There comes a time in life when you stop looking forward to birthdays. But this October has got us all excited again, as it sees the start of The Social's month-long 10th birthday celebrations at their home in Little Portland Street.
The club night itself was started back in 1994 by Heavenly Recordings - the label which launched a thousand Mercury Music Award nominations for the likes of Saint Etienne, Doves, Beth Orton, and counts the Manic Street Preachers, Ed Harcourt, The Magic Numbers and Northern Uproar (remember them?!) amongst the acts signed - and was headlined by the Chemical Brothers under their previous Dust Brothers guise to such acclaim that they were forced to find newer, bigger, more robust premises. David Adjaye even stepped in to help fulfill that little task, creating a basement bar lined with concrete booths and an upper lounge bar with an Americana feel in 1999. The popularity of the venue and the label with the lovers and liggers of the music industry spawned cross overs between artists and guest vocalists, and boasts a relaxed vibe along with a jukebox of legendary progeny.
Since then there have been a strong complement of regular nights at the venue, many of which are scandalously free - from Huw Stephens' Introducing to the hugely popular Hip Hop Karaoke, Breaking Bread and even comedy nights - as well as one off events, gigs, and sneak peeks at new album releases. This Monday sees a return to their roots, welcoming Saint Etienne back to the fold, to be followed in the coming weeks by gigs from The Charlatans and The Magic Numbers (coupled with a DJ set from the label's founder, Jeff Barett). As their website states: "expect faces old and new, music to shake the concrete off the walls and enough alcohol to stun a marching army. It’s the only way we know how to do it."
Tickets - for the ticketed nights - are available here.
By Ruth Lang