Step into Steam Down, the weekly jazz jam in south-east London, and you’ll be pulled into a mass of jumping, writhing bodies. Horn notes might screech overhead as a kick drum pounds through your chest but you’ll be hard pressed to see where the music is actually coming from. At Steam Down, it isn’t just the musicians who play, it is the crowd too, encircling each other and responding with their voices and bodily rhythms.
It is this communal spirit that has given Steam Down such a loyal following and an almost cultish reputation of being the place to experience the raucous edge of London’s new jazz scene. Arriving at the cavernous arch space of Shoreditch’s Village Underground, then, feels like a leap upwards, and outwards, for the core members of the collective. Here all 11 cram on to the elevated stage for the packed crowd to see while leader Ahnansé conducts his sermon.
Read the review in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 25/04/19]