Not a gig review, because being told “x was really good, you should buy her records and stuff” is clearly pointless, but I will reflect on what a terrific live venue The Musician is.
I’ve been here a few times, not specifically because of the sound or the Leicester pubs or the artists, but for an evening’s live music only the Brudenell can beat it.
Before that I paid an overdue return to two of Leicester’s favoured pubs, both featuring highly in local CAMRA Pub of the Year listings.
The King’s Head won again, which delights me as a fan of Black Country Ales. When I visited a year ago (inadvisedly, as crowds from the Rugby match at Welford Road descended), the beer and atmosphere were something else.
With the real sporting team’s celebrations on Monday leaving many with sore heads, it was rather quieter on my visit, and beer quality a bit lower too (NBSS 3). Friendly staff, mixed clientele, interesting beers (Electric Bear, Kings X), so all good otherwise though.
Close to my hotel (Castle Park, clean and cheap), the Criterion had been closed on my last visit. I couldn’t resist a chance of a half of Oakham in one of the city’s most characterful pubs (ugly exterior, mind).
A bit of a seventies feel to the furnishings too, which is fine with me, but a contemporary beer range and flower vase. A few beers had sold out on Monday night, but the Citra, as ubiquitous as Plum Porter, was suberb (NBSS 4).
The beer in the Musician was pretty good as well, although it was probably a drop too far for me). Hopstar Navigation was a good advert for Darwen, and decently priced (£3.50 a pint) for a music venue. If you can identify the 2nd beer on the right you’ve better eyesight than me; it was rugby themed.
The bar area is quite cosy, though the stage is at the top of a straightforward rectangular standing area, with a few social club type tables off to the side.
All very relaxed, and a great way to enjoy Emma Pollock’s tuneful but poignant set. No “Under canvas, under wrap” or “Pull the wires from the wall”, which suits me fine. I’ve no wish to see an artist sing songs from their youth. Keep music live.