Soul Jam Hot Vox Pop
Chris at Soul Jam Hot
Image: Neil Murchison

Do You Come Here Often? Soul Jam Hot

As part of a new series we focus on the best resident or unique club nights happening underneath your nose
Feature by Neil Murchison.
Published 28 November 2011

Night: Soul Jam Hot

Where: Sneaky Pete’s

When: Tuesdays, 11pm-3am

Door: Free

The Night

Deep in the heart of the old town a crowd has once again been drawn, like moths to a flame, for a night of soul, funk and hip-hop: ‘get down’ music in other words. And the crowd are definitely doing that. If there were three circles, one representing Soul Jam Hot's music, another for cut price drinks and a final one signifying ‘dancefloor mayhem’ then you would get what’s known in the Venn diagram world as ‘mega overlap’. It’s a controlled experiment and it’s getting results.

The limited space in Sneaky Pete’s is often the reason it excels and on nights like this people are crammed up on stage and at the edges of the room just to get a spot of floor. The lack of seats here has never been more irrelevant, you couldn’t sit to this music if you wanted to. James Brown, De La Soul and Sister Sledge and all get dropped early on. A loop from Soul Train runs on the screens, full of bright primary colours which are replicated with the yellow, red and blue lights beaming from the ceiling. The dancefloor is the only place to be unless you are at the bar, getting air or smoking. The music is diverse enough to hit you with a whole bunch of songs you won’t know and then still suckerpunch you with a classics like Dialated People’s The Platform or some A Tribe Called Quest.

The DJ: Robbie 'Robert VI' McLaren

Who DJs?: The five strong The Players Association, consisting of Callum 'Molecular Scissors' McLean, Rob 'DFade' Ralston, Cam 'Suds' Mason, Tom 'Harrisimo Fontaine' Russell and Robbie 'Robert VI' McLaren 

How long has it been running: About a year and a half.

Three songs most likely to get played: Fred Wesley's House Party, James Brown's Ants in My Pants and Archie Bell and the Drells' Tighten Up.

Why is it different? The atmosphere is a bit different to most clubs I go to. The type of music we play has a lot to do with that and funk, soul and the like is quite accessible to loads of different people which makes for a really diverse crowd. And most people are pretty keen to have a proper dance to it, not just a cool as fuck bob of the head. 

A funny thing happened one night… We had Raekwon and his pals (I can’t pull off the word ‘posse’) down here after his gig at Liquid Rooms before the summer. It was pretty surreal, they got up on stage and did a wee set with a few of the guests we had on that night. That was only after they got over the initial shock that I didn't have any Wu-Tang with me to play for them... which wasn't embarrassing at all.

The Crowd

Emma, Fran and Rob

Do you come here often? Emma: Yes! Hell yes. Fran: Every week pretty much. Rob: Every couple I guess.

What’s the best song you’ve heard so far? Emma: Lauryn Hill Do Wop (That Thing) Fran: Yes, I agree. Rob: Something Hill I think...

What are you drinking? Emma: anything that’s cheap! No, Tyskie and Peroni. Fran: Probably Jägerbombs.

 

Chris

Do you come here often? Once a week..at least.

What’s the best song you’ve heard so far? I’ve only just got here!

What are you drinking? Something cheap..no wait, everyone says that. A beer.

What do you like about here: A lot of clubs think dub step and hip-hop cover everything but they don’t. There are maybe only two other nights [in Edinburgh] that stick out for me and that are diverse and it is hard to find a club playing a broad range of music. It’s just good music, if you know what I mean.