Writer & Photographer Connor Pope
As I open the door to Venue 1, or rather as I’m let in by the Hare and Hounds security, the room lets out a booming bass sound. It’s still early in Kings Heath and I’m presented with an almost empty space. But given that Mungo’s Hi-Fi has sold out the main 250 capacity room, with no tickets available on the door, I expect it to fill up soon.
The support from Moseley locals Young Culture Sound starts the night’s energy off on a high, heading straight into the genre of the evening – dub. And people inevitably start filtering into the Hare, grabbing their first rounds from the bar.
Whilst this isn’t the usual kind of gig I attend (I’m trying my hand at writing because there’s a horrific bug going around), I love the beats as much as the rest of the crowd. Which as Young Culture Sound gets more into their groove is up to be a total mix of all kinds of people.
Those at the front are having the time of their life, dancing to the electronic remixed reggae, using the space in front of the stage with those behind them head bopping, beer in hand. The DJ crew looks right at home, donning ‘Young Culture Sound’ branded hoodies, beanies, and bucket hats, playing the decks and switching up who’s spinning next.
I manoeuvre through the growing crowd, dancing along, trying to keep a good view and get a good shot.
The support act lasts for two hours, and this brings a lot of anticipation for the main performance. The queue (I’m told) is snaking round to the record shops on York Road, almost a half an hour wait. Most people turn up just before midnight, catching the last few songs played by Young Culture Sound.
The set transitions seamlessly into Glasgow based Mungo’s Hi Fi with an introduction from the last DJ from Young Culture Sound going straight into the first song of their set. Although this isn’t my usual bop, I did check out Mungo’s before coming to the gig and I had to do more research when I saw them described at a ‘Sound System’.
The atmosphere is bubbling, and as Mungo’s Hi-Fi start their set they quickly bring the (gorgeous) 18th century venue’s walls shaking to the ground. I see what they mean by sound system now, with DJ’s and MC’s collabing to showcase great dub, reggae, and ska tracks effortlessly mixed to satisfy the packed out room’s hunger for dance tracks.
I’m starting to understand why the group has such a reputation.
Whilst I didn’t stay until the 3am ending, the party was far from over when I left just after 1am – and people were still turning up at the door, desperate to get in.
I’m sure that, depending on how much they drink, this is going to be a night to remember for most of the audience. Although I came in to see Mungo’s Hi-F with high expectations given their reputation, it definitely was for me.
And, while a lot of that is thanks to Mungo’s, Young Culture Sound made up a good part of my night. If you haven’t yet had a chance to check them out, I recommend you do. You can usually catch them at Jam Jah, in fact they’re performing at one at Nortons in Digbeth on 21 November.
For more from Mungo’s Hi-Fi go to: www.mungoshifi.net
For more from Young Culture Sound go to: www.soundcloud.com/youngculturesound
For more from Hare and Hounds go to: www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk