My first ever drum and bass/Jungle night outside of Coventry was at Music First at the Que Club in Birmingham when I was 19. I went with some old friends Beavis (called this due to him needing to be scraped off a ceiling even at the mere whiff of an e number or additive) and his then girlfriend (now wife) Andrea.

I was pretty nervous. A good nervous I might add. It was a pretty hot summery night and we’d done everything necessary to be in full flight by the time we arrived at the club. On entering I was taken aback by the amount of people, the amazing venue and the nice vibes. I spent the night smoking some fierce weed, watching Beavis and Andrea neck and having one of the best nights of my life due to the people and the music.

Fast forward 13 years. Jungle and drum and bass are still around? You better fucking believe it. Yeah its splintered and bass driven music is in many, many forms these days but the recipe for a good night is still there. Good people. Good vibes. Good Music.

Now the one place in Coventry that has ever been able to bring these 3 ingredients to the kitchen table and able to match my first experience in at a DNB night was Gamma Funkula at the Kasbah in Coventry, which sadly last bank holiday Sunday span its last slab of wax.

Gamma Funkula Crowd on Boxing Day at Kasbah Coventry
Gamma Funkula Crowd on Boxing Day at Kasbah Coventry

Gamma Funkula Promoter Adrian Dowling has put some absolutely stunning events on across the city and more recently at Kasbah. Pulling in big name DJ’s and MC’s. Over the years Doc Scott, Goldie, Chase & Status, Danny Byrd, London Elektricity, High Contrast, Logistics, Grooverider, Nicky Blackmarket and more have played. The night has also supported local talent including, Noizee B, 91DB and many more, helping local dnb artists up through the ranks.

I hit the main room as soon as I got in. I have to confess it had been a while since my last skank, so I was a bit apprehensive that I’d got it in me. I’d already got some reggae in my system and the crowd was pretty fuckin’ electric as the Congo Natty fam had just come on stage and were playing a bit of Max Romeo ‘I Chase The Devil’. Lighters up.

Instantly I was transported back that Music First night. The reggae faded and that unmistakable heavy, heavy jungle bassline kicked in and near on tore my face off. Pretty good timing on getting in.

Rebel MC in usual style was whipping the crowd up alongside two new young recruits to the fam Nanci & Phoebe on vocal duties and my earlier worries about not having the skank in me quickly disappeared. The crowd were going off and the three main ingredients were all in in the mix.

The people were good. From your first timers, the usual cov heads mingled in with middle class white kids whose parents would be horrified that they’re little Johnny was in Hillfields with a wide grin across their faces. I spoke with a few people over the night. Students from Italy, France, Kenya, Kazaksthan and India all big fans of Drum and Bass and Gamma Funkula. Some didn’t know it was the last event. I also chatted with some of the usual suspects. Smiling like cheshires and all not too worried about the inevitable tuesday tears or realisation that this is actually the last Gamma. Fuck it the partys still going.

The music was good. From the more party jump up style drum and bass in the main room to the darker more progressive dnb in the left wing, the night reminded me how much I love this fucking music. From hardcore, darkcore, drum and bass, jazzy dnb, intelligent dnb, liquid dnb, jungle, garage, 2 step, dubstep, future garage and electronica. And then through to the music that was originally sampled. Funk, Soul, Reggae, Ska, Hip Hop. All spawned from those early sounds and nights I visited from 18 years of age. And all heavily rooted in this City’s DNA.

All round good vibes and a good time was had by all on this last Gamma Funkula. No aggro. No pouting or glamour needed. Just good old fashioned party vibes. I take my hat off to Adrian and the Gamma crew. They’ve put on some pretty big nights, but all with the same ingredients and end result. A lot of happy people.

Hopefully this is just a break and they come back, bigger and stronger next time!