The King Billy is Northampton’s premium rock bar. In fact it’s our only rock bar. If you like Black Sabbath and Whitesnake while pretty much everyone else is listening to Adele and Ed Sheeran then you may end up here one day. I used to go once a month as a younger guy but the same people who went there when they were 18 in 1975 are still going there now at 65 and so not exactly a pick up joint. To say is an older demographic is an under statement, lots of sad long grey hair, pot bellies and bald spots to go with. It’s a biker bar to and one or two like to try and look the part and act tough with their leather waistcoats and chapter rockers but probably lawyers and engineers if the truth be told. But some of them have long since swapped there Harley for a mobility scooter.
It’s great for live rock bands and if you are big on the East Midlands metal scene you will gig here at some point. It’s not a big venue though and very tight when you try to enjoy the bands. You do not want to nudge and spill those biker’s pints! In fact the pub is not really designed for live music but has just ended up a biker bar over the years, the sweet smell of petunia oil and vapors flavoring the dry ice as big Dave tears into another riff. Half the bar area can’t see the stage although sometimes that’s not a bad thing as the bands are not young either but if you love the screech of a guitar and thud of bas and crash of drums and into the music you probably don’t care.
There is a pool table in the corner with a fag burns looking like satellite map of Vietnam bomb craters and you can’t get your cue in easy. There is a predicable juke box with metal galore and condoms are £3.00! There are TVs for Sky but it’s not that type of pub. They aint going to turn down the music to watch Spurs. Oh and the toilets are as rough as the clientele. As I say it’s very loud when the bands are on and lots of bumping and squeezing through to the bar and so not exactly a date pub. Again be careful who you nudge. To get to the bogs you have to pass the frantic moshpit of 16 year-olds with smurf rucksacks and mauve hair jumping around like lunatics to their songs.
If you don’t like rock music much but enjoy live music there are fewer earthy places to enjoy it. They do a rock covers night at other cleaner pubs in the town now and then so you may have a choice now and then. But rock music has always been under appreciated even though its one of the biggest selling genres in the country and, indeed, the world and not representative in the countries night life. The moody middle-class college youth have their melancholy indie and assemble in the Roadmender venue on mass and the working-class their tinny dance and R&B pop which is in every other pub. For me there is very little.
They do lots of real ales but the pub is town central so not cheap. Some of those beers will blow your head off – if the bikers don’t fighting over tattooed Big Berthas don’t. A pint of lager is around £3.00 and £3.60 a bottle. Service is as quick as you make it and the girls behind the bar not there for their looks but their music taste and the money. It’s a rock pub experience the same as it’s ever been in any other town but everyone just got older, including me. Your ears will be ringing like the till.
Nottingham-a geat destination if you are thinking of having a real ale weekend away.
Accomodation can be found cheaply,with the btravelodge on maid marian way handy for pubs and shops alike.
The first pub is an institution,The Olde Trip to jerusalem.This can be found below the castle itself.Walk in and you will be amazed at what you find as it is mainly set into the caves.Ever changing guest ales,usually four,as well as Greene King offerings.
Next we move on to The Bell Inn in the main square.A narrow corridor takes you up int the main bar area at the rear,with three rooms off the main corridor.Again,a wide selection of ales available.TIP,Dont go to the gents if you've had a few!
Other pubs worthy of mention are The Approach,which is just off the main square.This is a lively bar at night,with live music and comedians.Real ales served,with a discount for CAMRA card holders.
Langtrys next to the royal Concert Hall is also excellent.
Down towards the canal,there is the Canal House,serving real ale.Well worth a visit.Nearby is Fellows,morton and Clayton,great food,and beer not too expensive.Also nearby is a Lloyds cafe bar.One of the better ones forfood and beers.
A walk up the main Mansfield rd,past the Victoria Centre,brings you to The Lincolnshire poacher,a batemans house.the largest selection of real ales i know in Nottingham centre.
THe Gatehouse, also just off the main square is a classy pub.
Dooyoo like a few pints and some tasty pub-grub in a traditional atmosphere? Do you like discovering an interesting new pub in your area or a little further afield? If you do, then the Good Pub Guide is available online at: www.goodguides.com/pubs/search.asp You need to register to search their database, but it's as easy as entering your name, a password, your e-mail address and postcode. No need to tell them how much you earn, how much of that you spend on beer a week, or if you're a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. The database currently contains 6,144 pubs..... You can get this long list if you just click "Find Pubs", without selecting any of the check-boxes. It might be wiser to narrow your search to a county from the drop-down list, or enter a particular town. You can also search for pubs with stars or ones that have won awards for: Good food: Good place to stay; Good range of wine; Beer; and Value for your pound. The search results are fast, although if you select all pubs in any one county, this does take a little longer to generate the page. Award symbols, where relevant, also turn up in the list. The default returns are in alpahbetical order according to town, although you can select any column heading to re-order the results. Click on the pub name to get more details. You can also click on a town name or award symbol to just get those results. Some pub details are better than others. By that I mean the descriptions are more descriptive; although in one long paragraph. There are also driving directions to some of the out of the way village pubs -- I hope the driver's not drinking though. Not all pubs have anything entered under features (opening hours, telephone numbers, what makes it stand out); maybe they're still working on some of the database entries. The site design is very clean and easy to use. There
's also a Pub of The Week listing and a link to Amazon, if you want to buy the book -- The US link works but not the UK one. For those who want it, the ISBN is: 0091814766. This is a Very Useful resource if you like discovering new pubs around Britain but I think it would be nice if they included pictures of the pubs, and maybe a few webcams. It would be a great way to get more regulars into the site, but it might load slower than a German pouring you a Pilsner. Now off to the curry house.