Being old, I remember this Slade number and used to enjoy it a lot. I still do. What I do not enjoy though is being blasted my modern techno music in an ordinary pub at five o'clock on a Saturday afternoon. And when I say blasted, I mean it. You couldn't hear a bloody word.
Saturday before last, after watching a friend perform at the Friends Meeting House, four of us were heading for a meal pre booked in central Manchester. We had 45 minutes to spare, so a pint seemed a good idea. Being near Holt's refurbished Ape and Apple, I suggested there. The Ape and Apple used to be a fairly traditional boozer with a mixed clientele, mostly on the more mature side. It was younger as a pub than it looked, but the sort of solid, dark wooded place you associate with Joeys. It was the venue of the Gasman's Annual Piss Up of which I wrote here and of their monthly meetings too.
Now the Gasmen don't meet there any more. It changed and not for the better it seems. I forgot this and when entering, observed it had been tarted up in a cheap way to look brighter, but not nicer, but it was packed, so no doubt had achieved its financial purpose, though it was rarely quiet before. There was no music on when we entered, so we made our way to the bar and then the "music" started. My friend was ordering and had to repeat himself before the barman could make out what he was saying. We retreated to near the door, but conversation was impossible, so we supped up as quickly as we could and left. There wasn't a seat to be had in the place incidentally. So I guess it says as much about us as those who chose to stay and suffer it.
I tweeted Holts who promptly replied that I could have requested they "turn it down a notch". I replied it needed many notches turning down and that I didn't go out of an afternoon to engage in a discussion about too much music noise that was unlikely to end well and that it simply shouldn't have been like that in the first place. I also said I wouldn't be back and I won't be. Music in pubs is divisive, but this was in excess by any standard. and given the time of day, the clientèle and the type of music, completely inappropriate.
The Mild was "off" too. Unsurprisingly. It wouldn't have been in the Gasmen days.
Now even if it had been Slade I wouldn't have stayed such was the volume, but it was the electronically produced stuff with a repeated base - like someone continually knocking on your head with a polisman's baton.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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