My mum is called Doris

Where am I ?

Oh, I’m back in Manchester last Wednesday, which is more-up-to-date than BRAPA who’s still on Rugby World Cup Final Day.

When I say last Wednesday, I mean nine days ago, of course. If I meant this week I’d say this Wednesday. Hope that makes sense.

Band on the Wall

Kathryn Joseph at Band on the Wall, which Stafford Paul will remember as McKenna Brothers’ George & Dragon from the 1860s.

Swan Street

No new GBG pubs left in the centre, so time to admire the bustle of the Northern Quarter once I’d got back from Mobberley.

More cat art needed in Stevenson Square

Five points for identifying the England star.

Oldham Street

It’s impossible to not get decent real ale in central Manchester, except before 8am.

WhatPub promises Hyde’s in the public bar at Band on the Wall. It’s even better than that.


Stuff your Cheshire Cat (not literally)

Manchester venue, Potteries beer, Glaswegian noise from Rick Redbeard.

“Turn your phone off !” he says, hypocritically

Plum Porter in a thick plastic glass, but still a solid NBSS 3.5. Mmmm.

But what do I know. Only this week someone on CAMRA Discourse said “it’s not actually that good“, the first step to having a CAMRA approved list of officially recognised bad beer.

Telling people that Doom Bar, Bass and now Plum Porter aren’t “good beer” is a great look, isn’t it ?

In the interval I contemplated the Rose & Monkey,


but succumbed to a repeat visit to the Smithfield, a bit quieter than on matchday.

Space to swing a cat ball

The cask range was spot-on.


So of course I went for the keg house Blackjack Pale, cos I can now I’ve ticked the cask. It was, and I’m sorry to get all beery on you, a superbly made beer. And their staff are lovely.

As is Kathryn Joseph, who the even lovelier Chris Dyson alerted me to last year.

Band on the Wall had found Kathryn a Steinway, something even London couldn’t manage. The crowd said not a word for an hour of beautiful but harrowing music, one of my Top 5 gigs (and I’ve seen Cliff Richard).

Only one thing can end a night of craft and songs about infant death and soiling, and that’s crispy beef and noodles from Heaton Moor’s Boho.

Crispy noodles don’t work

But it’s the waving cat you want to see, isn’t it ?

10 thoughts on “BAND ON THE WALL

  1. Ashamed to say,I have a waving cat in my kitchen -they are supposed to bring good fortune into the house & our premium bonds do pretty well so long may he reside with us !


  2. “Band on the Wall, which Stafford Paul will remember as McKenna Brothers’ George & Dragon from the 1860”.
    No, I don’t.
    Wilsons had a George and Dragon on Bridge Street but I thought it was the Burton Arms and Smithfield Vaults just near there on Swan Street.


      1. No, not really as it was eleven not thirteen pubs and Mild, a proper session beer, in seven of them helps the memory.


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