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Idle Fret presents Blue Orchids


Blue Orchids


Dearbhla Minogue And The Partisans

+ Joshua Scarratt (Artrocker) – DJ Set

+ Vic Godard (Subway Sect) – DJ Set 

£5 Advance / £7 on the door


Blue Orchids

Manchester’s legendary Blue Orchids are back! Christened the Blue Orchids by John Coper Clark, they formed in 1979 when Martin Bramah left The Fall after recording the debut album Live At The Witch Trials.

They signed to Rough Trade Records in 1980 and were championed by the late great John Peel, before touring with Echo & The Bunnymen and then The Velvet Underground’s Nico, serving as both backing group and support act.

Over the years Blue Orchids have included in their line up members of The Smiths, The Durutti Column, The Fall and Buzzcocks.

Martin Bramah reformed the band last year for John Peel Day events in London, Liverpool and Manchester and it’s the classic Rough Trade era recordings that the band is now playing at their live shows, to great acclaim.

‘It’s been great to breath new life into these songs again after so long – they’re sounding so fresh and original, I could have written them all yesterday!’ – Martin Bramah 2012.

Don’t miss the chance to see this seminal act play their stunning live set of sonic gems!


Onions make superb, flabbergasting, majestic, astronomical 3 to 4 minute pop gems.

Their latest album Pleasure Blast is the culmination of a year and a half of blood, sweat and tears (sweat and tears, literally; blood, figuratively) and was inspired by the diversity and songsmithery found on albums by bands like Super Furry Animals, Talking Heads, The Kinks and Belle and Sebastian. Carefully prepared harmonies lace over and between spiky guitar lines and synth riffs to create well crafted and memorable pop songs.

Behind each song on the album are observational, cynical and occasionally humerous lyrics, tipping hats in the direction of Jarvis Cocker, Ron Mael and Ray Davies. Covering topics as diverse as local history (Belle Vue Fair), filthy women (An IE Or A Y/Word Of Mouth), the joys of wine (Stains), arguments over Queen members (Louise Louise), good old fashioned remorse (Those Wide Eyes/Never Gonna Change) and also a national anthem for a fictitious country (Il Seres).

Pleasure Blast is exactly that.

‘Easily one of Manchester’s catchiest bands: listen to them once, and the chances are that their songs will be stuck in your head forever.’ – Onward Manchester

‘The irrepressible Onions slap on more harmonies and rattled beat guitars than the Beatles at a 60’s garage psyche convention.’ – Manuel Ecostos, ManchesterMusic

Dearbhla Minogue And The Partisans

Dearbhla Minogue And The Partisans play high-energy fractured pop songs. With a shared love of melody and complexity, they combine the controlled chaos of Deerhoof with the off-centre purity of The Breeders. They are Dearbhla Minogue, who has featured on Dublin’s Any Other City and Popical Island labels, and the rhythm section of much-loved London shadow-rockers Fighting Kites (Audio Antihero, Variant Records).


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Hot Wuk Wednesdays

Every Wednesday Night

Hot Wuk Wednesdays is the weekly bashment dance spot, The Heatwave’s bashment headquarters.The Heatwave’s midweek party turns The Social basement into a mini Notting Hill Carnival. Get rum drunk and collect your free whistle and horn…you might see the most incredibly acrobatic dance move or hear the wickedest MC jumping on the mic. One thing is certain: the vibe will be INSANE. 100% smiling, 100% dancing, 100% big tunes.Every Wednesday we rave like it’s a Saturday!

Expect crazy wining, a million whistles and a thousand smiles. You will be dancing to the sounds of Vybz Kartel, Popcaan, Mavado, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Stylo G, Konshens, Gappy Ranks, Mr Lexx, Gaza Slim, Mr Vegas, Lady Saw, I-Octane, Cecile and loads more.

£3 before 9pm / £5 before 10pm / £7 after

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Charity Super Bowl Screening

After three sold-out years the biggest game of the American Football season returns to The Social’s big screen on February 3rd from 8pm accompanied by the usual array of DJs, drinks offers and competitions.

It’s a celebration of all things Americana and it’s all followed by the match itself. The best bit? The entrance fee (every penny of it) goes straight to Shelter to help Britain’s homeless children.

Tickets available here 

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HHK on Radio One

This deserves a special mention.

Radio One’s Matt Edmondson is learning about hip hop so he took a couple of trips down to our very Hip Hop Karaoke to get a feel for the crowd and then perform. Check out the show here (12 minutes in) including an interview with London’s Greatest DJ, Rob Pursey, a chat with Travis, Olive and Webster Endeacott about their legendary Glastonbury performance and Matt’s performance at 5 Little Portland Street in full.


Listen here 



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Make The Social Yours

We’re changing how we do things on Saturday nights in 2013. 

