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).

Comments are closed

The Social Christmas Market

The Social’s Unmissable Christmas Market Is Back! 

The Social’s Famous Christmas Market returns to the district of London known as the West End and in particular to Little Portland Street on Saturday 1st December 2012 and for each Saturday thereafter until Christmas.The market will happen in the upstairs wood panelled bar at The Social and stalling out for your delight each week will be the essential arts and culture website Caught by the River and their spectacular shop filled with books, maps, badges, records as well as exclusives from their cupboard, all the way from Spitalfields vintage fishing tackle dealer for the soul Andrews of Arcadia with selected post-war angling clothing, luggage & letterpress Christmas cards alongside designer/maker The Empress with her new flock of beaded birds, sequinned brooches and designer jewellery.  Joining us in the kitchen at the market every Saturday will be Felix & Pi who are heading into the warm after the summer running their kitchen in the allotment . .

Each week our residents will joined by two very special guest stalls to be announced over the next few weeks, but be assured you can expect and iron your five pound notes in anticipation of authors, books and signings from the Faber stable, limited editions t-shirts by Millionhands, raw chocolate by Laura Coxeter, exclusive designs jewellry by Central St. Martins and others . .

The doors will be open between 12pm and 5.30pm, entry is free and with a fully stocked bar including a special Social Christmas ale on tap, our homemade mulled wine, hot cider, Mary’s bloody and otherwise, hearty food, impromptu DJ sets, outbreaks of festivity, we invite you to come down our chimney where a very warm welcome is guaranteed. 

Email for more info or press enquiries

Comments are closed

Madd Raff

Madd Raff is brilliant each and every Wednesday night.  

It’s a proper mid-week party with lots and lots of happy people getting on the dance floor in the basement right from the off.  It’s the only place you can find The Heatwave every week throughout the summer during their packed festival schedule and they have loads of special guests and launches lined up too.

Madd Raff – Every Wednesday night from 7pm.

July Dates

4th July // Reggae Gold 2012 album launch party >> celebrating 20 years of the annual dancehall reggae compilation from VP Records. Free CD giveaways on the night!

11th July // English Fire from Miami’s Black Chiney sound plus London hip hop/dancehall veteran Seanie T

18th July // We are throwing a Rihanna party in honour of our favourite pop bashment queen! Guests DJs Fire Man Sam and Mainy

25th July // RoxXxan live! Upcoming Birmingham MC performing her new hit single Too Fucking Facety and spitting over bashment riddims


Comments are closed

Heavenly Hospitality

As i’m sure you’ve heard by now we’re taking over Lovebox’s VIP bar on Friday – Rob Pursey and myself have put a little mis together to celebrate! 

‘This Friday, The Social are taking over the VIP Area of Lovebox with a dope line-up that includes among other things, Sticky, Good Block DJs, your chance to take part in Hip Hop Karaoke and of course Southern Hospitality and the Heavenly Jukebox. Hence this mix I put together with none other than Carl Gosling (NMIS.hons) to celebrate this latest collaboration!

We’ll see y’all Friday, but in the meantime bump this!’  Rob

Download the mix HERE

Comments are closed

Caught By The River and Faber Social

The Social welcomes back Faber Social, a monthly evening of stories, music and performance – this month in association with Caught by the River

On Monday July 2nd the Faber Social celebrates nature writing – and the nature of writing.

Will Atkins takes us through wild terrain, discussing the position of moorland in our literature, history and psyche. Author/photographer/angler Chris Yates describes a night-time journey deep into the heart of the British countryside.  Robert Macfarlane reads from his book The Old Ways, exploring pathways, stories and ghosts, and also presents a new collaboration (which he worked on with Radiohead artist Stanley Donwood and writer-artist Dan Richards). Kirsty Gunn reads from The Big Music – a new work that is as much a landscape as a novel. We’re also joined by poet Alice Oswald, author of the T.S. Eliot Prize-winning Dart.



Comments are closed

Baggy is Ten

In 2002, Baggy Mondays had a dream. That good people could go to a great bar and dance to ace baggy music. And lo it came to pass. 

Ten years later Baggy Mondays is the Social’s longest-running night and has gained a reputation as one of the friendliest, most up-for-it parties in town, where the likes of Kings Of Leon, Kasabian and The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess having turned up for a beer and a boogie to classics from the Mondays, the Inspirals, the Roses, Northside, Paris Angels and all that other Madchester gubbins. The night has also become a Thursday night staple at Glastonbury Festival, packing The Park’s tent to capacity for the last five years.

Now it’s time for Baggy to celebrate its tenth birthday. And when better to do it than on the very night that the Stone Roses return to the UK stage to play the first of their mammoth Manchester shows?

Come join us at The Social on 29th June, and let’s party like it’s 1989.

Top one, nice one, sorted. 

Comments are closed

The Social at Lovebox 2012

We are very proud to be hosting the VIP bar this year and we will be bringing along a few friends of ours for a party . .

The Social at Lovebox – Friday 15th June – VIP Bar








You can grab tickets here

Check out the Heavenly Hospitality Mix

Comments are closed



Anna Greenwood (Guilty Pleasures)

+ guests.

Start the weekend with a basement bash of Friday night frolicking as Anna and friends bring you pop, rock, disco and a dollop of good old fashioned fun

Dancing positively encouraged.

Doors 7pm-1am, Free before 9pm

Timeout recommendation

Comments are closed

Mr David Viner Returns

Our good friend Mr David Viner returns to the scene of the crime . .



Mr David Viner

Alice Gun + Roo Panes

David’s gigging career began in Dallas in 2002. The rest is history. Join us at The Social to celebrate 10 misspent years.  DJ Set from Sam Campari.


Comments are closed

Never Too Much

Lulu ‘Princess’ Le Vay + Justin ‘Luther’ Quirk are back with NTM on Friday night. You can catch them on the third Friday of every month.

This will be a brilliant addition at an already legendary line up of upstairs DJs that we have week in week out.  I don’t talk about these guys enough on here, so here’s a roll call and shout to the one and only Mr Rive (every Saturday night), Mark and Matt aka Droyd and Fones who have been ever present behind that bar for years, keeping it very real (second and last Fridays), Mark and the whole amazing Neddledroppin crew every Thursday night, Jimmy Plates who is known for tearing the upstairs bar apart on the first Friday of every month and on Wednesday nights you can catch 1Xtra’s own Ronnie Herel bringing his Soulquariam vibe and Ian Pugh’s Mobile Library.

Social love goes out to all these people and the other DJs like Laura, Jamie and Mal (and anyone else who i have forgotten) who gets behind the bar every week and plays the best selection of music ever, often off vinyl and creates that special vibe.  


Comments are closed