Late summer saw us tick another big thing off the to do list with the first of what we hope to be many Young Thugs hosted nights featuring York’s best music in our adopted home, South Bank Social Club.
We spent a lot of time weighing up all kinds of venues for a night: it’s nice to work with unique spaces, but eventually decided to keep it closer to home in what is a pretty unique space anyway.
The Club has become dear to our hearts; it wears its history on the damp-peeled, nicotine-stained walls of endless rooms and spaces built to act as a social hub for hundreds of people, back when Working Men’s Clubs were at the core of local communities. Now those days are gone and the emptiness of the place and fading décor tell the story; it’s beautiful in its tragedy really.
The arrival of Young Thugs amidst it all has been met with friendly curiosity by most of the regulars, enquiring on our cigarette breaks exactly what we’re up to in the old committee and treasurer’s rooms hidden away upstairs, and there’s no doubt that recording sessions have pumped sales of Guinness up considerably, but we’re constantly wondering what else we can do with it, whether there’s a marriage to be made between the past and present social scenes of our city.
We’d had our eye on one room, usually full of the hushed burble of poker players, as a space with potential for performance, and over a couple of days set to transforming it with trademark Young Thugs’ fairy lights and a PA, whilst our live guru Kai assembled a line up to die for and we started putting out whispers of a secret, invite-only event somewhere no-one had seen before.
With hours to go the bands dropped the details to friends on social media and by evening a fresh crowd of faces was mingling throughout the building amongst the regulars; suddenly the place was breathing again.
Kicking off with a solo acoustic performance from Colonel Handypants (James Rotchell of South Bank Suicide Club), The Howl and the Hum were the first of the full bands on, followed by Tooth (the new face and sound of The Littlemores) and an acoustic singalong with Washing Machine Repairman. Bringing the night home Bull slammed out a lively set, and a pounding performance from …And the Hangnails left everyone pouring sweat, full of beer and wanting to know when it could all happen again.
Heading out for a cigarette afterwards, a glance around the bustling bar at smiling faces from a huge cross section of the York community hinted at a new, vibrant and creative story for this wonderful place; it still has a role to play and a chance to evolve into a modern form of community hub, a chance the wonderful landlord Kev is embracing and we hope to be a big part of.
Plans for bi-monthly Young Thugs gigs at “The Hovel 2” are well underway; keep your ear to the ground for the whisper.
Steve Piper Come hug the thugs x www.facebook.com/youngthugsrecords
And keep a look out in the print edition of One&Other magazine for a feature interview and photo shoot with Young Thugs Records’ latest signing The Lungs, whose EP ‘Julianna Buttermaker’ is out on the 17th October, with a very special launch event happening in York on the 21st at a currently secret location…