Those of you who pay attention will remember I bought the new LP by Utrecht’s foremost war crimes legal assistant/weird popster in Sheffield last week.
The Deaf Institute is one of those small venues that make Manchester such a compelling draw for the gig-goer interested in more than Old Bands.
I’ve marked it for you, just below the Mancunian Way in the heart of Studentland (aka Chorlton-on-Medlock).
With half an hour to the support act, I find I’ve just missed the Camden Town free beer wagon, so I look at the nearby options.
Footage has a bouncer and an “It’s A Scream” heritage to go with the marvellous tiling,
but WhatPub reckons “The whole thing is focused on getting young people in to enjoy themselves” which isn’t why I go to the pub.
So it’s a rather predictable return visit to Sandbar, the pizza café-cum-craft beer GBG regular.
I rather like this place, always have, despite inherent un-pubbiness and a level of echo that Old Folk like me struggle with a bit compared to students.
It’s very much the Manc equivalent of the Haymakers in Cambridge, all dark wood and Computer Science students clustered round big tables eating vegan pizza.
Sometimes, though, all you want is a nice doughy pizza (£7) and a pint of something you recognise. And an ancient bench seat to balance your pint.
Both the Phoenix, and a frankly unnecessary Beartown stout, were plenty good enough (NBSS 3), albeit without the turnover to present them at their cool best. Only people buying beer from an appropriate range will save cask now.
For the record, the staff were tremendous. They recommended the Squawk keg.
So were Amber Arcades, playing to about 100 in one of the tiniest venues I’ve ever been to.
2018. The best year for music. Ever. The worst year for cask.