Well, this is something that I never thought I’d be saying 2 and a half years ago, but New Slang is moving back to McClusky’s.
There’s no massive drama here. There hasn’t been a falling out and we’re still involved with The Hippodrome, but New Slang, as a part of what Banquet does, has had to move. To save all the necessary replies and the like, here’s the context and the reasoning.
As well as New Slang, Banquet also runs weekend party/pop/urban night D.A.N.C.E. This was held at The Hippodrome for the best part of three years. It represents the more main-stream side of what we do and also houses our drum / dub / bass night Repeater. Over the years we’ve had some real household names like Tinie Tempah, Rizzle Kicks, Stooshe, Nero, Professor Green and Example play there, as well as the room 2 playing host to some fun shows, including gigs from The Skints, and Think 182. Its no exaggeration to say we kept the club open. A few months ago, The Hippodrome took back the Saturdays and decided to run them in house. And they’re doing it pretty well. Killing it in fact. When you consider that for some of the biggest shows we’ve ever had (Ed Sheeran, Wheatus, Vampire Weekend etc) we’ve not had more than 1600 people in the room, and you consider that they’re often getting 2000+ people in on a Saturday night, you can see why they’re running it in house now. Our Saturday night was moved to Fridays, and we began the restructure of D.A.N.C.E on Fridays. With a few loss leader nights to spread the word we were just about getting the numbers up to something close to what we wanted. But after 3 months or so, the powers that be decided that they should be running the Friday nights too. So D.A.N.C.E. was left without a home.
McClusky’s asked if we would run the Friday nights at their joint, on the condition we took New Slang along with us. Emotionally that’s a tough decision for me. I’ve had so many good times at The Works / The Hippodrome, but realistically New Slang, over the course of the year, just about breaks even. D.A.N.C.E. is a massive part of the business now. In recent months we’ve been offered some massive pop stars to play live for us, but without a club night to put them in, we’ve had to say no. And that’s been a real frustration. To say goodbye to D.A.N.C.E. goodbye to these live PAs would be damaging to New Slang, to Banquet and to everything else we do.
We had some real good times at McClusky’s in the past. The more intimate-feeling shows from Friendly Fires, The Maccabees, Babyshambles, the first New Slam, Fight Like Apes, Slow Club, You Slang! and The Momeraths all stick out. It ended with some underhanded tactics, from both sides in truth… Im not going to pretend this didn’t happen. But as Spector would say, “keep the past in the past and notice that I only ever did what I thought was right”. Some people like McClusky’s more, some people like The Hippodrome more. Yeah, McClusky’s has had an upgrade since we were last there, but I think the venue is what you make of it. And I’d like to think the vibe of New Slang is what you and we make it. The bands, the indie/alt community, the dancing till 2AM. Some of the best things we’ve ever done like the New Years events, Ed Sheeran, All Time Low acoustic and Lost Prophets will, for me, always be better in the bigger venue, but I reckon nearly all of the shows, and the club-night itself, will be just as good at McCluskys. Some of the shows will sell out earlier, but its still New Slang, by New Slang.
We’re still going to do a few events here and there with The Hippodrome. A few one off shows (like we had with Reel Big Fish, Lost Prophets, You Me At Six or Enter Shikari) will still happen in the bigger venue of The Hippodrome. The just announced Mosca and Boddika Repeater night still takes place on October 3rd. We’re involved in the Halloween night at The Hippo and there’ll be more one offs as and when. Ian and the management at The Hippodrome have been great and understanding through all of this, and of course we love Oscar (who was with us at our last stint at McCluskys) and all the help he’s given and continues to give.
But for now, the message is that New Slang (and D.A.N.C.E.) is moving to McClusky’s. The massive show on Aug 30th (announced this Monday) still takes place at The Hippodrome, and then we’ll have one more on September 6th as a farewell to The Hippodrome from New Slang. Then on September 13th we kick off New Slang at McCluksy’s with AlunaGeorge playing, and D.A.N.C.E. begins its residency in its new home from September 14th.
So there you go. The gang of friends that run New Slang and D.A.N.C.E. are all into the move and we’re excited for some fresh challenges, situations, bands, customers and friends. Give it a go, and do, please do, let us know your thoughts.