MEMORIAL CONCERT FOR A GREAT BLUES SINGER
Pub blues singers are ten-a-penny but one singer was always a cut above the others in Huddersfield pubs - Graham Philpott, who died earlier this year. A tribute concert by his band Ckreed takes place at The King's Head on June 27, from 8.30pm, where a plaque will also be unveiled. He was a most unlikely looking Graham Philpott, with his long hair and painted nails. He should have been called Zak or something similar. He had great presence, a great voice and great delivery. RIP Graham.
Great 2009 Ckreed gig at the Kings Head, captured by Camera Colin 1 (YouTube)
HUDDERSFIELD CAMRA PUB OF THE YEAR - THE SPORTSMAN
Congratulations to The Sportsman, pub of the year for 2013. It also won in 2012 and shared the title with The Rat in 2011. The Sportsman, pictured, is a wonderful characterful multi-room pub with eight real ales.
The town is very lucky to have five top-notch real ale pubs which carve their own niche - Sporters, Rat, Grove, Star and King's Head (mild pub of the year)- so it's a shame Huddersfield Camra doesn't give someone else a turn. The Grove seems to be getting more and more popular, is leading the way with craft ale selections and has been nationally recognised. It's well overdue a pub of the year award.
Elsewhere, the marvellous Fighting Cock is Bradford Camra's pub of the year - a grim journey from town to find this gem. Great selection of local ales from a long bar.
Sheffield Camra's pick is Shakespeares, not too far from the other excellent pubs in the Kelham Island area. It only reopened in 2011 after being shut for 17 months. It was rescued by William Wagstaff, of The New Beehive, in Bradford
MAGIC ROCK AND SUMMER WINE BEERS - 'BEST IN WORLD'
Congratulations to Magic Rock and Summer Wine breweries whose beers have been included in a list of the best 350 beers in the world.
They are featured in Craft Beer World, a handsome, informative and interesting book by award winning blogger Mark Dredge.
Huddersfield's Magic Rock actually has two entries - Magic 8 Ball, a black IPA, and High Wire, a West Coast pale ale, while Holmfirth's Summer Wine has Cohort, a double black Belgian Rye pale ale.
The 350 beers are divided into 53 categories, from the familiar mild and bitter to categories such as Belgian Quadrupel and Flemish Bruin. About a third of the beers in the list are from the US, with 40 from Britain including familiar names from The Grove, in Hudds, such as Thornbridge, Fullers, Brewdog, Moor and Buxton.
Dredge defines craft beer as 'a knowing, thoughtful way of brewing which is concerned with flavour, variety, ingredients and story', so it's not just about microbreweries and keg beers - cask, bottles, cans and beers by the biggest breweries are featured. It's a good definition as keg has moved far beyond Watneys Red Barrel and some cask and bottle conditioned beers do disappoint.
For me, it's hard to keep up with Yorkshire beers, never mind all the interesting looking bottles from abroad in the book. Dredge has a fascinating insight into beers from Iceland, Brazil, New Zealand, Belgium, Germany and many other countries, but I sometimes wonder that in a desire to move beyond and set themselves apart from Camra, beer lovers like Dredge are too eager to embrace American pale and hoppy beers.
Dredge says Magic Rock went from 'nought to brilliant in no time' and indeed they've made an incredible impact. I feel dreadfully disloyal because Magic Rock is literally at the end of my road but I find their US-style beers almost undrinkably bitter.
Huddersfield Camra Rural Pub of the Year
Congratulations to Will O'Nats, Blackmoorfoot, near Meltham. A cosy pub, with a real fire. Its huge window show off the rolling hills and stone walls around the pub. Five ales, not particularly adventurous (inc Black Sheep, Landlord, Greene King), hearty food, and bluesy/rock bands at the weekend. Rural pub is a new category for the Camra branch this year - good idea as country pubs always have to be a little more foody and a little more conservative in beer choice. Other nominations were: Commercial, Slaithwaite (great local beer selection); Rose & Crown (Nook), Holmfirth (fab jukey, good Nook beers); Rose & Crown, Cop Hill, Slaithwaite; White Horse, Emley (part of the mighty Ossett empire); White Horse, Jackson Bridge
Pork Pie Appreciation Society's annual pie competition, results:
1 Mellor’s, Newark
2 Hinchliffe’s Farm Shop, Netherton, Huddersfield
3 Bolster Moor Farm Shop, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield
4 Robinson’s Farm Shop, Northowram, Halifax
1 Broster’s Farm Shop, Lindley, Hudds
2 Robinson’s Farm Shop, Northowram, Halifax
3 Paul’s Family Butchers, Moor Bottom, Honley, Huddersfield
Beer v Records
Why are people seemingly happy to pay, say, £12 on a round of beers but not £12 on a record? Two Edinburgh independents, Song by Toad Records and Barney’s Beer, are collaborating on a unique project to explore this question. Today, Record Store Day, eight songs on 250 red vinyl records in beautiful sleeves and eight songs as download codes on 250 bottles of Barney’s Beer will be released. Who will sell out their batch of 250 first? For me downloads have always seemed impersonal and I'd rather pay more for a sleeve and notes but I suspect beer will win here. (and it did!)
