Wednesday, 30 October 2013

42 Bud Lights & 10 Dirty Stadium Hot Dogs

There are two types of beer geek... those who will go to an event that has awful beer and not drink... then there are those of us who will drink basically anything.

I'm in the latter category.

I spent Sunday at Wembley Stadium fulfilling a lifelong dream of seeing San Francisco 49ers play American Football. We played against Jacksonville Jaguars so obviously we were going to win, but the win was massive. 42-10. You probably can't imagine how I felt.

I spent the day drinking Bud Light and eating dirty stadium hot dogs, and I loved it. I got to hang out with some awesome people such as the awesome BiereBelle and see the team I've supported for 12 years.

I had the best day drinking Bud Light and eating hot dogs that made me feel awful the next day.

It was awesome.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Pub Experiment #1 (participation event)

I love pubs.

Pubs come in all shapes and sizes. You can get a pub with a great selection of beer that's kept in alright condition and a good atmosphere, you can get a pub that has average selection of beer that's kept so well that you forget that you previously thought it was average. You get pubs with an awesome atmosphere, then you get ones that you wonder why you even bothered going to in the first place.

There's a lot of campaigning for pubs to stay open these days and I've been thinking lately whether it's worth campaigning for awful pubs to stay open. They must appeal to some people, but I wonder why. Today, Tony Naylor's article in The Guardian's Word of Mouth really made me think.

I posted the link on Facebook, and got a whole host of interesting responses that agreed with what Tony said in his article.

The responses I got were great (depending on who you talk to) and I want to feature them in a future blog, and that's where the rest of you come in.

We all love pubs and we want them to stay open, but as I said earlier, there are some awful pubs around.

I'm not asking you to risk your life and go in a pub where you'll probably get stabbed, but I want you to go into what you'd refer to as a shit pub and have a couple of pints then either comment on here or blog about it. I want you to go into a pub that you would usually avoid and tell me exactly why that pub should stay open. The worst pub you can think of that's local to you.

Sell it to me. Tell me why that pub should be open and if enough people give me really good reasons why their local shithouse should be open maybe I'll give campaigning for all pubs to stay open a thought.

I'm gonna do the same and when I compile everyone's thoughts, I'll post mine.

You've got until Monday 28th October.


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Finntroll, TYR & Skalmold at Epic in Norwich

Monday night I went along to the Finntroll, TYR & Skalmold event at Epic in Norwich. I’d only ever been to Epic once before, for a TV recording so I had absolutely no idea what to expect from it as a live music venue.

When the bands play live, the raised seating at the back is taken away, and the stage is higher up, separated by a barrier as expected but with two massive HD Screens either side of the stage so you can see everything clearly, regardless of where you are in the venue. We thought this was an awesome idea.

The beer selection at Epic was, well, pretty much a standard gig venue selection. On keg there was a choice of either Stella Artois, Beck’s Vier or Marstons Smooth along with some bottles and cans of yet more crap. Prices were £3.80 a pint, which hits what I was expecting pretty much.

Now, onto the music! Skalmold were up first with their haunting brand of Folk Metal playing such an upsettingly short 30 minute set, mostly comprising of stuff from their latest album Born Loka. They’re incredibly tight as a band, and very heavy but more serious than your average band of the same genre. They were certainly enjoyable.

Next up was Týr, a band I have seen once before at Hammerfest in 2009. As they admitted when they walked on stage, a lot of people may not have heard most of their setlist live as they’d be playing a lot of new songs which was totally fine by me as Valkyrja is possibly my favourite album of theirs. They brought their style of catchy Viking tunes that make you want to dance a bit, but at the same time go forth into battle.

And finally, of course, Finntroll, the band that made me fall in love with Folk Metal. They stormed through an impressively massive hour and a half set, bouncing through pretty much their entire back catalogue and finally it came… the song I first heard… Trollhammaren, their final track of the evening. It was everything I hoped for and more!

Overall, it was a totally fucking awesome gig in a great venue. The sound quality, the size and the ability to see all without getting crushed to fuck at the front of the stage makes it possibly my favourite venue in Norwich. Sheer brilliance on Monday and I want to do it again!