Picture this: it’s 3am in the upstairs of a small pub on the streets of Kings Heath, 300 people are clapping and chanting ‘one more song, one more song’, while two ladies are embracing at the decks, laughter and smiles all around. This was the scene on Friday night at the Hare and Hounds, at Leftfoot’s and Fight Night’s all-female selector event. Hare and Hounds always attracts a diverse but carefree crowd – the ‘dance like no one’s watching’ vibe. The deejays all went full throttle, and the rooms were packed to the brim till closing.
The all-female Brum based collective Selextorhood warmed things up for Miss Éclair Fifi in room 2. The group play a huge part in promoting gender diversity within the deejaying scene in the Second City, hosting monthly workshops in Café Artum for female identifying and non-binary selectors of all abilities. The deejays within the group all have different styles, playing through afrobeat and jazz, to minimal house and hip house beats, filling the room and setting the tone perfectly.
At 11pm, room 1 begun its non-stop party. Welcome to the world of merry music – hosted by Queens Jayda G and Ruby Savage. Much more than just ‘deejays’; these two women live and breathe music, and this is obvious to those who watch them. Innovative and original sets have placed Savage and Miss G at the top of their game. Blending through soulful disco, funk, and as the energy grew, latin and soulful house cuts; the two complemented each other’s choices stunningly. The set solidified their statuses as quality selectors, showcasing lesser known Prince tracks like ‘Chelsea Rodgers’ and ‘Sexy Dancer’, and even pulling out gospel track ‘Stand To The Word’ near closing.
Mixing between digital and vinyl formats, the ladies knew what to play, and when to play it. It was interesting to watch the two bounce off each other – one congratulating the other on song choices. The four-hour set allowed for a genre defying journey; it took you to places you could only dream of going. The crowd lapped up everything; from thrilling slow grooves to hard-hitting dance records. Pure energy pulsated from the DJ booth – not dancing wasn’t an option.
Fifi’s room held a different kind of energy – less New York discotheque, more Berlin based sweaty basement. In comparison to the women in the other room, Fifi’s presence is much more understated, and her style differing too. Fifi played heavier – think minimal acid house and techno – in a three hour seamlessly mixed set. Selections on point, and mixing techniques A class, the lady knows how to work a crowd.
The women pulled out all the stops, and the atmosphere never once lost its sense of freedom and unity. ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’ was certainly the mantra of the night, and should be the mantra of every night.
Written by Alev Omer