Lively but intimate are the two words which could be used to summarise Kingston club Barcadia on Friday October 10, when clubbers were treated to a rare gig from a big-name house DJ.
At first, we were unsure of when the club’s evening act was arriving. We were kept waiting as if to generate suspense, which built as patience waned. At 11:00, the crowd had yet to gather, though the atmosphere at Barcadia was established. Judge Jules, one of the pioneer DJs of the electronic club scene, would be arriving soon.
Shortly after midnight, Jules appeared behind his uncommonly intimate set and got down to business. I was told by the head of the club’s PR that this was the smallest venue he had played in 20 years. That evening, Barcadia was relatively crowded, with a group of clubbers surrounding him passionately while the rest enjoyed from a distance. One thing was undeniable: after playing for just under 30 minutes, the atmosphere changed.
The music itself was proper house music, with a combination of original tracks and various mixes. Many clubbers danced while a few others took photographs of Jules in action.
By the time Jules put the speakers to bed for the night at 1:30, clubbers remained as though still listening to him. The club could have been busier than it was, but those who were there seemed to enjoy themselves immensely and space was still limited. Jules began his professional DJ career back in 1987 and his loyal following consisted less of university students and more of people who had grown up alongside the musical influence that he had on modern club atmosphere.
The DJ, who is also an entertainment lawyer and producer, was more than open to pose for photographs for us.
Overall, it was a good performance from Judge Jules, who was taking time away from larger gigs to perform at a small Kingston venue. Clubbers bounced along with him in close proximity to both each other and his energetic mixing. His visit to Kingston was anticipated and appreciated, but now he is on his way to Aberdeenshire, Scotland for his next gig.
Are you unfamiliar with Judge Jules? You can take a listen to a sample of his tracks from BBC Radio 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbPP0LT0WY0