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Showing posts from August, 2016

Pump Action

It might be a new pub, but Halifax's latest revives the name of a well-loved old favourite .

The PumpRoom Micro pub, situated in an old Army recruitment office on Northgate, just across from the bus station, takes its name from the recently demolished old pub on New Road. This was a firm favourite with the real ale drinkers of Halifax for many years, being a regular port of call before and after the football when it was run by Eddie Geater. It had originally been called the Druid's Arms, and then was re-named the Overdraught when it became part of Jim Wright's TFC empire back in the 80's. It was a dependable source for a pint of great beer for many years, although it sadly declined to a shadow of its former self before closing. 

Some of the artefacts, including a door from the old pub have been incorporated into the new place. and the new PumpRoom is a stylish one room micro pub, but with a cavernous cellar.

There are 6 hand pumps, which this weekend have featured some gr…

Barges and Wagon Wheels: Brighouse Canal, Beer, and Music Festival 2016

'The guy in the blue shirt was approaching, walking towards me with his eyes fixed. There was something vaguely familiar about him, but who was he? Then it hit me. It was Andy who I used to work with in Leeds till about 12 years ago! Time had taken its toll on both of us. Andy, his wife Sheree, and their family were just some of the thousands who descended on Brighouse last weekend for the Canal, Beer, and Music Festival.'

And what a great time we all had. There were families, old-timers, rockers, hipsters, metalheads, bargees, you name it. The weather veered between heavy rain and hot sunshine, with the latter gaining the upper hand by the end of the weekend.

There were the usual market stalls, classic cars, and canal trips, and a wonderful cross-section of musical talent across no less than 4 stages over the two days. Too many to catch, I enjoyed the ones I did see, but amongst those I missed were artists of the calibre of Roger Davies, Bella Gaffney, Steve Chapman Smith, and …

The Beers of Summer

This last few weeks I have enjoyed some fine beers, quite often against a backdrop of warm, sunny weather.

We had a trip to Manchester a few weeks ago, which involved negotiating some of the wonderful pubs in the Northern Quarter. The weather was hot and sunny, which meant we were able to sit out at the Angel and the Marble Arch, and enjoy a stand in the lovely yard at the back of Bar Fringe. We sampled some superb beers from the likes of Marble, Hawkshead, and Salopian. The beer of the trip for me though was Duel from Blackjack, which was on offer at their tap, the Smithfield on Swan Street. We also visited the Micro Bar in the Arndale Centre, where I had it confirmed that Boggart, who had been brewing in the city since 2000, had closed down. Sad news, but a reminder that despite the boom in new breweries there is another side to the picture. Sadly, Boggart fell behind as some of these new breweries, even just in Manchester, came along with beers that were more in keeping with the big…

Ryley Walker: The Half Wit in Hebden Bridge....

Last night I saw Ryler Walker for the second time this year.

Last time, back in February, it was in Manchester's Band On The Wall, when he appeared on his own, last night it was at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge, where he was accompanied by a drummer and bass player, both from Scandinavia.

So, only a few months, but a few differences.

The Trades Club is a fantastic venue, a friendly Labour Club and base for locals, and also very welcoming and supportive of the myriad of acts from all over the planet who over the years have rocked up in the town every week to perform there. This welcoming, family feel, is no doubt part of the reason why these artists, often of International stature, have consistently appeared over the years at a venue in a town with a resident population of less than 5,000.

There was no question Ryley Walker felt at home last night. More than once he shouted out 'Hey you guys, this venue is beautiful!. This place is awesome!' (all expletives deleted). From th…