South London Soul Train, Bussey Building, 5 January 2013

Down an alleyway, through a courtyard, up two flights of stairs in Peckham is a space in an old warehouse where people come from far and wide to blow off steam. Tonight the promise of soul has brought everyone, from art school hipsters and local Rastafarians to middle class mums who heard of the place from their teenage daughters, to the Bussey Building.

The mix might sound like an awkward one, not a million miles from those first teenage house parties where your parents insisted on chaperoning from the next room. But here everyone comes down to the same level: inhibitions let go and the music takes over.

It helps that the DJs spin soul in its most accessible form, taking in the likes of Cheryl Lynn’s Got To Be Real and Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours. The rhythms forcibly move your feet and those strong voices have everyone singing. This is the sort of music that has to be danced to.

It’s a rare night that has the whole room moving, relatively disinterested in the pursuit of romance and hangovers. But here in the heat of the South London Soul Train, the pressure is off. The stern facade of the city has been barred, and you might even catch a smile from a stranger.


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