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Showing posts from November, 2014

Summat's Brewin': O'Hooley & Tidow, All Hallows, Leeds

Friday night was damp, murky and miserable. The traffic was slow, the M62 having had long delays between J25 and J26, and arriving in Leeds, despite the sat-nav getting us close to the venue, we struggled to find it. Still, having won a couple of tickets to see Belinda O'Hooley and Heidi Tidow I was not going to let these frustrations undermine my underlying good mood.

All Hallows Church is situated in that warren of streets between Burley Road and Hyde Park, where you can be yards from where you want to be - as we were - but alleys and walls conspire to block your route.We finally made it after a few minutes circling the streets, spotting a larger, lighter modern building.
We walked in to a large airy room, which acts as place of worship, meeting room and, as in tonight's case, concert venue. We were immediately made to feel very welcome, a far cry from some other, larger venues. Our hands stamped, we trotted over to the bar, bought a couple of pints of Elland Brewery 'Beyo…

In Search of Smoked Butter

Last week Simon Mayo's show on Radio 2 featured a recipe for Braised Beef Cheeks with a smoked potato topping. Sounded good, and seemed to go down well with the crowd in the studio, so much so that I thought I should give it a go. A key ingredient was smoked butter. Smoked butter, never even heard of it. But, intrigued, and with my obsessive streak taking over, I did a bit of scouting on t'internet, and found the number 1 search was for the Lunesdale Smokery, near Lancaster. A-ha, I thought, off to the Lakes, not far from Lancaster, maybe I can track some down so that I can try the recipe on the show or improve my shepherds pie from being pretty good to tdf status - subject to smoked butter passing muster.

Now maybe I'm getting carried away here. I've not even tried the stuff, but on the basis that I love smoked cheese, paprika, ham and garlic, the concept sounds great and it must be worth giving it a whirl. By way of a reminder, as I wandered around, I realised that th…

A Day in a Humdrum Town

"The rain falls hard on a humdrum town"The Smiths, 'William, it was really nothing".

I thought of these lyrics the other Monday when I decided to take a tour round Manchester's Northern Quarter and the city's more gritty next door neighbour, Salford. I'd stayed in the Premier Inn on Dale Street and wandered through the Northern Quarter, stopping off at Trof. Now this is a venue with gigs and a bourbon bar, but it was the fact it does breakfast - very nice ones too - that drew me there.

It was there that I decided I would try to find the Salford Lads club, which was pictured on the inner sleeve of The Smiths classic album 'The Queen is Dead' and featured in the video for 'Stop me if you think you've heard this one before'. I was inspired by Phill Gatenby's excellent little book 'Morrissey's Manchester' which is like a Rough Guide to places in the city and around frequented by the quiffed one and fellow members of The Smit…