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Lunchtime Listens

Ah, music. It’s our daily bread, the metaphorical loaf in which everything we do is joyously sandwiched. And that’s why we’re hosting a series of #LunchtimeListens. Each of these sessions will see a musical selector plumbing the depths of their record collection to deliver sonic joy in the ground floor bar of The Social while we serve up lunch. We’ll record each session for posterity (and for a wider audience’s listening pleasure) and archive it on the Sonic Sandwich website.

#LunchtimeListens No.1
Richard MacKichan
Friday 24 March, 2017 (1-2pm)

First up to the decks for our inaugural #LunchtimeListens session is Richie MacKichan. We met Richie backstage of the West Holts stage at Glastonbury Festival last year where he was running the stage’s press team and generally being a Very Good Egg. Not only is he a fellow music lover and occasional spinner of discs, it turns out Richie is editor at boutique hotel specialists Mr & Mrs Smith – which basically means he’s visited record shops in more far flung locations than most. When he conversationally summarised his musical interests as “cosmic country, yacht rock, soul, disco and weird electro” we knew we’d have to get him along to spin us some tunes.

He’ll be playing records between 1pm and 2pm this Friday 24th March. Come and have a Sonic Sandwich!

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New Exhibition: All The Things You Are

An exhibition of photos from London based photographer Julian Ward’s book ‘All the things you are’ – a photographic study of a SW London Constitutional club. 

Most Constitutional Clubs were established during the second half of the 19th century — a time of vast political change, including the extension of the right to vote.The most prestigious club of them all, a gentleman’s club established in 1883 nearTrafalgar Square, was closely aligned to the Conservative Party. And, after the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1884, it became a place where newly enfranchised Conservative voters could meet. Many other Constitutional Clubs were established for similar reasons — including the Teddington Constitutional Club, which was rst purchased by the local MP at the time, Sir Frederick Dixon-Hartland Bart.


At their outset, Constitutional Clubs were clearly politically motivated. But, just like working men’s clubs, they’ve also had social and community functions since their inception.While political allegiances may have differed, all private members clubs based on subscriptions and not-for-pro t afforded their members self-help and mutual bene t. In the late 19th century, the state provided very little social welfare: ordinary people had to do what they could for themselves and for each other, and the club movement became central to this in terms of both ethos and practicality.

Fundraising events went on at these clubs all the time, and much charity work was carried out. Unfortunately, this good work — what we might now call community outreach — usually passed by unacknowledged by those outside of the clubs.The role that clubs like theTeddington Constitutional Club have played is often only grasped by their members, who have tried to keep this side of club life going over the decades — even through dif cult times such as war and economic crisis.

Entertainment in clubs is more readily recognised and written about. But again, the important social side of this is often missed. Over the years, clubs have provided millions of people with a value-for-money night out in a friendly, local place that they’re familiar with.With club games such as snooker and bingo having a bene cial effect on the players, clubs are now only belatedly recognised as having improved the wellbeing of their members.

Clubs were like a second home for many, offering company and a space for social discourse away from the pro t-taking public houses. In the late 19th century, there were few options for working men and women in their leisure time, which they didn’t have much of anyway. Clubs were self funded and self managed, unlike pubs, and they belonged to those who became members. So from the outset, most clubs gave their members a real sense of ownership and people would speak fondly of ‘their’ club. Some were literally built by their members, and much of the regular work was done on a voluntary basis, reinforcing the sense of ownership and belonging to a particular club.

Each club has its own history, characteristics and characters. Yet many of these private members clubs, established and managed by the members themselves, share a set of common features. The Teddington Constitutional Club, founded in 1905, demonstrates both the differences and similarities between such clubs.There is a sense of familiarity — of belonging, almost — despite the knowledge that it isn’t your own club, but somewhere different.

During their postwar heyday, there were over 4,000 working men’s clubs, hundreds of Constitutional Clubs — both Conservative and Liberal — and many other types of social club in the UK. While some were formed in the second part of the 19th century, others were established post-1945. In many ways, the latter continued the traditions of their predecessors on out-of-town council estates, becoming de facto community centres in places where there was little else on offer. Clubs were what local people, their members, made them.

