With only hours of prior notice we ventured into Hoxton to be greeted with a mysterious treasure map, the prize being a destination. Convinced we had arrived at an abandoned pub, it came as a shock when moments from leaving a door flung open and we delved into the cavernous depths of this mystifying venue. Welcomed with an exotic glass of sangria, each gulp complimented the extravagance of the interior. The warm dark atmosphere buzzed, with the music industry’s finest equally as spellbound by the setting.
A regal tiger towered over the bar, guarding the liquid courage which would inevitably become the catalyst to a hazy memory. Such a possibility seems almost ghastly, for this certainly was not an evening to forget.
This flamboyant occasion was like nothing I had ever witnessed before; a specially curated launch night of musical genius and indulgence hosted by Mahogany and Charm Factory. The impeccable reputation of this pairing goes without excessive convincing and this highly coveted event is the beginning of many to come. The Side Door Society aims to exhibit a monthly secret music event, and we had the pleasure of a sneak peak. With the mantra “If you like your music live, your drinks eclectic and your bedtime sometime tomorrow; then you are in the right place.” There’s no way this could have gone wrong.
Located in The Kings Head members club, a scavenger hunt for live musicians began and groups climbed the stairs peering through doors like curious children to reveal hidden chambers. Secret corridors led to the sovereign of all sceneries, panthers hissing to protect the majestic lions that overlooked Daniel James’ stage for the night. A tribal sofa hidden under the safari was this gentlemen’s home for his six-song-set and amongst the onlookers were the ever-present zebras. Daniel cooed us into a dream world fit for the fantastical backdrop, his warbles softening even the scariest of lynxes and lighting the faces of gazing audience members.
A vivacious onlooker who exclaimed her love of Scotland, the country in which she assumed James hailed from, comically punctuated his set. He chuckled whilst replying “Well that’s a bit awkward considering I’m Northern Irish” and the rest of the tightly crammed room burst into an outrageous cacophony of amusement. We were enticed from our lull by Daniel’s cinematic grandeur of haunting vocals, stirring guitar and emotive lyrics of song ‘A Lonely Man’ which seeped into the walls and ingrained a perpetual place in our memory.
The constant whirlwind of events meant that every room was brimming full of alcohol-laden music fanatics, sound tracked by live artists strumming away. Descending down the stairs, proven hard in stilettos, we were confronted with a building crowd for the anticipated Amber Run. They careered into their rare acoustic set and immediately flawless harmonies blistered our hearts. The receptive crowd and enchanting scenery complimented their story-telling anthems; managing to influence the audience into an endless chant of lyrics “NOAHHHH” which faultlessly prepared the crowd for the imminent madness that was The Mispers.
Recited lyrics and positive ambience were hollered at the vibrant folky quintet before their arrival on stage. The subsequent roar accompanying their appearance echoed that of the fierce tiger prowling the floor above. For such a small stage, the Mispers undoubtedly made the most of it: bouncing around energetically during every last second of their set. Sweaty bodies lost their inhibitions and fully immersed themselves in the pounding percussion, mimicking lead singer Jack Balfour Scott’s impressive thrusts. The songs flowed over the audience, masking any gloomy spirits and inspiring a sudden burst of passion, which saw crowd surfing and mosh pits. This wild frenzy of ecstasy peaked as the opening riff of ‘Trading Cards’ announced the final song and teased our emotionally unstable spirits. During this last number, as enthusiasm levels were high, the mass became united as one body of admiring witnesses to what was established as The Mispers’ greatest performance to date.