Tuesday, 29 March 2011

MANOWAR-A week end away/ some beer talk

Ahhhhh. 4 days off work, good friends and a ticket to see ManOwaR....Its all a guy needs. (well also beer but we'll come to that later.) Me and a few friends made an epic (I'm going to be using the word "epic" alot...but if you know ManOwaR, you know why) journey up to Birmingham last weekend to see THE heavy metal ManOwaR play their first gig on English soil for the first time since I was 4 years old. (that's 16 years for everyone who doesn't know me) The 02 Academy in Birmingham was a funny choice for the venue of this epic (see...told you) event because it only has a capacity of about 3,000 people which was silly 'cause they could of easily of filled out somewhere with a much greater capacity, but then I suppose Birmingham is the true home of heavy metal. (Metal pioneers Black Sabbath hail from Birmingham and also Judas Priest do aswell.....and so does Jasper Carrot, but we'll forget about him

To keep this beer and pub related I wont go into FULL detail of my weekend, but I will share some of what we got up to. We arrived at our hotel on Saturday (which was conveniently just across the road from the 02) at 1:30pm, and after unpacking our crap and having a bit of a sit down and a drink, we made the natural decision to go to one of the two pubs we were intending to visit on our little trip. First up was Scruffy Murphy's, an Irish themed metal pub (dream team). After spending a good hour lost and confused trying to find the pub, we finally stumbled upon its location and after such an epic (and again) quest for a beer, we hastily went inside to find the bar. Disappointingly it didn't have any ale at all, but what the pub lacked in beer choice, it more then made up with the atmosphere of the place. There was a great feeling inside that pub that made it comfortable and relaxing, which in a metal pub, is a rare and unusual thing. There was good metal music playing through the speaker system, but it wasn't loud and offensive to people who just wanted a drink and a chat, and it also didn't feel intimidating like some metal pubs can, so all in all a bloody good pub and one I would come to alot if I lived here. (Also, on Sunday, the pub had a ManOwaR day, so naturally we spent most of the day there before the gig...The pub got bloody packed)

Next on our list of watering holes was The Actress And Bishop. We heard news that this place had a couple of bands playing that night, (one being a ManOwaR cover band creatively named DanOwaR) so we grabbed a taxi and made our way. Once we arrived I was pleased to see on a sign outside that they sold cask beer, great, but once inside things started to change very rapidly. First problem was that this didn't seem like the kind of place that would have metal bands playing, it was more of a trendy bar...but the group of metal heads by the bar and a poster on the wall confirmed that this was the right place. The second problem was that my hopes of a good beer were dashed when we got to the bar and found that the only ale on was Marston's Pedigree, well...one ale is better then no ale, or so I thought. Warm as hell and with a smell more eggy then Easter, it was bloody horrible, but hey ho I moved on to keg beer and bottles and enjoyed the rest of what was a bloody good night.

The next day, as I said earlier, we spent mostly in Scruffy's, but not before spending over an hour walking around lost in the Bull Ring shopping centre. As the time to make our way to the gig arrived, we walked from the pub to the 02 and joined the queue...the bloody big queue, thank god we're English and queueing is in our DNA. Not before long though, we were inside and were ready to rock, but annoyingly I lost the rest of the guys in a queueing cock-up. (well...it was that, or they saw their opportunity and ditched me :D) On my own, I fought my way close to the front to somewhere I could get a pretty good view. Waiting for the show to start, the atmosphere around the arena was immense, 3,000+ people all chanting and waiting for what was to be one of the greatest nights of their lives to begin, and when it did...it didn't disappoint. Over 2 hours of a pure, epic and glorious metal onslaught was being played and I loved every damn minute of it...well apart from being crushed by sweaty, 6ft people from all directions, but apart from that it was great.

Straight after the gig, we had to drive back because some of the guys had work the next morning, but the late night drive was worth it. Next morning I felt fine apart from my neck hurt from excess headbanging, but it wasn't until I tried watching TV later on that I noticed my hearing was messed up as well....the cost of metal I suppose.

Well that's my story of the weekend. My next blog post will be about my latest home brew experiment, but you'll have to wait to find out what it is :D

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