Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Zwanze Day! And Nevilluxury too!!

Originally Martin and I should have been heading to Darlo for our home game against Guisborough but the match had been moved forward to a Friday evening as Heritage Park was booked for a function on the Saturday.

Needless to say both Martin and I were mightily annoyed by this - the club had known about this issue since the start of the season but had kept the fixture in the programme even though they knew there was no chance it would go ahead on that date.

I switched train tickets for Martin so he could travel on the Friday - incurring further expense that I wasn't prepared to consider - only for the game to be called off due to a frozen pitch. Not a happy bunny.

As it was Liz and I wandered down to Ken's Cafe on Green Street as the early match was West Ham -v- Chelsea.  The place was the busiest I've ever see it, full of Hammers queueing for breakfast. This  included a bus load of French Hammers, some of who we'd seen peeing in a side street.  Zut alors you filthy French people!

After my not-so-petit-déjeuner, we wandered past the Boleyn Ground and bumped into one of our old chum, Stuart Clarke, he of Homes of Football fame.  He was there with his TV producer mate, Dan Gordon.

Stuart was looking to take some shots of fans as they arrived for the game - we suggested he popped into Ken's. Once he was done they were racing off to Kenilworth Road to do the same before Luton's FA cup game.

Duly fortified by my fry-up, I left Liz to watch the game, caught the tube into town and took a stool at the bar in the Euston Tap.  London Miller Chris joined me before we headed up to the newly opened Craft Beer Co bar in Islington where we meet our beery chums, Jackie and Simon.

The Craft Beer Co. is the latest part of the chain and unlike the other outlets, this feels much more like an actual pub.

We don't stay too long though - we head over to the nearby Earl Of Essex which is hosting Zwanze Day. This sees the opening of a barrel of Cantillon rhubarb gueuze in just 32 bars worldwide and this will be the only barrel in the UK.

Not surprisingly there is high demand among the lambic lovers of London and so they're selling the beer in thirds and to do so you have to buy a ticket in advance.

We're there at 4pm to get our tickets as the barrel won't be opened until 8pm. Thankfully the Earl of Essex has an excellent range of beers so we stay put.

I have somewhere else to go for a few hours though as Nevilluxury - guitarist in Punilux - is supporting Alien Sex Fiend's at their 30th anniversary gig at the Boston Dome in nearby Tufnell Park.

I pop into the venue early and catch ASF sound checking,  I meet their guitarist, Simon, who just happens to be a colleague of John Wilson. It really is a small world.

Nev finally arrives with friend Polly - they've come on the train carrying a guitar and an amp - very rock and roll. Cue Nev's sound check.

As the doors open and the ASF fans trickle in, Nev starts his 30 minute set - mainly his solo stuff which nonpluses the audience somewhat until they're on his wavelength.

Set over, we retire to the kitchen for post-gig pizzas and a quick chat before they have to rush off for the last train to East Anglia.

I return to the Earl of Essex where Chris has kindly kept my third of the Zwanze safe and sound - it is really good and you can certainly taste the rhubarb.  Sadly it doesn't last long.

We have a few more beers - some of my favourites have come on since I left including a couple of Kernel beers.  In fact, the Kernel maestro, Evin, is here too to taste the Zwanze but it is far too crowded to chat.

Chris and I leave before 10pm - he has had more than enough even by his standards - I'd like more but the place is simply rammed.  Time to head home for a curry and the FA Cup highlights...