Gigs What We Liked: Bubbly Social’s Bank Holiday debut

Hosting their debut event on a sunny Bank Holiday in Brighton & Hove, Bubbly Social took over the two floors and a terrace of Patterns and filled it all with good vibrations.

First and foremost, it’s exciting to be writing about a gig we’ve been to once again. You already know that you’ve missed the music, but it’s the little things around it that you forget. The walk to the venue, strutting with intent. The raucous applause inbetween sets. The people whom you barely know, have never seen outside the context of a live music event, and yet are oh so pleased to see as you educate each other on personal highlights of the line-up to come.

Whilst the crowd was seated barring walking-dances to the smoking area or toilet, there were plenty of head-nods and arms up as sun poured into venue. An all-day hub of electronic, garage, DnB and everything inbetween, once beyond the friendly, familiar faces of Patterns’ bouncers, this was a refuge away from the crammed seafront, seagulls and general Bank Holiday mania.

There was a community feel to Bubbly Social, the clue perhaps being in the name. Every act on the bill felt as valued as the last, each being greeted with cheers as they passed over the decks and swapped USB sticks. With a line-up that looked like a mini-festival, stretched across day and night, an eclectic roster of DJs from both sides of the Thameslink appeared to us to be reunited after well over a year without such bumper events on the coast. Elbows and spuds all over the shop.

And those aforementioned good vibrations were literal in some cases, with a new and improved soundsystem at the popular Brighton venue ensuring that the daytime selections of Ell Murphy, Perception, Movement and Bluetoof were felt in the rib cage of those at the most energetic matinee showing you’ve ever seen…

…then a welcome return to Patterns’ Basement in the evening, where tables were laid out to watch and hear i-sha, Syz, Heritage, Tim Reaper and Jossy Mitsu. While parts of the line-up did both a day and evening shift, it was interesting to see the crowd change as well. Swimming trunks were swapped for jeans, lagers for martinis, and naturally, sliders for snakeskin boots.

Mingling and revelling in the ‘just glad to be back at a motive’ narrative of the all-dayer, the clientele at Bubbly Social were answering one of the frequently asked questions of the live music industry in recent months: do sat down events work? And while the promoters in question very much have plans for stood-up dancing in the future, they proved that not only do these events work, but they appeal to a crowd who they are really and truly for.

You couldn’t swing a film camera without hitting a DJ, promoter or artist at this event. Be they on the line-up or not, disc-jockey aficionados were present to witness every mix, blend, transition and selection of what felt like a milestone event to kickstart 2021. Like a seasoned football crowd clapping a simple-looking but cultured cross-field pass, left-field tracks and stone cold classics were welcomed and praised with drinks raised.

And yeah, there was an urge for bums to get off seats. But sit tight for now, as we’ll be giving standing ovations soon enough. Those involved with Bubbly Social certainly deserve one.

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