Inside the Rehearsal Room with The Social

by James Crickmore

We chat with Colne band The Social, the indie band building a following across Pendle

Young and ambitious, ‘The Social’ is looking to build on recent local success in the studio, on the radio, and at concerts. The five-piece, formed at Burnley College two years ago, consists of lead vocalist: Alicia Weston, guitarist: Tommy Handley, pianist: Lorna Raywood, bassist: Jack Brown, and drummer: Joe Mason.

There was a shared feeling of agreement that the band’s passion for music stemmed from their families, with all members agreeing that their parents first sparked their fire. Charismatic guitarist Tommy went on to share his experience of music at Colne Park High School. “I hated music at school until about year 10. Following that, we all met at college and continued there; we got put in a band with each other and thought we sounded alright. We haven’t looked back since.”

“We got put in a band with each other and thought we sounded alright. We haven’t looked back since.”

“If we had to pick a band, we sound like it’d probably have to be The 1975,” grins Alicia. Tommy agreed with the sentiment, saying he feels his group ‘shares a similar vibe’ to the Cheshire outfit. As for the type of music ‘The Social’ play, front-woman Alicia shared an anecdote of an interview from a recent gig regarding the matter; “It’s a tricky one. We had an interview after a gig at HMV in Chester. I told him it was too hard to label our sound.”

The Social playing live

The Burnley-based band currently has two brilliant singles: ‘Do It Again’ and ‘Mr Brown’, which can be streamed on Spotify. They had achieved their target of releasing music.

“Our producer now, Dan Walker, is a legend with the same vision as us, and that’s how we’re managing to get our music out now.

“Me and Tom were in Halifax Wetherspoons when we received an email saying one of our songs had been played on BBC Radio Lancashire. We got no warning!” Tommy swiftly told his side of the story; “We rang my mum! We wrote that song in my room; for it to progress and be heard by people is such a weird but rewarding feeling.”

The band has had plenty of exposure when it comes to performing in front of an audience. They’ve also performed further afield from playing locally to playing at HMV in Liverpool. “I particularly enjoyed HMV because we get to be seen as ‘The Social’- originals band,” Tommy began. “When you’re playing at pubs as much as we do if we play our own stuff, then people who come often know it, but the majority want to hear songs they can sing to. That’s why HMV was different.”


Recently, the group gigged at The Heys Inn in Oswaldtwistle, and they appreciated the fans that turned out. “People were standing before me singing our songs back, word for word. It’s so surreal,” Alicia exclaimed. “The songs are your kids, your babies, and you’ve worked very hard on them, so it was amazing.”

“People were standing before me singing our songs back, word for word.”

Keen to continue their success, the 18-year-olds are excited to produce new music. “We will work on Umbrella in the Sun (Volume 2). We’ll take our time instead of rushing things and having them not be as good as possible. At this point in our career, it’s better to release singles instead of an album which could take us a year. People want to be intrigued after hearing one song.”

The band is also ramping up their gigs. They will be performing at Canvas in Manchester on August 4th. “It’s our first proper big gig,” Tommy smiles. “It’s my favourite thing in the world to play in the band, and people see that in my performance.” The band is well known for their stage presence, and a night out at one of their shows is sure to be fun. “We’re best friends; you can see that when we play.” Alicia grins.

The Social can be found on Instagram @the.socialband.

ColneLife Autumn 23