Wednesday 17 October
Pump Up The Jam
The year is 1960, in the United States of America. The African-American community have just launched a new sound: soul. Making gospel secular, the likes of Ray Charles and Otis Redding are inspiring a whole new generation of iconic artists from Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, through to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Sixty years later, Barack Obama will define Aretha’s Soul as ‘capturing the fullness of the American experience, the view from the bottom as well as the top, the good and the bad, and the possibility of synthesis, reconciliation, transcendence. American history wells up when Aretha sings’.
Mid-60s, the movement splinters: funk brings the groove, beat and bassline. James Brown’s downbeats inspired the nation, while later Chaka Khan and Betty Davis show women’s place in the history of funk with award-winning tracks. George Clinton branches out; adding psychedelic funk to the mix, while European electro-funk gains traction. Funk dominates the 70s, until a new movement takes the beat a step further.
It’s 1978, and for the first time ever, the Billboard Hot 100’s top 40 includes a single from the radical new genre: hip-hop. The Sugarhill Gang brings the sound of New York Block Parties to the public ear, pushing the music of DJs and MCs to the mainstream. Sampling funk and adding scratching and rap, hip-hop is the sound of a new generation. With Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five engaging with social issues, a new, relevant music movement and subculture is born. Through the Golden Age of Hip-Hop in the 80s artists like the Beastie Boys develop new school hip-hop and reach new commercial heights. In the 1990s MC Hammer and Snoop Dogg consistently reach the Top 10. Through the 2000s hip-hop achieves international and commercial success, with ever growing subgenres pushing hip-hop to new limits.
The year is 2018, and Cambridge has been begging for a night to fill the void; an alternative to the cheesy music hitting the clubs night after night. Pump Up the Jam delivers.
Tickets from £1