Slack Alice – First Birthday
Slack Alice turns one this Friday. Who’s Alice? You may ask. Hanging out every few weeks at The Surrey Vaults in Bristol, for debauched gatherings that involve all manner of records usually not suitable for the pub, at the pub - Slack Alice is Bristol’s no1 event for music freaks, by music freaks. Founded by two of Bristol’s finest DJ’s, promoters and crate-digging weirdos - Slack Alice was conceived by Max Kelan and Matt Light, perhaps as an antidote to the less-frequent Young Echo Sound nights that had manifested a much-needed ‘anything goes’ policy, but left a void when the night went into temporary hiatus. Over the last 12 months, Slack Alice has built a very solid reputation as the place to be for those who want to hear great music from all corners, without any scene restrictions or brand agenda attached to it, if anything it has exceeded to distill what was great about those Y.E. nights and keep that raw - ‘fuck-it, let’s play it’ attitude - Slack Alice is a place for open minds and ears, anyone is welcome, you might not like it all, but you’ll certainly love some of it, and that’s what makes it great. Situated in St.Paul’s, between Portland and Brunswick Square, a quiet, seedy corner not far from the City Centre, the Slack Alice dwells between unassuming offices, in the Surrey Vaults, serving pints and music to a willing after-hours crowd. The stencilled pub logo rears it’s dimly-lit head right in between those empty buildings and offices. It’s rough-around-the-edges interior and the informal management of the place reminds of a youth-club (without age restriction) in the best possible way - skaters, goths, geeks, cool kids, drunkards, old and young - it’s a spot for a diverse range of people who find themselves at home there. That particular area counts office workers, prostitutes and bypasses as it’s regulars, a strange no-mans land that maintains a level of grit in between a quickly modernising part of Bristol’s central areas, however, the all-encompassing claws of gentrification are, slowly but surely, getting it’s death grip on yet another area which can still boast of diversity. Situated close to Bristol’s ‘cultural quarter’ Stokes Croft - here also, the all-encompassing ‘normalisation’ is rearing it’s head. Soon, expect yet another cafe serving the same Flat White and Poached Eggs as the place next door. Although we can avoid, or at least choose a favoured coffee spot, the real worry about this kind of change in the area, is a scenario that mirrors that of so many of venue’s of it’s kind - Friction from new neighbours who don’t care about the locals or the attractions in an area in which they chose to inhabit these newly branded flats… The Surrey Vaults has been dealing with exactly this kind of petty noise complaint recently too, hence the 12am finish for this event - Police pressures. But on the bright side, for now, as it stands, the Surrey Vaults offers a great alternative to the norm, it’s a proper DIY pub, no sign of 2-4-1 cocktails or hashtag promotion here, the place is almost worryingly easy-going, there seems to be no fuss about having a huge turnaround or a particularly wide appeal - Cheers to that! And that is another good reason to support such events as Slack Alice, and venues such as The Surrey Vaults - the DIY nature of these stand against all that boring norm, these are refreshingly human projects, entirely driven by social spirit and good music - come as you are. Slack Alice has been bubbling away for the last 12 months, with a series of sessions that have brought a heap of great DJ’s and live acts to this intimate place, with the oversized soundsystem rattling the windows to near breaking-point. Wether it’s the residents throwing things down, or (often regular) guests such as Andy Payback, Nadoone, Anina, Dj October, Ossia, ASDA, Giant Swan, Jay Glass Dubs, The Kelly Twins, KEEMA or Bokeh Edwards - you can always expect an honest vibe and a bunch of records you haven’t heard yet. For this birthday session, Slack Alice have called upon an impressive heap of their best friends and most respected selectors in town, ready to be huddled around the decks for an extended day & night of joyous noise. It wouldn’t be a Birthday session without a nice surprise or two - Slack Alice have pulled out all the stops this time along, with a special guest appearance from none other than O.G. industrial legends ’Test Dept’ making their way to the pub for a rare DJ set. Music kicks off from 4pm sharp, and will run until at least 12am - We highly recommend getting there from early, Birthday vibes galore!