And talking of Record Store Day....
Castleford's Revolutions Brewing Co. is celebrating the event with a 6.9pc IPA called Sid 'n' Nancy. It is the first in a new series of beers for Revolutions celebrating (in)famous musical couples. 'The Lovers' series of beers will all be single-hopped 6.9% IPAs and will be released 3-4 times each year.
And talking of Record Store Day again....
Beatnik will be opening in Greenwood St, Altrincham, on April 20 (Record Store Day). The shop will be selling good quality second hand vinyl and CDs across a broad range of genres, with a 'carefully curated' selection of new stuff, as well as books, art, coffee, cake and other eatables. Performing a live acoustic set on opening day will be MJ Hibbert and on May 3 a talk by former Word/NME/Mojo scribe Paul Du Noyer. Good luck Beatnik!
Pubs of the year
Some cracking pubs have been included in a slightly confusing Camra list of the UK’s Top 150 Local Real Ale Pubs (there are actually 166 pubs on the list). Camra has compiled various branches' winners of the year to celebrate Community Pubs Month. It's confusing because different branches choose their pubs at different times of the year, so Huddersfield, Halifax and Sheffield pubs, for example, are not featured.
Winners on the list include:
Heavy Woollen District branch - New Inn, Roberttown
High Peak & North East Cheshire - Stalybridge Buffet Bar, Stalybridge (the best railway pub)
Keighley & Craven - The Boltmakers Arms, Keighley (cracking little pub, real fire)
Leeds - Old Cock, Otley (pictured - a relatively new pub in a lovely old cottage building,a great selection of local ales)
Liverpool & Districts - Freshfield Hotel, Formby
North Manchester - Park Hotel, Monton
Rochdale Oldham & Bury - The Baum, Rochdale
Southport & West Lancs - Hop Vine, Burscough (more a food pub than anything but superb nosh and good ales brewed in the pub)
Stockport & South Manchester - Nursery, Stockport
Wakefield - The Junction, Castleford
Wigan - The Berkeley
York - Ferry Boat Inn, Thorganby
Pubs were chosen on their customer service, value for money, decor, customer mix, atmosphere and quality of beer. The majority will now move forward to CAMRA’s Regional Pub of the Year competition (announced in September) with the winner of that award standing a chance of winning CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year (announced in February 2014).
Perhaps the biggest is the omission of the King's Arms in Salford a super pub with a great selection of beers.
Quite a few changes in nearby Manchester - out go 57 Thomas St, Bull's Head (S Manc pub of the year), Common, Crown and Kettle, Grey Horse and Rising Sun. In come the Jolly Angler, Piccadilly, the fabulous Port Street Beer House and the Wheatsheaf.
All change in Halifax too - in come Dirty Dicks, New Prospect and the Sportsman, out go Barum Top, Shears, Westgate and William IV.
Otley's changed too, reflecting the opening of some great independent pubs - Fleece and the Horse and Farrier - and a Wetherspoon's, the Bowling Green, a faint echo of the great Otley pub it replaced.
In Huddersfield the no-nonsense Vulcan and the lovely Slubbers are in, the Cheery Tree and Marsh Liberal Club leave.
In Bradford, newbies are the Ginger Goose and the ace Sparrow Bier Cafe.
In Leeds new entries include Kirkstall's West End House and Meanwood's East of Arcadia, while Mirfield's Pear Tree is a newie. Full list of ins and outs to follow.
HYLDA BAKER: I speak without fear of contraception - you’re sat sitting there supping while we should be going to Blackpool hallucinations.
BARNSTONEWORTH: Yorkshire Premier League 1922: Haggerty F, Haggerty R,Tompkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, MacIntyre, Treadmore,Davitt.
BEST BREWERIES: Where were the northern beers in the list of Great British Beer Festival winners in 2006? Were the judges all from Chiddingfold-on-Sea and used to watery, headless brews? Here's THE 10 best breweries.
BOWLING GREEN, OTLEY: Stuffed snarling badgers, gas masks and a skeleton were among the 3,500 items inside. The landlord, Trevor, was a rather forbidding character. It looked like you had to pull a thorn from his paw to get on with him.