But our society has seen many wide ranging and rapid changes since the 1970s. If the nature of work has changed, so has the nature of leisure.There is now much more choice when it comes to amusement, including much improved home-based entertainment. The internet and computers have eaten into our social lives, and people often spend a large proportion of their days online.With other more exciting things to do, younger generations have become increasingly less interested in going to clubs. In their eyes, clubs can appear too old fashioned, too sexist and home to too many rules.

The book will be released on the 8th March upstairs at The Social


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New Monthly Event: Ambience Chasers

Ambience Chasers is the new monthly analogue bubblebath, brought to you by Sonic Cathedral and Ulrich Schnauss

Ambience Chasers #2 is on March 28th and features the first London solo show from Mark Peters – former songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for Engineers. Special guest DJ for the evening is Mark Clifford of Seefeel.

Entry is free, doors open at 7pm.

Facebook event

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Sonic Sandwich

Following last year’s Burgerac’s Burgershack pop-up kitchen residency, The Social has a new food offer: Sonic Sandwich.

From the palates and creative minds of Gav (Burgerac) and his mate Dave, Sonic Sandwich has a very simple goal – to serve high quality, unfussy fare in a venue long renowned for great music and good times.

On the menu you’ll find a selection of classic sandwiches done right – including (an old Social favourite) a killer Fish Finger Sandwich, the best grilled cheese sandwich in town, and a definitive B.L.T. 

Sonic Sandwich also offers a selection of bar snacks that includes fries several ways (plain, cajun seasoned, with cheese, and with buffalo and blue cheese) and nachos served with home-pickled jalapenos, homemade guacamole, salsa and sour cream.

Stay tuned for news and specials!




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Charity Super Bowl Party

After 7 sold out years – the Super Bowl returns to The Social!

It’s not a complicated formula. We put up a few huge screens, we get in a load of quality booze, serve up sandwich specials like you wouldn’t believe and play some awesome tunes before kick off.

It may not be complicated – but it works pretty darn well. Every single ticket we’ve ever made available has sold. Every one.

Oh – and let’s talk charity. We’ve raised over £13,000 for charity. We’re aiming for £2k + this year alone. It’ll all go to SCI – a charity that protects vulnerable people in Africa from a horrible disease called Schistosomiasis. The good news is they can protect a child fora year for just 33p. Your £9 ticket will protect 27 people. Together we can protect over 6,000 people.

So yeah – it’s good for you and it’s good for them. Come on down.


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Introducing . . Greensleeves!

We are truly honoured to announce the launch of the official Greensleeves Records club night. Brought to you by The London Intl Ska Festival and celebrating 40 years of this legendary reggae label.

The first Saturday of every month from 7th January ’17!

Free entry for all! At The Social, London W1.

From Alimantado to Alborosie for forty years Greensleeves Records has stayed on top of the game in presenting the very best in reggae music. Through the dancehall dominance of ‘Junjo’ Lawes, King Jammy & Gussie Clarke to the outernational success of Barrington Levy, Eek-a-Mouse, Yellowman, Freddie McGregor, Gregory Isaacs, Shaggy, Beanie Man and Mr.Vegas to name but few, Greensleeves has been the mark of quality in reggae music.

Now teaming up with the world-famous London Intl Ska Festival, Greensleeves Records official club night hits London’s westend on the first Saturday of every month with the January launch featuring guest DJs Ras Digby (Sir Jesus) and host Mistah Brown (Tighten Up).

Step it down the Social for the Greensleeves Disco 45 night every month as we celebrate four decades in the business of being the business!

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New Year, New Faber Social


We’re excited to announce our first Faber Social for 2017, taking place on February 8th at our spiritual home The Social, 5 Little Portland Street.

