Norman Jay MBE & Sancho Panza review: A full day of positivity

We sent Erin Cobby to The Prince of Wales in Brixton to check out a double header of Norman Jay MBE and Sancho Panza

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 12th Sep 2023

It was the last weekend of the British summer, and tightly packed onto a rooftop in Brixton, hundreds of people, sweaty, glittered, and often wearing novelty sunglasses, moved as one to the music Norman Jay MBE was playing. 

Also known as ‘Mister Good Times’, Norman Jay came to prominence through warehouse parties in the 1980’s and has been an arbiter of the UK scene ever since. Last Saturday, at Prince of Wales, wearing a straw hat and sunglasses of his own, (not novelty) he played feel-good classics from Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody, to Dan Hartman’s Relight my fire.


Loud whistleblowing and lively whooping were signs that the crowd were halfway into their 12-hour party. However, despite some grumbling concerning the length of the bar queue, the vibe stayed overwhelmingly positive as the night wore on, reaching a high point when Jay dropped Luther Vandross' Never Too Much. And, despite the fact there was no re-entry, people continued to be sustained by the range of food on offer, the tracks being played, and the positive energy of everyone on the roof, including the staff. 

Up next were Sancho Panza head DJs Matt Brown and Jimmy K-Tel. The duo is known around the world for hosting their massive Sound System at the annual Notting Hill Carnival, playing out underground house music to the crowds at Europe’s largest street party. In Brixton, their set was a little more varied, interspersing tracks like a remix of Manu Chao’s Bongo Bong and even a rogue reggae number (Tenor Saw - Ring the Alarm) amongst their more go-to house tunes, (Izo FitzRoy - God Gets a Little Busy Sometimes (Cosmodelica Remix).


As the sun set, the crowd was able to disperse slightly and migrate from the packed rooftop to the club downstairs. In this dark room fitted out with glowing tables and a light show, we saw a reappearance from Sancho Panza, as well as sets from Sassy Wylie and to close it down, Carly Foxx. Reflective of the time and environment, the mood in the club was darker, with Wylie playing an inspired deep house set.

Unfortunately,  it seemed that by midnight the crowd were largely burnt out, and apart from some die-hard fans, the club never seemed to pack out. Although, this could have also been due to the fact that Hilit Kolet was still playing her unique blend of UK-tinged basslines and Chicago-influenced beats on the roof upstairs. 


It had been 10 years since Norman Jay MBE and Sancho Panza played together, and as we exited amongst the tired, but elated crowd, it’s a pairing which has proven to stand the test of time. 



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.