Sunday, August 5, 2012

Birthdays, 31st July

I went to Birthdays last night sober. I think this was a mistake. I think Birthdays is the kind of sweaty hole that you have to turn up to fairly inebriated, and then continue to numb your brain cells so that you can ignore pesky things like temperature and people bumping into you because they are snogging so copiously that they’ve failed to notice you, and instead concentrate on the reason you’ve come here. Last night the reason was a gig, on other nights it could be a DJ or club night.

Birthdays is a new venue on Stoke Newington Road, owned by Vice. Currently, upstairs is dominated by Rita’s Bar and Dining, which was very busy when we got there. Downstairs is the where the gigs and parties happen. It’s really rather small, which could be a good thing for seeing a band, but it’s also narrow, which means that even though it’s small, it’s quite hard to see anything unless you are right at the top end where the stage is. Or very tall. I am not so we moved to the front where half the space was being occupied by an older ‘gentlemen’ dancing around overly enthusiastically to the music. There’s always one.

The sound was pretty good though and I did enjoy the gig, though it does get very, very hot in there. My hair was already sticking to me when the support band was on (ie fairly empty). Once the Fixers came on (the headliners) it was getting unpleasant, and this is when I began to wish I was drunk so I wouldn’t care.

This isn’t a venue I would rush back to, although they do have quite a lot of live music on, at bargain prices. The gig last night was £6.00 and there were two support acts as well as Fixers. After the gig was over, two girls seemed to take to the decks and started blasting hip hop (weirdly, considering the type of music the Fixers play) and then followed immediately by some house. I don’t know what time it closes, but it seemed like quite a lot of people were up for staying out on a school night, and Birthdays were about to cater to them.

I will, of course, be coming back at some point, just to sample the food at Rita’s, because it sounds great and has been getting amazing reviews. The throngs upstairs confirmed that this was a place I need to try, before they move on to pastures new.

And, after having said all that, if they have more bands I like, the place might grow on me. Having this on the bar has already helped worm its way into my affections:

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Please feel free to add your views, or maybe suggest somewhere I should put on my list!