LEEDS & THE BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB

Some of the best weather ever yesterday lunchtime made my walk up to the Bronte Waterfall a joy.  The fact that this was in November made it scarcely believable.  Predictably thick fog descended on the A660 into Leeds, but didn’t stop me completing a 19 mile day.

In the evening I saw the welcome return to the UK of Destroyer, whose complex, melodic and chaotic music I’ve enjoyed for many years.  Dan Bejar’s current 8 piece touring group reminded me a bit of the E-Street Band, while he retains the slightly grumpy demeanour of Mark E Smith, but with a voice all his own.

Standing a few feet from the saxophonist gives you a particular perspective on live performance you don’t get from the lounge seats, but my ears are still ringing.  Moving a few feet back was a good move.  Plenty of students but, as usual, many of us oldies as well.

In 2012 I saw them at Manchester’s Sound Control, where decent cask Holts Bitter (sadly no longer) helped make a good gig great.  If anything, the Brudenell is slightly smaller, but it’s a venue that punches well above it’s weight in terms of gigs, due to it’s reputation for treating artists well, top-notch sound, and the feel of the Club.  Although now mainly a music venue, the Brudenell is still a social club in the widest sense, offering a games room, social club seating, and beer at less than £3.

Being old and clumsy, I kicked over the pint of a young lad who’d left his (hard plastic) glass on the floor.  Immediately I offered to buy him another, and was mildly astonished to find a pint of Perotti was £2.90.  I think this is a Carlsberg Italian cheapie, but alongside the sad and unloved Tetley Gold was a second handpump where Kirkstall Three Swords was the same price, and very good too (NBSS 3).  A few decent keg lines too, plus the odd one pictured above (not the Carlsberg elephant is it ?).

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Tapped, Leeds

Before the gig I’d completed the Beer Guide roster of central Leeds pubs in Tapped, which will compete with North for my favourite Leeds pub (at least until I pluck up courage to visit the Duncan). There’s plenty of bars with multiple cask and keg taps in Leeds now, but quality hasn’t always been great; the Anarchy Smoke Bomb below got a 4 on NBSS, which for me is rare.  Tapped Leeds is a gem.

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Even in the fog, Leeds looked particularly attractive in the morning.  The real benefit of a Sunday night spent here is, however, the bargain cakes and pretzels in the Monday Farmers Market in the University grounds. Lucky students.

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