Just Jack 9th Birthday


“And the Colonel said let there be house” read one of the posters behind the caravan DJ booth in Motion’s throbbing main room as Derrick May dropped Âme’s Rej, also described as “the best techno track of all-time” by one of Just Jack’s organisers.

In truth, the aforementioned Colonel, the fictional party-head that fronts Bristol clubbing staple Just Jack, had his techno hat for the night’s ninth birthday bonanza at Bristol’s Motion. Just Jack’s success in the city stems not from just an innate uniting of Bristol’s ever-increasing legion of 4/4 lunatics but also also honing production values on a level far removed from other nights of a similar ilk, the upshot being this one was a roadblock affair and rightly so.

The line-up was arguably the best they’d put together yet and stood tall even with a last minute cancellation from fabric mainstay Craig Richards. The booking of Mr Ties to play early in The Tunnel was a solid introduction to the night, but it was surprisingly the Main Room that worked best with Ryan Elliott’s increasingly pulsing techno direction proving a strong affirmation of why he is such a star on the rise at the moment.

The body popping antics from one of Just Jack’s most revered acts in the form of Mr G proved a serious draw. Watching a 50+ year old man with a jumper with just the letter G adorning it, convulse across the stage surrounded by equipment that looks like it was made in the 70s never really gets boring, especially with a sound as tough as it is infused with groove. This is the crowd highlight for this reviewer with many of the attendees fully losing their hats to G’s hour of intensity.

Back in the Main Room, surprise of the night was Derrick May’s vinyl-only education that took in techno more far-reaching than the Detroit staple we were expecting. With circus performers on stilts and May playing out of what looked a train carriage, his set was the perfect educational tool. His set tonight is exceptionally strong moving from melodic Detroit strains to tougher edges.

Tama Sumo and residents Tom Rio and Dan Wild provide an apt end in the Marble Factory at 7.30am with a packed room still going strong. That fact alone is testament to the reverence in which the night is held by Bristol’s clubbing community. Nine years in, the bookings are as on-point as they’ve ever been as the night continues to push its mammoth parties in its now established home.