On Monday 14th September the musical landscape of Moseley will change forever. After 14 years of weekly Jam Jah reggae sessions the Friendly Fire crew will take their nights elsewhere due to the venue being sold to make way for a restaurant. Johnny Kowalski met with organiser DJ Robidon to reminisce and see what the future holds for this local institution with international reach.
What was the inspiration behind the Monday night sessions at the Bulls Head?
The Monday nights started as Ras Tweed’s night – Dub Wid A Difference at the Medicine bar- Bongo Damo was on a uni course with him, and so the night was passed on to him, and quickly moved to the Bull’s Head which was owned by the same people. As I was hanging out in Jibbering Records, my friend Jon told me that Damo had started a reggae night and invited me to take some records down, that’s the first time I met Damo. Bongo Damo is a regular DJ at Jam Jah and the drummer in Friendly Fire Band.
Tell me some of the best and worst moments you’ve had at Jam Jah.
Bad moments? Not really, I think there was a total of 3 or 4 fights over 14 years.There were down moments but so few and far between – Jam Jah is more about constant good moments! We’ve had guest from all over the world and hosted many a Shambala after party. Off the top of my head recent highlights have included guests such as Raphael, Radical Guru, Lukie Lava from Switzerland and Tuffist.
What advice would you give someone thinking of starting a similar night?
Hmm I guess be patient – it took a long time to build this so you need to a) believe in your vision b) get involved with the right venues/venue owner. The Bulls head is a Leftfoot venue and they are serious about music so they’ve been supportive even when it wasn’t going as well.
Is there anything special planned for the last Monday session or will it be business as usual?
We’ve got a 2am finish with loads of friends passing through, including singers, DJ and MCs. It’s going to be mad, people need to get there early as it going to be roadblock!
Cool! Last question – will the weekly sessions continue, and where?
To be honest it’s still in the air as to where it will be, but it has become so engrained in our lifestyle that we have to make it carry on! A lot of our friends have met each other at Jam Jah, and there’s a real sense of community united by this night – I was talking recently to someone that was telling me their whole group of friends was made around Jam Jah.
Find the facebook event page for the last ever Jam Jah at the Bulls Head here –
To find out where the weekly sessions will move to, you can sign up to the mailing list here –
Of follow the Jam Jah Facebook page here –