Pub visits this week 4
A fairly quiet week in pubs, this one. I’ve finally got round to starting on The Longest Crawl by Ian Marchant, though. It may be the best book about pubs I’ve ever read. Mind you, I think I’ve only read one other. Do you know any decent reads about pubs? Post a comment if you do. It’s really good, anyway.
I see from his site that Ian Marchant is also currently Royal Literary Fund Fellow at my old university. Please also post a comment if you have the vaguest idea what this means.
Mondays are never a good time to see bands. The Forum is far from my favourite place to see bands. It’s a testament to Japanese Sleepers, then, that I have any kind of a good time at all. Towards the end of our short night out, Dan ends up wondering aloud whether the Forum might not be such a bad place after all. Maybe he’s had one too many of the excellent wheat beer from the Sheffield Brew Company that the Forum has on tap tonight.
It’s the Fat Cat for my mate Dobbie’s birthday. And it’s one of those nights in the pub where the conversation is endlessly eclectic. Within five minutes of arriving I’ve already taken part in discussions about constellations and astronomy, the beauty of the Derbyshire Wayfarer, and the rubbish teachers we used to have at school (if anyone ever argues that Ofsted is a waste of time, just remember the rubbish teachers you used to have as well). The beers on tap are fairly wide-ranging as well, and the Fat Cat’s eponymous feline drops by to say hello as well. One of Sheffield’s best known and loved real ale pubs is on fine form. It seems to smell slightly of piss, but Dobbie says he can smell cat, so maybe it’s just that.
Tonight I am the promoter of a gig. I’d prefer to call it an ‘intimate’ gig, perhaps even a ’boutique’ event. Those without a vested interest in euphemism might prefer the term ‘tiny’. It’s a preview of Dinosaur Planet, a show by my chum MJ Hibbett, which he’s doing at the Edinburgh Festival. Another mate, Roo (aka Oxo Foxo), is playing her first ever solo set in support. And the little upstairs room at the Red Deer is just the job. About 25 people roll in, which is just perfect for the show and the place. Both the acts are quite marvellous.
And the Bradfield Brewery’s Farmer’s Blonde is going down a treat. So much so, in fact, that I can barely remember anything between going to the Washington afterwards and waking up at six in the morning, fully dressed, on the unmade bed in our guest room. As I’m sure you understand, this is a thing that’ll happen now and again if you get to the pub a fair bit. Is it good? No. Am I proud of it? No. Do I have any idea at all how I managed to spend 40 quid on the night? Absolutely not. This is where I say something like “but it’s worth it for the good things about getting to the pub, as long as it doesn’t happen too often”. So yeah – it’s worth it for the good things about getting to the pub, as long as it doesn’t happen too often.