In the first in a series of articles on some of Dublin’s biggest club nights, Anna Burzlaff talks to one half of Junior Spesh about reggae, good vibes, and fried chicken
Dancehall in Dublin may have seemed farfetched a few years ago but to the surprise of many, the boys from Junior Spesh have managed to bring a little bit of the Caribbean to our rainy shores.
Many clubs follow a prescribed formula of Top 20 hits, shockingly applied fake tan,
and copious amounts of alcohol. For the reggae-loving stoner, it can be tough finding an appropriate outlet to pass your Thursday nights. Junior Spesh was spawned out of a desire to fill just this vacuum. That, and of course, a love for chicken.
The night’s somewhat unusual name comes from London grime group, Red Hot
Entertainment. Their song, ‘Junior Spesh’, a four minute ode to fried chicken, seemed the
perfect title to compliment the event. “We all loved chicken, so we decided it would be funny to start a name like that.”
Tagdh Byrne and Mark Byrne are the creators of this dancehall and reggae inspired night.
In the years since it started Junior Spesh has become one of The Twisted Pepper’s biggest weekly parties, promoting a different kind of clubbing through its music choice and overall theme.
Boasting DJs such Brenmar, Annie Mac, and Skream, Junior Spesh is all about the music.
While the emphasis undoubtedly lies with reggae, hip-hop, and bass, Byrne stresses that
variety is an extremely important component: “My favourite thing about Spesh is there’s a lot of unpredictable parts about it.”
Junior Spesh’s latest endeavour was a celebration of 50 years of Jamaican independence
(certainly not a typical calendar date for most club nights), turning the Twisted Pepper into a mini Kingston, filled with palm trees and free jerk chicken.
The club night shies away from the formulas of its contemporaries; it’s less glitz and glam
and more rum and red bull. “It’s not about VIP areas or bottles of champagne and drink
offers. It’s about, basically, just really, really good music, and somewhere hopefully where
you can let go and enjoy yourself, without thinking about how much money you need to
spend on booze or what you need to look like.” In other words Junior Spesh is a just a really,really friendly night.
Since Junior Spesh’s inception the night has been steadily gaining a loyal following.
Certainly for those looking for something different Junior Spesh boasts the credentials. When asked about the night’s ethos, Byrne replies: “Great vibes, great music, and great people.” A statement which would make even the least likely clubber grab some fried chicken and dance the night away.
Junior Spesh takes place every Thursday from 10:30pm in The Twisted Pepper.