Setting up for the perfect night in or out requires three key ingredients: drinks, games and, most importantly, music. To set the mood and ensure your night goes off with a bang, you need the right tunes. Regardless of the genre you gravitate towards, a catchy hook and some inspired lyrics will always have the desired effect.
Before we dive into the best tunes to set your night off on the right note, let’s talk fundamentals. According to the Drug and Alcohol Review Journal, pre-drinking has become a popular pastime for the young. Surveying 65,126 people across 25 countries, researchers found that 85% of respondents in Ireland said they drank before a night out. With Guindex.ie showing that a pint of Guinness now costs as much as €7/£6 in some parts of Dublin, it’s hardly surprising people are enjoying a few liveners before they head into town.
It’s All a Game When You Pre-Drink
Alongside the obligatory bottles of vodka, coke and beers, games form the second pillar of your pre-drinking fortress. Classics such as Never Have I Ever, Fuzzy Duck and Beer Pong are staple offerings during any self-respecting pre-drinks session. However, with the craze proving more popular than ever, big brands have jumped on the bandwagon. For example, Firebox sells a game known as If I Had To. Essentially a contest to see who can come up with the most outrageous scenarios, the game can plunge your night to filthy but fun new depths. For some slightly less lewd card-based action, What Do You Meme allows you to match the best comedy quips the best quote to random photos.
For an activity that flows from inside to outside, Bar Bingo takes a classic game and gives it a unique twist. As described by Wink Bingo, this game swaps traditional bingo calls for words associated with a night out. Like its selection of online bingo games, Wink advises players to divide their scorecards into 25 randomly numbered squares. From there, you need to fill them with around 15 words such as “stilettos”, “mojito” and “kebab”. Once the game starts, you need to cross off as many words as you see. To prove you’re not cheating, the rules dictate you have to take a picture of the object in question. Once someone completes a line and/or a full house, they’re declared the winner and the losers have to perform a forfeit.
The Right Stream Makes the Drink Flow
After you’ve loaded up on drinks and chosen some games, the final piece of the puzzle is the music. This is, perhaps, the trickiest part of any pre-drinks party. Because everyone has different tastes, picking tunes that everyone appreciates takes some serious thought. As a standard, Spotify will be your go-to resources.
If you’re a fan of underground beats, London-based streaming service Boiler Room is perfect. Essentially recreating the underground club scene through a combination of virtual reality and streaming, this platform is a great way to hear and support independent artists. Again, however, you need to know your audience. In practice, the best strategy is to stream a combination of commercial tracks via Spotify and mix in some indie tunes via Boiler Room.
Our Top Three Pre-Drinks Playlist Picks
To complete your pre-drinks preparation, the only thing left to do is compile a playlist. Although your tastes may differ from ours, the following tracks should provide an ideal starting point for a night to remember:
Casavettes: I’m not here, I’m Somewhere Else
With 85% of Irish drinkers kicking their night off at home, it would be remiss of us not to put Ireland’s Casavettes in our playlist. Releasing their debut album in February 2019, this Limerick-based band are a great blend of math and emo. I’m not here, I’m Somewhere Else is one of their title tracks and has a haunting, melancholic vibe that’s perfect for the start of the night. Offering just enough energy to get the juices flowing but not so much that you peak too early, this is a great tune to get things underway.
My Dog Ate Chad: Nintendo Flavored
As the night starts to build up some steam, My Dog Ate Chad will get everyone’s feet tapping. Ben Folds-esque, Nintendo Flavored has a catchy drum/piano combo that’s perfect for keeping the energy levels high. What’s more, its playful tone will lead you perfectly into the drinking games. Lifting everyone’s spirits, this ditty should get everyone in the mood for beer pong, bar bingo or whatever activities you’ve got planned.
Beastie Boys: Brass Monkey
What’s a drinking playlist without a song about drinking? According to media outlet Timeout.com, Beastie Boys Brass Monkey tops the list of drink-inspired drinking songs. The name of a low rent mimosa (orange juice mixed with malt whiskey), a Brass Monkey has the same kick as this Beastie Boys track. Essentially a proverbial slap in the face, Brass Monkey is decidedly urban with a touch of humour. For us, that’s the perfect combination to help you shake off the effects of too much alcohol and get you ready for a night out.
As we’ve said, the perfect pre-drinks playlist probably doesn’t exist. Because musical tastes will vary depending on who you invite and what the vibe is, you can never create a definitive list. However, the three tunes we’ve listed above are certainly capable of setting the right tone and should guide you through the various stages of a session. Indeed, if you can use these in conjunction with your own picks, a few decent games and the right selection of drinks, you’ll be well on your way to the perfect night in.