Gig Review: Major Ruse Curates... Jafro at Peggy's Skylight

Words: Rich Higton
Photos: Martin Borrett
Saturday 24 December 2022
reading time: min, words

Major Ruse kicked off their ‘Curates’ series of events at Peggy’s Skylight with Leicester-based artist Jafro...


The ‘Major Ruse Curates’ events see the jazz quartet, consisting of Marcus Joseph on sax, Jamie Sykes on drums, Jack Benjamin on bass, and Joe Egan on guitar, backing a wide array of artists at shows at the George Street venue.

Jafro is a revelation, an exquisite lyricist, and an instantly likable personality, with just the right amount of braggadocious swagger. The rapper along with Major Ruse are so in sync with each other it’s like they have been together for years.

Major Ruse’s musicality is on point, a consistently tight outfit, mixing jazz with hip hop and even some 80’s feeling electronic sax. The show is split into two sets of about thirty minutes, Major Ruse kick off the show doing two numbers, before being joined by Jafro.


The jazz outfit bring a new vibe to some of Jafro’s best cuts, Maradona, Friday, Electrolytes and the outstanding set one closer Recently. Jafro’s lyrical style melds perfectly with Major Ruse’s jazz, creating a flavour which could almost be freestyle.

Set two continues in the same vein, Major Ruse kick off the set with two fantastic instrumental tunes, before being joined by Jafro for a rendition of Don’t Even Go There, a head nodding slice of UK hip hop which appears on Jafro’s 2021 album Pepper Pot.

This live version with Major Ruse is a totally different animal and brings sax and jazzy bass to the proceedings. The rest of the set, including I Am Jaguar, 3 A.M. in Leicester and My Way Home (a production collab with Major Ruse) give the jazz vibe to Jafro’s lyrics.


This is where events like ‘Major Ruse Curates…’ come into their own, you aren’t going to get performances like this on record. A totally unique live experience and a show that really must be witnessed live and in person.

The assembled audience enjoy every minute of it, laughing along with Jafro’s infectious sense of humour, and fully appreciating artists at the top of their respective games.  

Jafro is back live in Leicester on January 28th 2023, the next ‘Major Ruse Curates…’ event takes place at Peggy’s Skylight in March with Nottingham based R&B duo MELONYX.


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