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Showing posts from April, 2016

Bellowhead: Farewell to Merrie England

My first memory of visiting the Victoria Theatre in Halifax was, I would guess, when I was about 9. I was taken to see some musical called 'Merrie England', which I suspect might have been written by a bloke called Edward German. My overriding recollection of that visit was of being bored rigid, and so my first visit to the venue was not the most auspicious! Over the years, though, I have been back to the place several times for a number of gigs and events, and have come to appreciate the plush grandeur of what is a most impressive auditorium. On this occasion the staff were unfailingly polite and courteous, which made a big change from some venues where 'security' are in charge with a default stance that everyone is out to cause trouble. My only grouse was that, whilst it is great that they had a real ale on offer, it was a 3.5% light beer which cost a ridiculous £4.00! I had gone to see Bellowhead, behemoths of the folk scene, perform one of the gigs on their farew

April and The Beer

April has been an interesting month on the beer and pub front, as I have visited some great places old and new, although it has been a bit quieter in terms of music. It started off with a visit to the Fox at Shipley. Now this is a great little pub, with some superb beers, including from their own Beespoke Brewery, brewed on the premises. It occupies a single room on the main A657, with a cracking atmosphere. If you think it's gone dark, it probably means a passing bus is waiting at the nearby traffic lights! It is extremely close to the station, but whether it was a case of disorientation with Shipley Station being a bit confusing due to its layout, I don't know, but we wandered around for a bit before finding it! A few days later I was just up the road in Saltaire, trying out the Cap and Collar micropub for the first time. And very nice it was too, there was a chilled Sunday afternoon vibe with a number of folk musicians playing away. As with the Fox, great beer, and well

Letter from the Lakes....

The BBC have recently been showing a series called 'The A Word', about a 5 year old boy called Joe, who is on the autism spectrum, and the impact this has on his family, who all seem to have plenty issues of their own to deal with. One of the manifestations of Joe's condition is remembering perfectly the words to his dad's favourite songs, and the show starts each week with him marching down the beautiful Honister Pass, headphones on, singing a song such as Julian Cope's 'World Shut Your Mouth', only to be picked up by a passing family member or friend and driven back home. It also caught my attention because the family business just happens to be a brewery! I mention this as the other week I was in the Lake District, where the series is set. One of the locations used is one of my regular haunts, Coniston, and as with 'Happy Valley' it has been interesting to see places I know on the TV screen. I had gone to the Lakes to blow away some cobwebs over