I arrived in Manchester just as City were winning their 8th domestic trophy out of 9. My disinterest in the Caribou Cup is such I can’t even spell it. The only cup that matters to City fans is any cup Liverpool fail to win.

“City going down with a billion in the bank”

My bed for the night was in a flat, shared with studentz, overlooking the Velodrome and the Etihad, which was celebrating the latest trophy with a magical light show.

View from the towpath

£21.68 is a bargain, even by my frugal standards. Just don’t look in the communal sink.

Feeling oddly knackered, I took the tram to Piccadilly, something I’d never do on matchday, and had an early tea at a place you hipsters will recognise.

Craft or (bundo) bust

Why was I in Manchester tonight? No haircut, no shot-shy City, no pub crawl round Salford.

No, tonight it was Big Thief, and a first ever visit to the Albert Hall, which I’d never noticed tucked between the bright lights of BrewDog and Albert’s Schloss on Peter St.

Like those Indyman baths

That’s why Manchester is the world’s great city. You’ll always find something new, often at less than £3.50 a pint, which is what CAMRA seems to define as fair these days.

I had 20 minutes before the support to pay a return visit to Brink and admire their own tribute to the city that draws folk in from as far away as Chicago and Stockport.

To be honest, Brink is a bit small for my liking, and I prefer my drinking at ground level. But the staff are friendly, the company civilised and the beer excellent. Who wants that though?

Back at the Albert Hall the options weren’t as good as the hype.

Two standard Brewdog pumps, £6 a pint. Stick to the pubs.

The Albert is a gorgeous venue though, similar to Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre.

Big Thief are the sort of delicate weird Americana you associate me with, so support Ithica were a bit of a culture clash.

Matt would have liked it, I thought. I was wrong.

14 thoughts on “A NIGHT AT THE ETIHAD

  1. Weird delicate Americana suits me fine, listened to a bit of Big Thief and sounded good. However, if that’s Itheca, I’ll take Kangaroo Air Force Ventilator every time.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Tut tut, we’ll stick you in a room and force you to listen to the complete Wendy O’Williams/Plasmatics back catalogue on endless loop. Possibly with a little Walls of Jericho mixed in for some light relief.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There used to be a rhyme, as to the assertion that generally, women cannot whistle, and men cannot sing.

    It’s out there somewhere I guess.


  3. Thanks for the nice bit of canal porn…shame about the background, lol!

    We haven’t braved that stretch of the canal for many years…last time the local hooligans/mafia had drained a lot of it in punishment for a couple of blokes in a boat who wouldn’t pay them to let them moor overnight! (Not us, we met them the morning after…it even made the Daily Mail!) I’m sure it is much more pleasant now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy memories of visiting Manchester circa 1986; guess I’d hardly recognize the place by now, with so much having changed since then.

    Did Simon go to The Brink? I seem to remember those bees painted on the walls. I’m with you: an underground place means no windows, and it’s hard for me to have affection for such a location. But enough good beer in you and maybe such factors don’t matter so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When City won it in 76 with that Dennis Tueart overhead kick, immortalised on the pages of newspapers we used for our arts and crafts at school, it seemed a BIG think to an 11 year old.


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