It’s been over a week since Gilles Peterson graced Birmingham’s Hare and Hounds with a monster four hour set. He did not disappoint. If you’ve listened to Peterson’s show on BBC 6, then you might have an idea about what was in store; it was everything you could imagine and more.
The place was rammed; the disco ball spinning above a mainly older crowd compared to the usual student’s that take over Birmingham’s nightlife. For once we were outnumbered on the dance floor, and it made for a change in atmosphere and vibe in contrast to usual club nights. It wasn’t a night for getting off your face, attempting to pull or snapchatting everything. It was about the music. It was about enjoying purely good music with the people you love around you. A sign on the wall read ‘Respect the vibe, no screens’, and most did indeed respect this. The lack of phones in the air kept that focus on the music, and nothing more.
Peterson’s set took you everywhere; and the dancing did not stop once. He went from Godfather of House Frankie Knuckles’ ‘Baby Wants To Ride’, to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin’s ‘Daydreaming’, to sampling Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech over Mr Fingers’ ‘Can You Feel It’. The energy was consistent. He dipped into pure disco and jazz infused disco, with a lovely cover of Ronnie Laws’ ‘Always There’ by William Bobo. Exhibiting his skills as a talented selector, he delved through the decades to bring the best in soul, funk, jazz, latin jazz house and more. Sticking true to his vinyl roots, he played the night on wax as well as CDJ’s. Knowing the all right places to bump up the bpm or slow the groove, Peterson earned his right to play for four hours straight. By the end of his set, he brought out the old school R&B, spinning Amerie’s ‘One Thing’ to the crowd’s delight.
I can easily say it was the best set I’ve ever seen. The long set allowed for Peterson to take his audience on a journey, and it is this and his status as a legendary curator that makes him an inspiration to a lot of disc jockeys’ on the scene. Leftfoot and moodfix continue to show they’re the best in Birmingham’s underground scene, my second favourite set coming from Jayda G and The Penderstreet Steppers earlier this year, another Leftfoot event.
Check out the Hare and Hounds website for their upcoming events for 2019. Dan Shake (moodfix) on the 1st of March and Nightmares on Wax (Leftfoot) on the 8th of March will be two not to miss!