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Night Life: Bassline reggae night has the crowds jamming

05 August 2011 - 02:26 By Chivimbiso Gava
Bassline in Newtown Picture: SHIZEEDA OSMAN
Bassline in Newtown Picture: SHIZEEDA OSMAN

Even on a freezing winter's night, the queue spirals a long way from the door, with people braving the cold to get into the Bassline.

It's loud and you can hear the reggae tunes bellowing from inside.

African Storm Sound System hosts a reggae session every Thursday at this popular Newtown, Johannesburg, cultural precinct venue.

People descend upon the Bassline in their hordes to hear Admiral, Jah Seed and Bobo-tical on the decks.

The sheer capacity of the venue makes it easy to lose your friends, so keep together. It gets jam-packed and the dance floor is always full. If you don't want to brave your way through the crowd, there's always the bar area and the stairs that also serve as a dancing space to revellers.

It's quite an interesting set-up: two fully stocked bars, one upstairs and another downstairs. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, there's a woman in the dancehall selling cigarettes, lollipops and Rastafarian-inspired regalia.

One of the most entertaining aspects about the dancehall is the "jirating" that takes place on stage - like something straight out of Kingston or a Vybz Kartel music video. It's like getting two shows for the price of one. Yes, you too can take to the stage and show the crowd a move or two, and there's always a crowd willing to do so.

The DJs' sets usually include all the reggae sub-genres, from dancehall to lover's rock. Towards the end of the night, the playlist changes, with DJs spinning hip-hop, and what might be called R&B.

  • The Bassline is at 10 Henry Nxumalo Street, Newtown, Johannesburg. Call 011-8389142/5/6