Unless you are a fan of The Specials and their classic eponymous first album the title of this post will mean absolutely nothing at all to you.
I know I’ve waxed lyrical about the boys from Coventry before but I reckon I could find at least one tune from their back catalogue that everyone could ‘dance’ to.
The Specials “The Specials” may be almost 40 years old but the sound of Terry with his angst ridden voice and Neville ‘toasting’ menacingly in the background over biting lyrics and a ska beat is, in my humble opinion, absolutely magnificent.
On their classic album track (This is a classic album with no fillers) Do The Dog there is the line “Do The Dog Not The Donkey,” and in amongst all the social commentary amongst Punks, Teds, Mods, Rockers, Hippies, Skinheads, National Front, IRA and UDA all fighting on New Street Station it all makes perfect sense.
In terms of tenuous links this is probably the most tenuous of all but it has allowed me to wax lyrical about The Specials once more and it sort of fits with my final two pubs of the Nottingham adventure.
BrewDog is self-explanatory whilst Ned (the donkey – get it) Ludd is a slightly looser link but more of that later.
The Specials brand of ska replaced punk really as the next ‘musical movement’ and this was an era of punk music although the term ‘Punk’ appears to have been hijacked by BrewDog brewery and their belting drink Punk IPA.
This, along with their brash attitude appears to have upset a few people along the way but I have to say, I had a cracking time in 91- Brewdog Nottingham NG1 3AL.
It was standing room only early Thursday evening and had a really good mix of ages, if slightly younger, which is surely a positive for city centre pubs.
Décor is always minimalist but I like the beer, the beermats and whilst I’m not sure Jerry Dammers would like how commercial they are, he would probably admire a lot of their ideas.
He would certainly be in favour of their BrewGooder’s Clean Water campaign, which aims to provide one million people with access to clean water by drinking a Clean Water Lager,
I learned this by reading the back of a beermat (literally) and thereby proving the benefits of them!
On this occasion though I plumped for a Dead Pony Club (BrewDog) which hit the spot and I noted that their Punk IPA had the date it had been kegged on public display on their beer board which seems like a very good idea to me so you can see exactly how long it’s been ‘on’ for.
This pub itself has been here for five years and was apparently a disused factory building and fits their industrial style of boozer perfectly.
Our conversation was flowing at this stage and drinking with four friends is (usually) preferable to drinking by yourself so, even taking that into account, I can’t see what there isn’t to like about this pub.
It had a good atmosphere and mix of younger people and I know far more people who have converted from Carling to BrewDog than have switched to Carling from to Cask Ale so it can say it is bringing something different to a new audience who like cold beer.
Whilst waiting for the zigzag skylink bus back to Castle Donington I had 30 minutes to kill and rejected the lure of the Bierkeller which wasn’t the case for everyone else and instead, popped into 92 – The Ned Ludd NG1 6DA for a final nightcap.
Nottingham Brewery now owns this pub and I had another excellent pint of EPA (Nottingham Brewery). However, in a city that holds Des Walker true to its heart I was man marked as closely as if was being shadowed by the former Forest and England centre half almost on arrival.
Basically, it was a good pub but there was a young punter in there that had the hump over something but obviously not enough for the staff to throw him out.
He parked himself next to me and proceeded to tell me how bad the place was and the staff had it in for him….cue staff coming over and asking me if wanted them to ask him to leave…..
I didn’t and moved to a different table but the modern day Des Walker followed me over and (we’ve all been there) was still banging on about he had done nothing wrong and couldn’t see why he was being given a hard time…
Cue the arrival of three far more sober and perfectly pleasant and reasonable bar staff who were clearly reaching the end of their tether, but I still said it wasn’t a problem as he wasn’t a problem to me…he was just hammered.
Thankfully, I could see the bus was looming ever closer so made my excuses and left but I wouldn’t rule this boozer out again as the staff were friendly (even to a drunken version of a Des Walker wannabee man marker), the beer was good and it was clean with a welcoming atmosphere.
I was just the bloke who happened to talk to the drunkest man in the pub with a “I can’t believe they think I’m a nause” complex as he was nausing me!
However, an entertaining end to a funny evening and Nottingham really has some cracking pubs with BrewDog and Ned Ludd definitely on my ‘to visit again’ list.