Something’s going down at MSA tonight. I know this because there’s always something going down at MSA. Currently Newcastle’s favourite venue for drinks and dalliances, you’re pretty much guaranteed a good time when you head underground on Hood Street.
Music Slash Art is your friendly neighbourhood art gallery come late night bar. This blend of creative-meets-cocktails is a vision come to life for owners Steven Dunn and Danny Hughes. The brains behind the Unit44 gallery (in hipster paradise, Ouseburn, obvs) wanted somewhere that people could unwind in. A space where the art is part of your night, quite literally the furniture and the backdrop for your drunken memories. A venue where you can touch and use each piece in a much more tangible way than generic gallery spaces. There are no red ropes here separating the riff raff from the installations. Every piece is woven into the fabric of a good time, of a night well spent.
The décor has been made to fit and each piece or installation is another of many jewels in the MSA crown. The relationships the guys have built up over the years are evidenced in the names on the walls. The renowned artists featured include the likes of Remi Rough, Seb Lester, SheOne, The London Police, HUSH (check out the Geisha Girl at the top of the stairs) and Niels Shoe Meulman. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve likely seen the snaps I put up not long after MSA first opened of some of the incredibly covetable fluro signage dotted around the space. (see above images)
The interior of the club is dark and wonderfully intimate. There are many dark corners where you could hole yourself up for deep conversations or heavy flirting. There are cosy booths and tables, and a dance floor for throwing some serious shapes to the music the evening’s DJ will be providing. The drinks menu will take you by surprise with its variety and professionalism. Try a sweet and buttery Popcorn Martini, opt for the famous Eddie’s Mojito rather than the standard version or order a round of Patrón Margaritas and have them brought to the table while you schmooze. Two bars, two levels, plenty of space for a good time. It’s a party, and a good one.
The boys’ve done good.
(Credit and thanks to Danny for the kind assistance with the images your eyes are absorbing. I’ve attempted my own before now but they’re far too dark, blurry and er… influenced by dirty booze.)