Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The Sounds Borderline 25th April 2009
Swedish band The Sounds prove that music from Scandinvia tends to be pretty good. Opening up with 'Living In America' from their debut album the set was a mix of stuff from their first two albums and about four or five songs from the forthcoming "Crossing The Rubicon" album to be released in March. They recently did an arena / stadium tour in the states supporting No Doubt and this has boosted their confidence as the crowd were lead through a sing-a-long nananana bit during Painted By Numbers. Other highlights were Tony The Beat, RocknRoll and encore and show ender 'Song For The Lovers'. All in all a good show.
The Borderline also gave me an opportunity to wander round the west end, a chance that won't be so prominant this year with the closing of the Astoria. Still lots of scaffolding up with no sign of any demolition yet. Managed the Intrepid Fox nearby which has now got a quiz machine in (which also paid out!) as well as pinball. Premier rock pub!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Pubs but no gigs
One of our victories was at Ipswich on a Tuesday night. Taking the afternoon off allowed me to frequent some pubs though some like the Mill Stone and White Horse have closed since the last time. The small pub Mannings on the market square was very nice, with the Wetherspoons, the Golden Lion, next door, being one of the better of the chain with a very nice barmaid. Elsewhere the pubs seemed to be very run of the mill, which is a shame as previously in Ipswich they had been a high standard.
A trip to the midlands enabled a visit to Banbury on the way back. A pub called the Vaults was somewhere I could drink all night (and all day if necessary). Two attractive barmaids, one with a large wavy tattoo on her back, and a pint of Budvar and a bitter of some sort for a fiver. Nice layout, there was nothing to dislike. Other pubs such as Ye Olde Reindeer, Coach And Horses and Three Pigeons were also nice having the market village feel to them of a 1930s novel. A nice place and hope to be back soon.
Closer to home, there is a new pretentious bar at the foot of the Bosco hotel in Surbiton full of the ‘beautiful’ people which was surprisingly enjoyable. Being next to the Wetherspoons, it was a bit of a culture clash. The Railway in Cheam keeps improving with each visit. The new management are doing a good job. In Sutton’s newtown area, both the Nightingale and the Windsor have increased their pint by 10p, now £3.10 for a Carling, presumably in anticipation of the new budget promise of this tax increase for the next two year. Compare this to a four pack of Holston for 10p less in the nearby newsagents, it’s no wonder pubs are closing and people are over indulging at home in a non regulated environment. Sometimes you have to scratch your head at some policies, especially at a time small business need all the help they can get. (ok yes newsagents are thriving and pubs going under and is this better than the other way round?). End of political rant.
Finally, looking forward, an out in Putney tomorrow which should see some nice pubs done, especially if it stays sunny. Besides the Who tribute in the evening then, it’s a welcome return of Scandinavian indie popsters The Sounds next week at the Borderline.