What went down at our Shoulder To Shoulder house party in London - Features - Mixmag

What went down at our Shoulder To Shoulder house party in London

This Mixmag and Monkey Shoulder event saw an almighty performance between headliners Norman Jay MBE and Melvo Baptiste

  • In association with Monkey Shoulder | Photos: Brennan Bucannan
  • 12 September 2023

Continuing to put focus on community and freedom, Mixmag has teamed up with Monkey Shoulder - the 100% malt whisky made for mixing - to bring you Shoulder To Shoulder. Working together, we have created a party campaign that embraces diversity, while working to support and uplift nightlife — an endeavour that, alongside a huge boost in awareness for grassroots music and a push to put crowds at the centre, has seen two raucous house parties unravel.

Our first Shoulder to Shoulder event, at The Faversham in Leeds was one for the books — featuring a custom-made kitchen and a Shoulder to Shoulder performance from Jayda G and Ruby Savage. So of course, our London event that followed had a lot to live up to.

Set at The Master Shipwright's House in Deptford we transformed this rustic manor house into a flawless house party locale — curating every last detail with our audience in mind, informed by the series of polls we conducted on Instagram stories last month, asking you to vote on your favoured house party room, drink, music style and more. With the party covered in Monkey Shoulder’s staple orange, and three rooms of music... what more could you ask for?

Entering the building eager attendees were greeted with a steady flow of Monkey Shoulder cocktails, before deciding whether they’d like to journey upstairs or through the bottom floor into the garden. In true house party style, you can find people hanging out in the bathtub, jumping on the bed and dancing in the kitchen. For music, our headline Shoulder to Shoulder between Norman Jay MBE and Melvo Baptiste took place in a disco ball-filled garden set beside the Thames. Inside, The Menendez Brothers made the floor bounce in our custom-made kitchen, meanwhile, Common Ground DJs played their set on top of a grand piano.

Placing industry legends alongside budding local talent, the party saw Norman Jay MBE and Melvo Baptiste go Shoulder To Shoulder for the big headline set. Norman Jay MBE has been an almighty figure for UK dance music from his work in the ‘70s supporting the soundsystem scene to becoming a main supporter for Black music including Notting Hill Carnival. Melvo Baptise is a product of the movement Jay has made, as Baptise also is an advocate for pushing soul into the modern sphere. The pair’s Shoulder To Shoulder set took us on a genre-bending, musical rollercoaster. Starting off with some hip-moving disco we ended on some wild fist-pumping drum’n’bass as we explored some adventurous tracks as well as old-school classics.

Through the series, we have also been fundraising for existing organisations - the Music Venue Trust, Night Time Industries Association and Free The Night - who work to support existing infrastructure in the UK and embolden those who work tirelessly to make nightlife a place of acceptance and inspiration, with charitable donations and calls for the community to join in.

Check out some more images from Mixmag and Monkey Shoulder's Shoulder To Shoulder house party in London with Norman Jay MBE, Melvo Baptiste, The Menendez Brothers and Common Ground DJs.

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