I finished our latest trip to Newcastle “on a crafty tip”. Mrs RM had been doing the cultural thing, shopping for clothes in chain stores, and needed a quick drink after her effort to save the Tyneside economy single-handed.

Craft City

We had 28 minutes before the next train, so I generously picked the closest Beer Guide entry, which of course turned out to be the Tyneside Cinema rather than the Crown Posada (or even the decent Bacchus).

I know better than to put Mrs RM through the Cask Lottery, and bought her a pint of Jakehead IPAWylam seem to be a Tyneside Brew Dog these days, with their crafty keg everywhere.  I note that in the Exchange they were only serving it in halves; presumably folk in Newcastle are judged able to handle a 6.3% beer.

“Tastes like Brew Dog”  Mrs RM

Not a Proper Pub, with the seating mainly on a big communal table full of folk on their phones.

Pub life, 2018
Proper Keg

But the Tyneside Cinema itself is a thing of some beauty that I fully expected to engage Mrs RM’s attention for the evening.

Craft beer socialista

Instead, she enjoyed the overpriced offerings of Novotel’s wine cellar, while I took Matt on a “proper night oot on the Toon” (sorry).

Cheesey nachos, chicken wings and burritos followed by a night of metalcore*. Because they were open when I didn’t expect them to be, I now applaud Zapatista.

Authentic Newcastle Mexican food

And I applaud Think Tank, a tiny gig venue that manages to combine all the attributes of a “toilet” with great sound quality and friendly staff.

View from Think Tank to some pub I never got to

This photo from insisde is awful, but I like it as an embodiment of Think Tank.

Art shot

A low-key gig (att:62), so no draft productson the bar, but a fine array of Ellon’s cans. And this gem, selected from Ratebeer to the accompaniment of the strains of Liverpool’s Loathe, who sound like you’d expect but were intense enough.

Yeastie Boys – not a song by Sham 69

Having made sure Matt wasn’t stabbed, I had thought about sneaking out to the Hotspur. But youthful joint headliners Holding Absence were compulsive listening, lead singer Lucas having a vocal range rather beyond the normal deathcore range (Matt is going to kill me for my attempt to explain that). And some songs.

I reckon Matt (at 16) was the youngest there, and I was by far the oldest.  I liked that.

This is the world of split EPs, paying for petrol from merch sales, cadging lifts off fans, and success measured in Instagram followers.  As I’ve said before, just like beer, there’s a lot of great music out there for less than the cost of a Sky sub.

And they’re nice Welsh boys.

The “Merch”

Great night, great city.






  1. “presumably folk in Newcastle are judged able to handle a 6.3% beer.”

    We can as well over here. 🙂
    (when I’m in Nanaimo I usually stop for two pints of 7.5% Russian Imperial Stout before the 90 minute drive home. What I also like is they sell it in Growlers for the same price as any of their other beers)

    “View from Think Tank to some pub I never got to”

    It almost looks like you’re up on a roof of some sort.

    “Yeastie Boys – not a song by Sham 69”

    Nor is it the Beastie Boys after they’ve aged somewhat. 😉



      1. That building is the former Market Keeper’s house. Built 1840 by the celebrated John Dobson who was responsible for much of the fine architecture in the city. The whole area of Times Square and the Centre for Life was one of the biggest cattle markets in Europe.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. If the beer is only served in halves, surely it should read “folk in Newcastle are judged UNable to handle a 6.3% beer.”


      1. If they followed the halves rule here over 6.3%, we would only see halves. Once you finish the half, can you order another? But as we were once told, two halves do not make a pint.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Does Matt ever comment much on the places he visits? I’d be curious what his views are on proper pubs versus newer micros? Newcastle versus Las Vegas? North versus south. Your north and south, not ours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s studying Geography and asks a lot of questions about the north/south divide. Not sure what he thought of Vegas, not starstruck except by the tacos. He can tell a trendy pub from a retiredmartin pub, anyway.


      1. I think Matt is referring to the small trendy keg bars/bottle shops he gets taken in occasionally where everyone wears oversized beards. I wouldn’t take a 16 year old in an “official” micro !

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Next time you are in Glasgow, check out Audio for gigs. Mainly very metal, with a smattering of punk, goth and hip-hop. Railway arch, painted black, smells a bit; great sound, very LOUD. Sole draught beer used to be Williams Bros Draught (now there is … something else also). 50m from a spoons inbetween support acts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My knowledge of metalcore stops at napalm death but going to a gig with your son is a really great thing to do…and you’re right there are still loads of bands out there who won’t get airtime who are very good 👍 craft in cans are the new bud light … everywhere stocks them now, which is no bad thing

    Liked by 1 person

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