Words by Reece Greenfield
On Monday night, Mark and I decided to take a stroll down to Jam Jah, at the Station in King’s Heath. Upon arrival we assessed our surroundings, sat down with pints and enjoyed the relaxed and jovial sounds of the band playing and a modest audience’s enthusiastic reception. Despite our nodding heads, we were struck by something… where are the one-drops? Where are the off-beat chords? The authoritative basslines? “All Jam, no Jah!” we thought until realising we were actually at Muso Mondays and that Jam Jah was held in the backroom…
The darkened room lit only by decorative lights hid our flushed cheeks as we entered Jam Jah, but the rumbling bass had us beaming. A DJ was spinning at the back of the room in front of a backdrop of Ethiopian colours, bopping to the roots-reggae riddim. The welcome sound of reggae did not take us by surprise but the wonderful smells of home cooked vegan Caribbean food did. We looked over and saw that it isn’t just the beats that are tasty.
The crowd was small but enthusiastic, and we attributed its size more to the weather and the proximity to payday than the vibe or the appeal of the night. Looking about there was a mixture of head nodding, dancing, and relaxed lounging from Jam Jah’s patrons however they were all unified by a shared enjoyment of what we were all experiencing.
Overall, we felt that Jam Jah is the perfect alternative night on a Monday in Kings Heath, not least due to the welcoming vibe of the evening but the fact that one can flit between there and Muso Monday. On a summer Bank Holiday with the room a bit fuller this may well be the perfect way to spend a Monday… but then again I’m biased. You’ll just have to go and make up your own mind.
For more on Jam Jah Sound visit www.facebook.com/jamjahsound