Express & Star

Jim 'Shaft' Ryan bringing live night of Moneypenny's magic to Hockley Social Club

The home of the Birmingham's beautiful people is returning after teaming up with the city's new generation of leisure innovators.

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Handsworth's finest Jim Shaft Ryan

Miss Moneypenny's is bringing the swagger of those 1990s house music nights in Hockley to the latest custodians of packing out post-industrial spaces in the Jewellery Quarter.

Whereas 30 years ago Bonds would be packed full of the city's most glamorous ravers rocking their socks off till dawn now Hockley Social Club has added street food to the mix, negating the need for a Mr Egg on the way home.

Love Unlimited featuring The Bond Street Singers, a collaboration between Miss Moneypenny’s founding DJ and producer Jim ‘Shaft’ Ryan and Shereece Storrod, artistic director of Europe’s finest female acapella quintet Black Voices, will take place at Hockley Social Club in Birmingham on Thursday, May 23.

Thursday night promises live performances of inspirational and influential classic tracks spanning US soul through to smash disco and dance hits - just 300 metres from where Miss Moneypenney’s club was based, in Hockley, from 1993 to 2006.

The Bond Street Singers were founded in 2017 for the Miss Moneypenny’s Night at The Proms 25th anniversary show at Birmingham Symphony Hall, produced by Jim ‘Shaft’ Ryan’.

Ryan, co-founder of the influential dance music brand that has captivated millions of clubbers worldwide since its inception in 1993, is recognised as an innovator, visionary, and ambassador for dance music globally.

The internationally respected DJ, remixer, producer and radio show presenter, was one of the creators of Miss Moneypenny’s and Chuff Chuff, which led Ryan to tour the world as well as hold down one of the longest residencies in Ibiza, Miss Moneypenny’s legendary residency from 1995 to 2010 in Pacha and El Divino.

Speaking ahead of Love Unlimited, Jim Ryan said, “To curate a soundtrack for this exceptionally talented group is a DJ and producer’s dream. The Bond Street Singers capture all that is positive about our great city’s cultural landscape.’

“I always feel emotional when I watch footage from the Miss Moneypenny’s Prom, especially hearing Black Voices’ sing Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’, Njoi’s ‘Anthem’ and The Sound of Blackness’ ‘The Pressure’.

“The power of music to move and uplift us never stops, and we’re so thrilled to be bringing together a very special evening of music and voice to celebrate this, as well as the journey we’ve all been on to date.”

Love Unlimited will feature songs by US soul greats including Aretha Franklin and Ce Ce Peniston, House, RnB, Gospel legends Byron Stingily, Sounds of Blackness, and Degrees of Motion, as well as dancefloor classics by 1990s chart stars Kings of Tomorrow, Kym Sims, NJoi, Sabrina Johnston, and Ultra Nate.

Adapted for the event by an ensemble of singers drawn from across Birmingham, the songs celebrate music of Black origin written and recorded in the 1960s and 1970s, celebrated by the queer and gay community in 1980s Chicago, before emerging as a global house music movement - including in the UK in the early 1990s.

Shereece Storrod said, “After the huge success of the anniversary show back in 2017, Jim and I always said we'd work together in the future.

“Hockley Social Club is the perfect venue to start this new chapter with the Bond St Singers.

“I'm honoured and excited to be collaborating with Jim again, celebrating the legacy of Miss Moneypenny’s, and the many amazing artists whose repertoire our wonderful group of singers will be performing. The night promises a good mix of ensemble pieces and solos, giving everyone their chance to shine.”

Storrod, a singer/songwriter, vocal coach, workshop leader and group fitness instructor is also building operations manager at Grosvenor Road Studios - the home of Black Voices.

Shereece Storrod

She added, “The Bond St Singers are people from all walks of life. I'll be joined by some ladies from Black Voices, people I went to school with, young people who I've mentored in the past and young people who I'm mentoring now.

“I wanted to use great singers but I'm extremely passionate about giving opportunities to unknown/upcoming singers too. We've been rehearsing at Grosvenor Road Studios, the home of Black Voices and I'm super impressed with what I've heard so far.

Love Unlimited venue, Hockley Social Club, is building on its major new arts and music offering, intended to ’open up’ cultural experiences for UK audiences, alongside an acclaimed food and drink offering at the centre of a newly revamped space.

Hockley Social Club

The popular Birmingham nighttime destination, on the 10,000-sq ft site of a former industrial printworks in the historic manufacturing district of Hockley, is marking its fourth year with a substantial line-up of academics, artistic organisations, comedians, DJs, musicians, and speakers.

Jack Brabant, Director of Hockley Social Club, said, “We have a long, proud, and diverse history of music making across many genres here in Birmingham, with creatives like Jim and Shereece at the forefront of making our city a vibrant place to live, work and play.

“It is a key ambition of Hockley Social Club to provide a cutting-edge cultural space and programme for exciting and memorable live music and DJ experiences.

“We’re thrilled to be presenting Love Unlimited to our huge community of fans and audience members; it promises to be an incredibly special evening for all.”

In addition to hosting debuts, live shows and exclusive sets from some of the UK’s hottest new electronic music producers, DJs, promoters, and collectives, Hockley Social Club also offers award-winning food from some of the UK’s best street food traders.

And this being Miss Moneypenny's, the people watching will be next level, who made it through to the Promised Land with their own teeth? Fully functioning liver and both kidneys? Nip, tucks and Lady Mucks, next Thursday could be one of the nights of the year.

Jim ‘Shaft’ Ryan, Shereece Storrod & The Bond Street Singers present Love Unlimited

Hockley Social Club, Birmingham

8pm Thursday, May 23, £15 plus £1.75 booking fee included

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