His soulful voice filled the room and slipped brilliantly in with the electronic beats and melodies. His Myspace page describes his music as Emotronic/Soul/Visual – a pretty accurate description. He’s got some dates supporting Mount Kimbie this month, so check him out if you can.
After a bit of sound checking to start with, Johnny (the front man of Man Like Me) jumps on to the stage holding a fire extinguisher above his head, at this point you know Man Like Me has arrived. A line up of trumpet player Jerome, Peter Duffy on the mix desk, a new singer and front man Johnny. As soon as they started playing a wave of energy flew through the crowd. Everyone started jumping around and a carnival feeling took over. The second song they played was Single Dad, an up front and humorous song about becoming a young dad. Johnny took off his wooly jumper to reveal a shirt and tie. With each new song, Johnny took off another layer, until I came back from the bar to see him singing in just his vest and boxers! Their songs are about all sorts, from London Town to personal ads in the paper. Whatever the topic, they all have energy, a catchy melody and stacks of fun in common. Sort of like a modern-day Madness, they don’t take themselves seriously but are serious about entertaining.
They have a brilliant front man but it’s the whole group together, busting moves and enjoying themselves that really make Man Like Me so good. I am a bit of a fan but I can assure you I’m not alone – a massive gaggle of people (mainly girls) jumped up on stage and swarmed around them, with one lone security guard battling to keep things calm. At a Man Like Me gig? Not likely.
After some gasps of fresh air, it was time to witness DJ Derek. When he walked behind the decks I had to blink, hard. He’s 76 (and looks it) and at first he looked a bit timid. But as soon as he got his tracks on he was loud and proud and had some brilliant tunes. He spoke over most of his tracks and his accent is an interesting one. He’s a Bristolian but his gravelly voice had a Patois ring to it and his chit chat on the mic bought a smile to the crowd, especially when he chucked in ‘Shabba’s here and there. He reminisced about old times at Jamm and added ‘A lot of beer has gone in my gut since then’. How I wish he was my granddad.
His set had some great mixes including ‘Now That We’ve Found Love’ by Heavy D & The Boyz ft. Aaron Hall mixed to a Reggae beat. Another corker was the melody of ‘Waiting in Vain’ by Bob Marley mixed with ‘Sexual Healing‘ by Marvin Gaye. He then came back on the mic and spoke about how angry he was with the state of the world, that he went on marches in 80s ‘and I’m still seeing the same shit going on’, then, perfectly up next was ‘I chase the Devil’ by Max Romeo & The Upsetters. Other favourites included ‘Heads High’ by Mr. Vegas and ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ by Jimmy Cliff. DJ Derek is a legend. That word is overused but here I think it genuinely applies. His blend of reggae, dancehall, soul and ska amongst others, gets you dancing like a loon and his interjections are the icing on the cake.
Next were Iration Steppas. I have to be honest and say that by this point it was all getting a bit hazy! They are masters of Dub and their tunes soared through the crowd with everyone moving in the swell. I have no decent photos to offer so, if anyone else does or wants to add more about this Dub power force, then do it do it do it. I guess I have to hold my hands up and say I took my bloggers cap off and just got dancing, hope that’s forgiven!