GO AHEAD AND DROP the BOMB is the name of a mythical post-punk fanzine that features in the writer/rock critic David Keenan’s forthcoming novel This Is Memorial Device (published by Faber on February 2nd. Pre-order here). The book is a fictional oral history of a local scene that never existed in Airdrie in the west coast of Scotland in the late 70s/early 80s, consisting of eyewitness accounts of the passion, madness, successes and failures of a bunch of serious-as-your-life musicians and artists who outdo even their own heroes in terms of visionary excess. After all, it isn’t easy being Iggy Pop in a small town in Scotland.

Performing on the night we have:

Bruce Russell (The Dead C et al – Live solo set)
Bruce Russell is the peerless New Zealand experimental musician and writer, best know as founding member of Experimental rock heroes The Dead C, alongside Michael Morley and Robbie Yeats. We’re lucky to have Bruce join us to play an extremely rare solo set on an equally rare trip to the UK. We highly recommend the documentary about Bruce ’27 minutes with Mr. Noisy’ which can be seen here.

‘The Dead C might just be the best rock act currently active’ – The Quietus

Richard Youngs (live Chinese Moon tribute)
Legendary UK-based folk spirit and underground hero Richard Youngs presents a tribute to one of the mythic constellations in the This Is Memorial Device universe, Airdrie’s Chinese Moon, with an ambitious restaging of the all-night tape loop performances that took place in a shop front in Shettleston in 1983. Metal Machine Music-styled Fripp & Eno sorcery meets Terror of the Autons in a total immersion environment.

‘His music has a rare ability to communicate lucidly from the heart’ – Red Bull Music Acadamy

David Keenan (reading from ‘This Is Memorial Device‘)
This Is Memorial Device, the debut novel by David Keenan, is a love letter to the small towns of Lanarkshire in the west of Scotland in the late 1970s and early 80s as they were temporarily transformed by the endless possibilities that came out of the freefall from punk rock. David Keenan is the author of England’s Hidden Reverse: A Secret History of the Esoteric Underground and a senior critic at The Wire.

‘It captures the terrific, obsessive, ludicrous pomposity of every music fans youth in an utterly definitive way’ – Irvine Welsh

Michael Pedersen (Neu! Reekie! / Poetry)

Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Neu! Reekie!, Michael Pedersen is a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship winner; a John Mathers Trust Rising Star of Literature Award winner; a Canongate Future 40; a Callum McDonald Memorial award finalist; and many more things, with fans ranging from Irvine Welsh and Liz Lochhead to Stephen Fry and Young Fathers. Michael has written short plays for National Theatre of Scotland (FMT) and Edinburgh Art Festival, pop songs for the band Jesus, Baby! and is currently working on a feature film screenplay.

‘Scotland’s favourite avant-garde noisemakers…Neu! Reekie! dismantle the structures and snobberies dividing high and low art – art is for everyone.’ – The Skinny


DJ Andrew Weatherall
The Guv’nor


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The Social Christmas Market 2016


Our annual Christmas Market is back with us and our friends at Caught by the River hosting two afternoons of Christmas shopping, music, eating, talks and readings, bands, a festive quiz and drinking.

Stalls from Caught by the River, Trojan, Borough Wines, Beers and Books, Heavenly, Pete Fowler, The Empress and Andrews of Arcadia, Frances Castle, S Pearce Designs, Suna Sox and more!

We’ll be joined by lots of old friends selling amazing books, fanzines, badges, records, artwork, tshirts, fine wine and bottles of spirits, the best Christmas socks and lots of other gifts . .

Saturday 10 + 17 Dec


Free entry all day

More info to follow!


The Social x


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New Exhibition: H.Y.T presents Pass The Hot Sauce


Very happy to announce a brand new collection of paintings from H.Y.T studio exhibiting in The Social. Join us for the private view on Thursday 10th Nov.

Website: www.hytstudio.com

Instagram: @hytstudio

Tumblr: hytstudio.tumblr.com


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Festive Meal Deal

Book your party at The Social now by dropping Carl an email here


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