Nothing leaves me craving a beer like a sweltering tube ride home from work, packed into a carriage like sardines with hundreds of similarly thirsty commuters.
Imagine my relief then to find I was attending the sun-soaked media launch of Brixton Jamm last week, newly opened after extensive refurbishment.
Reggae and dub greeted us on arrival at the pub/club/live music venue, a Channel One Soundsystem set in the courtyard proving an apt antidote to work stress. So far so good then.
In its previous incarnation, Jamm built up a reputation for memorable live music, including trip-hop legends Massive Attack and pop sensation Adele’s first ever gig.
It’s always reassuring to see a wide variety of artists playing at a venue like Jamm – it promises an inclusive atmosphere and an absence of pretention.
When we visited, American disco DJ Mayer Hawthorne was heading up an eclectic lineup. House heads could catch a Desert Sound Colony live set, while the indie faithful were treated to funk band The Milk.
Music is all well and good, but good food and drink are essential for a venue like Jamm to really work.
Walking into the revamped bar area we were impressed by the vintage-style decor, although long queues at the bar meant we had to contain our excitement.
The queues did subside as the evening progressed and punters filtered through into other areas of the bar. The staff were genial and speedy, and it was nice to see beers from The Kernel brewery showing a commitment to local business.
Next it was time to eat, and the smells emanating from two food stalls outside the venue had our mouths watering before we spotted them.
We chose the chicken wraps from local traders Mama’s Jerk, who usually sell their wares in Pop Brixton. The enormous wraps were pleasingly succulent and challengingly spicy, which ticks all the boxes for me.
Jamm’s real strength is its patio and outside area. Benches and decking were packed with revellers as the sun went down, providing a leisurely alternative to dancing for anyone with tired legs after the working day.
Tired legs didn’t seem to be an issue for many inside the bar area, and as darkness fell it was great to see Brixton showing the best of its dance talent in the bar area.
We weren’t particularly impressed by Mayer Hawthorne’s set in the newly extended club area, but with garage legends So Solid Crew and Artful Dodger amongst artists booked this summer the venue may yet cement its credentials.
Overall, Jamm is a vibrant and welcoming venue which has something to offer whether you’re a foodie, music nerd or just a party warrior. Even facing the morning commute with a hangover couldn’t make me regret my evening…