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 ?).
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.
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.