Built in 1907, Birmingham's The Hare & Hounds isn't your typical church of dance. A classic boozer with 1930s art deco design, it's undergone a fair few changes over the past 100 years. Taken over by Adam Regan and his Leftfoot promotion six years ago, its focus has since shifted from old men boozing to live music and club nights, with notable DJ appearances from Eats Everything, Mosca and Theo Parrishin particular sticking out in Regan's mind.
“It was an old Irish pub with Sky Sports, fruit machines, mild/Guinness drinkers and a thick blanket of smoke in the air at all times,” he tells DJ Mag. “It had been a decent live music venue in the '70s and '80s but that gradually dropped off as the brewery lost interest.”
Bringing his 13-year-old club night to the venue in 2007, The Hare & Hounds has hosted the likes of Gilles Peterson, Julio Bashmore and Goldie in the pub's larger of its two club spaces (250-capacity), while bands and local DJs have taken to the smaller 150-capacity room. Adding to that, Jam Hott, Prospec, Circles, Hot Club De Swing and Shelter have held down regular programmes, ensuring that the music policy has remained varied, touching on house/techno, dnb and disco as well as providing a platform for live acts and bands.
“(We attract) all sorts (of people),” says Adam. “From local characters to cool kids and real music aficionados. The diversity of the programme creates a really nice mix of people.”
As well as holding its own, garnering a loyal local following, the venue has received extra attention from across the nation over the past six to 12 months, partly fuelled by the ongoing dance renaissance in the city, Adam explains.
“Digbeth continues to host some of the country’s best raves with the Rainbow and Lab 11 leading the way with some very innovative line-ups,” he says. “There also seems to be a few pop-up events happening with promoters using unlikely spaces to host their parties. I’d say Birmingham is going through a bit of a purple patch at the moment.”
Leftfoot's success and resulting international appeal has found it on the schedule at Croatia's The Garden Festival (3rd - 10th July), where Adam has put together a club night with Theo Parrish and a boat party Nicola Conte. Add to that a series of afterparties for the Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival (5th - 6th July) and you have another busy month at Birmingham's most bass-friendly boozer.
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