Having finally escaped the Gooners in lovely Clissold Park (few of them walk very far to the ground) my journey’s end came after a detour through Stoke Newington.

Stokey seems to have lost its proper pubs.  I invite you to read the What Pub description of the Stoke Newington Tea House here.

” the lease was taken on by Yummy Pub Co. as a “tea-themed” pub” . Indeed.

They’re still mucking about with the Lion as well, I see.

This is the good bit

Things pick up, as they always do, as you move from North to East London.  Ten points if you can tell me exactly where that happens.

The Pembury Tavern is another of those pubs that are best photographed standing in the middle of a busy road junction.

A decade old, this was my third visit and my best.  I resisted the temptation to ask for a discount on the basis I live 200 yards from the brewery, happy at a barman with good taste in beer glasses.

Pegasus hiding

Some folk would say seven Milton beers is a great choice and testament to the resurgence of real ale/craft beer etc. etc.  I’d say it’s far too many and I expected a dull pint of Pegasus.  It was as good as the stuff I had at the brewery (less chilly in fact), and with a touch of flat Bass about it.  My fifth NBSS 4 pint in London in a month.  I’m going soft.

This is all preamble for my matinee gig at the Moth club opposite Hackney Empire.  This is real London, and pretty much the ideal place for Allo Darlin’ to finish.  Truman’s Mistletoe Mild, North’s Prototype, and rather too many cans of 7.1% Five Points IPA consumed by a craft-loving crowd (except the many toddlers in the matinee crowd, he adds hastily).

When people say modern music is rubbish, I just point them to Allo Darlin.  It’s a hard sell to folk who want to watch ageing ’80s bands at Latitude, but I’m not the only old, bald bloke bouncing around at their gigs.

Four years ago I saw them for the first time at the Queen’s Social Club in Sheffield, where they made up my mind about retiring early to watch indie-pop in pubs. The cans of BrewDog that night may have helped as well, but “Dreaming” was the clincher.

Mere great songs, persistent touring and the biggest smiles in pop aren’t enough to pay for a career, of course, but while it lasted they made me feel young, and that’s all you can ask from music….

Bill, Bill, Super Bill


      1. It was a superb gig. If there hadn’t been so many things going on in my life at the moment, I would have tried to make the 2 x Moth Club gigs too.
        Scala was packed and just a great atmosphere. I’ve watched the YouTube clips several times already.

        Liked by 1 person

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