To Hull and back again, and thence on to Hackney for the Martha gig at Moth Club.  Words that will mean little to most of you.

I’ve written about Martha and Moth before, and it was helpful of my favourite Durham punksters to arrange a gig in London on super off-peak rail day, or Sunday as it’s known by working folk.


No new pubs in Hackney, but you’ll always find something interesting.


What’s particularly striking is just how far the gentrification (well, posh pizza)  is encroaching into the tower blocks off Paragon Road.  But Mare Street is still rough and ready compared to Shoreditch, which of course contains some of the worst pubs in Christendom (no, not Brew Dog).

Hackney Town Hall
Hackney Empire

Hackney feels like Proper London to me, and on a Sunday evening in March has more visitors on the streets than in the whole of Cambridgeshire.

Anyway, a chance to revisit the star turn. The Cock Tavern is Hackney’s own Southampton Arms, the Proper Pub with craft credentials.

The Cock

As always seems the case, it’s packed, so I nab the stool holding the door open.  I’ve no idea why there’s a stool holding the door open in winter, but London has different rules.

Hackney life

Despite the heavy keg leanings, the darkness and the incence ( I think), there’s a low hipster quotient.  It feels like a chatty pub, even if you can’t hear yourself think.

Yer craft keg

In fact, most folk seem to be going for the cask from breweries you’ve heard of ; Moor, Fyne, Gipsy Hill.  It’s got to be Jarl though, hasn’t it ?

Proper pumps

And it tastes like a Jarl that’s turning over nicely, cool and fruity (NBSS 4).  Some of the best beer in That London, again.

Some blokes my age at the bar are taking photos of themselves.  They either write a beer blog or they’re up from Hatfield on a rare trip to the Smoke (obscure Tracey Thorn reference there).

“Let me through mate !”
Actually I think they’re in Chas’n’Dave’s road crew

Quality bar snacks” says What Pub, quite fairly. I resist, this time.

Odd pickled eggs

There’s time for a second pint (I drink quicker than these soft Southerners), and only Five Points keg in plastic glasses at the gig.  So I decide to see how that very Five Points are getting on with taking over the Pembury Tavern, lately run by my neighbours at Milton Brewery.


It’s looking a little dishevelled, but then it always did.  If anything, there’s more folk in than I’ve seen before.


I’m a bit surprised to see Milton still taking up most of the bar, though I read that arrangement will last a while yet.

Waterbeach best

The Sparta isn’t quite as good as you’d get in the Cambridge estate, but cool and tasty and well clear of NBSS 3, so there’s a good cellar here for Five Points to build on.

Pint of Pegasus

Whether the Pembury will go from bare boards boozer to crafty gastropub is hard to tell.

Pool bloke

At the Moth I’m subjected to the sort of ID checks I last saw in Havana.  The security man asks the 20 year old girl in front if she’s with me and she nearly faints with shock.

But I’m far from the oldest old codger down the front, new music audiences seeming to divide 2/3rds 18-25 and 1/3rd 50-65 these days.

Gig blokes

A euphoric Martha play so loud my ears are still ringing now; I should really get some of those ear defenders.  Being old, I’d have like to have heard a few more new songs. As always, the 3rd album is the difficult one.

You’ll be pleased to see my gig photography gets no better.





      1. “Wonder if Dick, Dave or Russ get that (weren’t they Canadian ?.”

        Yep, and that was there only big hit. Bloody missed that. (blush)

        Well done Mr Wick! (doffs hat) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “They were Canadian ! Probably your neighbours.”

        Oh no doubt. After all, Canada is a very small country (rolls eyes). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “Words that will mean little to most of you.”

    (raises hand) Yup. 🙂

    “there’s a low hipster quotient. ”

    Judging by the photos, I would tend to agree.

    “Whether the Pembury will go from bare boards boozer to crafty gastropub is hard to tell.”

    Looks like a tossup to me. 🙂

    “As always, the 3rd album is the difficult one.”

    I hope the gig wasn’t too *cough* ‘hackneyed’. (LOL)


    Liked by 1 person

      1. “I know “hipster” is lazy shorthand, but you know what I mean.”

        Your use of hipster “sufficiently sufficed”. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t get to nearly as many gigs as you do, but I’ve noticed there’s a similar thing here in Michigan, with as many as half the people in the audience being pretty well on in years. I’ve heard that the whole idea of going to concerts is more firmly established among baby boomers than among the later generations, and that many musicians depend on this older population buying tickets to make a concert tour work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cock Tavern is a terrific pub, with a great mix of drinkers, but always seems to have those (well not necessarily those particular) guys encamped on the bar stools blocking off the cask pumps all day and evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That “WENLOCK BOTTLED BEERS” sign suggests that much of the wood paneled interior dates from before 1953.
    If new music audiences seem to divide 2/3rds 18-25 and 1/3rd 50-65 these days what do the 25 to 50 year olds get up to ? Maybe working.

    Liked by 1 person

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