There are a lot of good pubs in Brighton, but none that have been specifically designed with the SOURCE editorial team in mind. Until now that is. Dead Wax Social, bang in the middle of the North Laine, is a tribute to Brighton’s record shops and music industry. Named after the run out groove of a record, the place will be full of vinyl – from the walls to the decks. The latter, notably, because they won’t be playing any CDs or digital music. At all.
If you’re out shopping and want to play your mates the new records you’d picked up then the bar staff will happily stick them on the pubs deck for you while you drink and discuss the merits of Steve Albini’s production (sorry, engineering). Dead Wax Social will also host an Album Club where local artists choose their favourite albums to be played in full, as well as record launches, and nights of DJs playing records from their collections. Leave your Traktor controllers and CDrs at home.
Obviously there’s gonna be booze there too. The place will specialise in craft beer, stocking eight ales at any one time, including some extremely rare ones that will just hang around for a single keg. The list of breweries supplying the place is as long as your arm (actually the list we saw was about twice as long as our arms) and included most of our favourites like Fourpure, Magic Rock, and Redchurch. Local favourites Laine’s will be representing with their Pale Ale and IPA. Some of the craft brews can weigh in pretty poky, so you can get them in 1/3 pints. Also handy if you want to try all eight ales.
Food comes in the form of high-end pizzas from a wood-fired pizza oven that they’re calling The Pressing Plant. What size pizza can you get? Have a guess… Yep, 7” and 12” pizzas. If they’d have come up with that idea first and built the whole pub around it we wouldn’t be surprised.
We’ve had a poke around already and the place is – as you might expect – a total building site. But there’s a mural on one wall that features the logos of Brighton’s best record labels, a nod to the history of the city’s important music industry. Elsewhere there seems to be lots of wood and some serious wallpaper. Oh, and lots of currently empty racks.
Apparently the idea came from the book and film Last Shop Standing, about the death of records shops. While we finally seem to have plateaued on that front, Dead Wax Social is looking like it will serve the same community hub purpose as those shops serve. Only with beer. Craft ale at that. Count us in.