It was an early finish to the working week and a midday train to Cardiff - I'd opted for the quiet coach but it seems that the nearby table of Kiwi gobshitesses didn't think that this meant them and their incessant tirade of nonsense. It turned out that they were going to Wales for the rugby - enough said.
Steve met me at the station and took me to our first point of call, The Vulcan. This pub stands alone by a car park and is destined to become one in the not too distant future. It's a lovely traditional boozer, no frills, and both the Bitter and the SA were on good form - Brains isn't one of my favourite brews but these were very enjoyable.
There is a petition to try and save the pub from the redevelopment frenzy that seems to be engulfing Cardiff but it struck me that the elderly landlord had the look of someone who was looking forward to his retirement and wasn't too keen on being saved.
From there we wandered to the Owain Glyndwr - it's real ale annexe was shut for the afternoon but they still had some handpumps in the main bar - all Welsh brews, Felinfoel and Cambrian were the ones we tried and they were decent enough without being outstanding.
Our final calling point was Zerodegrees - a relatively new addition to the Cardiff scene which is quite similar to it's older sibling in Blackheath - lots of chrome and very bright lighting. The beer was their usual fare - the Pale Ale and the Wheat beer were fine if not a bit on the freezing side.
Cath joined us and asked for a black lager - on ordering it I noticed the barmaid was pouring the stout instead. I said I'd ordered the black lager and she said that this was the black beer they had on that week. It didn't strike her that they'd be totally different brews - this lack of knowledge about their products is a bit disheartening - perhaps no one else moans.
We were joined by Steve's brother Martin plus Neil and his family and after a few more beers, we made along to the students union to see Primal Scream as part of the NME Rock'n'Roll Riot tour.
The reviews of previous gigs on this tour had been very encouraging and they were spot on - a cracking sound, maybe a bit louder than normal (which suited me fine), and the crowd loved it.
(right) Martin tickles the ivories
Afterwards we went to what could well have been Club Sponking (a haunt of Naked Video's Siadwell for those with long memories) for the aftershow party. Not much in the way of beer so it was G&T for me which is never a good idea. After a while Martin joined us and then a little later some of the other band members (Innes, Darrin and wee Barry) also appeared.
I thought they were looked a bit lonely on their own - no doubt really enjoying some quality alone time - so I decided to go along and have a chat. I think it was rather rambling and incoherent - not made any easier by a band playing in a corner.
Thankfully they were spared any further earache as we left and headed back to Steve's where the sofa awaited me...