Skip to main content

A Night in Bury with O'Hooley & Tidow

Went to Bury a few days ago. Famous for black puddings and its market, it also houses a great local concert hall, the Met. My reason to be there - the chance to see rising Huddersfield folk stars, Belinda O'Hooley and Heidi Tidow on the tour to launch their excellent album 'The Hum'.

Checked in to the Premier Inn - minutes from the town centre - and headed out for some pre-gig food. Within minutes I came across the Art House. What a place, a lovingly restored art-deco cinema now part of the Wetherspoon empire. Now I am not a fan of all of their properties, but this one is excellent, with balconies, velour curtains and bags of nostalgia.

Thursday night, Curry Club, so opted for the Flaming Dragon(the one with 5 chilli symbols) with free pint for £5.99. It hit the spot, so fed and watered I headed a few minutes round the corner to the venue.

The Met is a classic local town theatre and concert venue, the sort we need to support. A great benefit of the Met is its Good Beer Guide bar, the Automatic. Whilst I had been there before, I appreciated it far more this time. 4 different real ales, including house beer Silver Fox(brewed by Outstanding) and ale from the Silver Street Brewing Company(new to me on the night, but brewing at the Clarence in Bury - looks like I'll have to check it out). 

A couple of pints, then into the gig. It was held in the smaller of the two rooms. This is an intimate, plush venue with around 80 seats including tables at the front, with a small stage, and a great setting for what followed.

Belinda and Heidi duly emerged and immediately launched into the title track of their new album, 'The Hum'. This tells the tale of a couple who decide they don't want to buy a house because of its proximity to a factory, and the noise it emits. The couple - Jennifer and Wayne - miss the fact that we need the sounds of industry as it means people are working.

From there on in, we were mesmerised. Two exceptional musicians, with Belinda's outstanding keyboard work, entwined by excellent singing from both. We were taken through a fantastic set of great songs on vastly varied themes, far removed from the traditional popular view of folk music but yet which reflect the world around us. These included real ale (Summat's Brewin'), suicide bombers (Peculiar Brood), adoption (Two Mothers), emigration (Come down from the Moor), even Russian punk protestors Pussy Riot (Coil and Spring). And that's just from the new album, which I have to say is my favourite of 2014 so far.

Try to catch O'Hooley and Tidow on tour, you will not be disappointed. Visit for more information. 

A couple more pints after the gig, at the other, more standard Wetherspoons, the Robert Peel, then back to the Art House before returning to the hotel.

The following morning I wandered into Bury seeking cheaper food than at the Premier Inn, and guess what, it was back to the Art House for a Wetherspoons breakfast. I then wandered round the town and famous market for a while in the sunshine, picked up a few bits and pieces, including the obligatory black pudding!

I have to say I like Bury. It is a friendly place, and whilst close to Manchester it has its own character and feels like its own entity. And with a great venue like the Met and pubs like the Art House and Automatic, plus the promise of the Clarence and Silver Street Brewery, I will be back soon.

And here's 'Summat Brewin', which quite rightly is becoming something of a classic with loads of airplay....

And this is 'Gentleman Jack', from the previous O&T album 'The Fragile'....


Popular posts from this blog

A Calder Valley Ale Trail - UPDATE June 2022

T he definitive guide to the pubs and bars that line the railways in the towns and villages of the beautiful Calder Valley in West Yorkshire. After a break in updates with all the disruption of lockdowns over the  last couple of years, here's the latest, updated version.... The original Rail Ale Trail heads through the Pennines from Dewsbury through Huddersfield to Stalybridge, or vice versa, depending on your standpoint. Made famous by Oz Clarke and James May on a TV drinking trip around Britain several years ago, it reached saturation point on weekends to such an extent that lager and shorts were banned by some pubs and plastic glasses introduced to the hordes of stag dos, hen parties, and fancy-dressed revellers that invaded the trans-Pennine towns and villages. There are some great pubs en route but you ventured to them on a summer Saturday at your peril. However, only a few miles away to the north, there is another trail possible which takes in some great pubs and travels thr

There Used To Be A Bar There....

Last weekend a little bar in Wesley Court in Halifax, closed its doors for the last time. But unlike the sad fate that has befallen so many pubs and bars in recent times, The Grayston Unity will be re-opening in a few weeks' time in a brand new home on the other side of town. And so this weekend was a chance for a final drink and catch-up at its original home.... It was emotional, it was fun, it was inevitable. The final weekend at the original home of the Grayston Unity occurred this weekend, the last pints being poured around 9pm on Sunday evening with the price of a pint dropping first to £2 and then they were free. The little bar had attracted large numbers over the previous few days; Grayston stalwarts, regulars on the Halifax drinking scene, a host of old faces from over the years, and plenty of bemused first-timers, many here from out of town to see the likes of Orbital, the Charlatans, and Johnny Marr playing down the road at the Piece Hall.  Michael enjoying a quiet chat w

The Ripon Effect....

I've recently paid a visit to the small but lovely North Yorkshire city of Ripon where, on a cracking sunny afternoon, I had a mini tour of some of the town's best watering holes. Here's what I found.... The trains were off this weekend, so for a change I decided to take a road trip to Ripon, a place I had not visited for at least 20 years, but being somewhere that had lost its railway station during the Beeching cuts in the 1960's, it is a place that needs to be visited by road anyway whether or not the trains are running. Situated about 12 miles to the north of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Ripon can trace its roots back for centuries, to at least the 7th century when it was part of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. Ripon was granted city status in 1865 and is the third smallest city in England, with only the City of London and Wells in Somerset having a smaller population, but it packs a lot into its compact footprint. It is famous for its stunning cathedral whose