Each week they’ll be great records and drinks, with DJs in the top bar playing 60s and 70s soul, rock n roll, funk, disco, boogie, psych and more. Guaranteed good vibes and sounds all night – grab a booth and settle down.

The basement is now available on Saturdays for special events, launches, one off gigs, parties and club nights. Keep an eye on the website for more details about what’s going on in the basement each week, but upstairs will always be open and FREE ENTRY all night.

Drop Carl an email to discuss using the bar for your event – carl@thesocial.com – We some May dates still available for events in the basement


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Re-tox with Faber

Faber Social invites you to RE-TOX on Tuesday 29th January  

Our first Faber Social of 2013 is free and will celebrate the gloriously restorative powers of alcohol, and in particular beer, with the UK premiere screening of a remarkable film by Maxy Bianco, The Can House.

Where else but in the Badlands of Hartlepool might you find a house, constructed Hansel and Gretel-like, out of 75,000 cans of Fosters?

Maxy Bianco’s 45 minute documentary on Hartlepool’s Can House and its architects/Tennants (sic) is a celebration of a folk-art phenomenon that only makes sense in the Northeast.

Here is a taster


Maxy will be in conversation with The Culture Show’s Michael Smith, after this unique screening of The Can House film.  Believe me: it is unmissable.

And there will be beer.

Email beckyf@faber.co.uk to reserve a place on the door.

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Song Reader Exhibition

Song Reader Exhibition

Song Reader by Beck Hansen is a unique collection of 20 new songs released as a compilation of sheet music, published by Faber and Faber in December 2012. We’re delighted to be exclusively exhibiting some of the fantastic artwork from the album on our walls throughout December.

‘After releasing an album in the mid-1990s, I was sent a copy of the sheet-music version by a publisher who had commissioned piano transcriptions and guitar- chord charts of everything on the original recording. Seeing the record’s sonic ideas distilled down to notation made it obvious that the songs weren’t intended to work that way. Reversing the process and putting together a collection of songs in book form seemed more natural – it would be an album that could only be heard by playing the songs . . .

. . . As for these songs, they’re here to be brought to life – or at least to remind us that, not so long ago, a song was only a piece of paper until it was played by someone. Anyone. Even you.’

Beck Hansen

Find out more about Song Reader

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December Saturdays


The Social is open from midday to 3am with the famous and unmissable Christmas Market during the day then DJs playing the best funk, disco, psych, soul, house, boogie and other good records.

Saturday 1st Dec – The very first Christmas Market of the year from midday. In the evening downstairs is closed for a private party but upstairs The Social and Heavenly DJs will be playing until 1am.

Saturday 8th Dec – The Social is open for the Christmas Market from midday but then closed for a private party in the evening.

Saturday 15th Dec – More Market business from midday and the Noise of Art Christmas Party over both floors from 7pm.

Saturday 22nd Dec – Your last chance to check out our Market this year and then we’ll be having a pre Christmas break drink until 3am with Launette (NTS) who’ll be joined by guests Neal Birnie & James Cronshaw (Sounds of the universe) playing Soul, Disco, Rare Groove & Boogie.

More about the Christmas Market


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Arcadia Meets Social Uptown

To coincide with The Social Christmas Market our good friend John Andrews will be installing ‘Andrews of Arcadia meets The Social Uptown – A Takeaway Exhibition of Vintage Angling Ephemera and Occasional Artworks For the Soul’ on the walls and in the alcoves of The Social at 5 Little Portland Street in the district of London known as W1.

In addition to framed Abu art, including a rare piece by Anders Osterlin of Arbman and a pair of 19th Century Red Deer Antlers by Adsetts of Derby, the bar will be festooned with very special Arcadian beermats produced by the artist and man of ink Martin Clark of Tilley Printing.

Each piece in the exhibition, which will run through December into the heart of midwinter, will be for sale for immediate takeaway or later delivery/collection by arrangement.  A pricelist will be available behind the bar and all further enquiries should be directed to me on field telephone 07890 274 383.


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The Line Of Best Fit, Double Denim Records, Rockfeedback & Transgressive Records join forces this New Year’s Eve and take over The Social for a very special night of live music, surprise guest DJs, booze, shenanigans and all round good clean vibes.

The full line-up is set to be revealed over the coming weeks and will feature some of our nearest and dearest friends and allies in an all night freak out over both floors of The Social in Central London.

Tickets just £15 each. Open 8pm – 3am.


UPSTAIRS BAR – hosted by Transgressive Records & Rockfeedback


Theme Park DJs 
Transgressive DJs 
paraDyse DJs
+ Many more TBA

DOWNSTAIRS BAR – hosted by The Line Of Best Fit & Double Denim


Wolf Alice 


Very Special Surprise Guest TBA 
Double Denim Records 
The Line Of Best Fit 
+ Many more TBA


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