NELL BRYDEN: She called me sweety when I bought her CD off her. I don't think anyone's called me sweety before - mind you I was dressed as a Mars Bar at the time.
TED CHIPPINGTON: Walking down the road the other day, this bloke came up to me and said: 'Can you tell me how far is to the railway station?’ I said: (gruff voice): ‘One mile.’ He said: (gruff voice) ‘One mile?’ I said: (gruff voice) ‘One mile - roughly speaking.’
CUD: Was Carl's voice up for it? Would new guitarist Felix fill the considerable boots (Hey Boots!) of the assistant headteacher from Tadcaster? Would the band gel like the greasiest Ted? Yes, yes and yes! Carl bellowed like a moose, holding a note like Pavarotti. Felix is the indie Jimi Hendrix and the band were tighter than a gnat's chuff.
DOCK PUDDING: People flocked to Cragg Vale to taste Doris Hirst’s championship winning pudding
ROBERT ELMS: Ludicrous clotheshorse
THE FALL: A member of the opening act assaulted Smith with a half-eaten banana and the band played on while MES chased the banana-assassin into the parking lot, where a scuffle ensued.
GOOD BEER GUIDE HIGHLIGHTSForget all the other pub guides - unless you want to take your granny for Sunday lunch in an unbearably twee Cotswold village where they rethatched the roofs in 1973.Includes pubs in west Yorkshire, west Lancashire, Manchester, Sheffield and York.
There used to be/Detonations on the telly/It was Grav discussing rugby
There used to be/From the radio great warmth surging/Grav conversing.
VAL GUEST: He hated Arthur Askey, but he made his directing debut with him in Miss London Ltd, about an escort agency. It probably wasn't that kind of agency,although, you never know - "A handjob Arthur?" "Well stone me!"
HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT: I went to see the Bootleg Beatles as the bootleg Mark Chapman
HUDDERSFIELD: Pubs, trains, beer, buildings (see index)
LEEDS: Britain's most overrated city is just Wakefield with delusions of grandeur and good PR.
JEFFREY LEWIS: He says he's not even a glass half-empty person, he's glass half-full - half-full of nothing. There's also some delightful rhymes - on one song about a dead pig he sings: "He's called Jonathan or Jason/It depends which way he's facin'"
LORD OF THE RINGS: It's all completely huourless and is desperately in need of Brian Blessed SHOUTING LIKE HE DID IN FLASH GORDON. "HAWKMEN,DIIIIIIVE!" (When he was in his patrol car in Z Cars did he shout: "POLICEMAN, DRIIIIIVE!"?)
MARBLE GINGER It’s ‘gingier’ than Liverpool supersub David Fairclough in a carrot-top love-in with Tori Amos
STERLING MORRISON: Interviewer:Is New Wave rock 'n' roll or is it folk?Morrison: I'm afraid it's folk singing and this pains me.
CHIC MURRAY: It was raining cats and dogs. I stepped into a poodle.
NORTHERN FILM LOCATIONS:Hell is a City - Grim Up North Noir with Stanley Baker as a copper so hard-boiled he's been left in the pan for a week.Everyone smokes. Trains stop at GMEX.Levenshulme, East Didsbury, Huddersfield, Medlock, Burnage, Withington andOldham are the other locations.A Kind of Loving - Alan Bates throws up on Thora Hird's carpet. Thora, in Dame Edna glasses, calls him a pig. Steep park where he gets Thora's daughter pregnant is in north Manchester, also Preston, Stockport, Salford.
ERIC OLTHWAITE: It were always raining in Denley Moor, except on days when it were fine; and there weren't many of those - not if you include drizzle as rain. And even if it weren't drizzling, it were overcast and there were a lot of moisture in the air. You'd come home as though it had been raining, even though there had been no evidence of precipitation in the rain gauge outside the town hall.
PIES: There’s been a run on Hofmann’s “growlers” since he won the World Cup of pies
REAL ALE TWATS:'I'm remindful of The Lamb and Tuppence in Pontypridd, a splendid little pub which serves Bishop's Gleet'
JOHN SHUTTLEWORTH: Go caravanning in Dyfed or Clwyd/Order a pizza and get it delivered/ How to be happy in a sad, sad world
SOUTH PENNINE DAY RANGER EXCURSION Emley Moor mast follows you round like Mona Lisa's eyes
EDDIE WARING A choirboy Kaiser Chief sang at his funeral
To someone who’s ugly:Who knitted thi face an dropped a stitch?
To someone with a terrible memory:It’s a good job thi balls are in a bag