On Friday the 26th of January, three exciting DJ’s from Canada graced the small streets of Birmingham, and made their way to the Hare and Hounds pub in Small Heath to host an intimate night of funk and house. Jayda G and the Penderstreet Steppers are Canadian producers and DJ’s, although it doesn’t do them justice to call them simply ‘DJs’. From experiencing them in the flesh it’s fair to say all three live and breathe through music. They’re becoming more and more well-known across the globe for their original and innovative sets; Jayda G especially from her boiler room sets from which I first discovered her.
The venue is only a ten minute drive from UOB, and at first glance looks like any old pub. As soon as you walk in the classic pub setting is on the right, but a trip up the stairs leads to two function rooms. The room was already half packed, with the Penderstreet Steppers set starting only fifteen minutes prior to our arrival. The room was filled with mainly mid twenty year olds kitted in retro and hippie outfits, yet quite a few students were also spotted grooving underneath the disco ball.
According to the set list, each DJ was due to play a separate set, but Jayda was already spotted behind the decks lending a hand to the others. As the night progressed, it was clear they were going to play back to back the whole night, and this played out to the crowds delight. The three DJ’s on the scene bounced off each other magnificently, delivering a fresh and exciting mix of funk, soul and house. Although not many of the songs were well known, most were filled with energetic vocals and bouncy piano chords, and all had their own funky bass line to keep you moving. Some classics that Jayda had spun before played such as SOS Band’s ‘High Hopes’, and also her latest release with Alexa G ‘Diva B*tch’ (Jayda G Get Down On Ur Knees Mix). Although their set mainly used CDJ decks, turntables were set up also and were used for the few classics. To see someone young like Jayda using vinyl was refreshing, making the set feel that little bit more authentic.
The best part of the night was simply watching the producers behind the decks; there’s nothing better than witnessing artists really loving what they do. Energy and passion spread from them into the crowd, creating an infectious atmosphere full of pure good vibes. Everywhere you looked people were smiling and dancing; just enjoying a night of good music, good company and watching Jayda G have the time of her life. Sometimes a night of embracing solely the music makes a nice change from the sweaty club nights that usually take over a student’s social life.