In an evening that will be difficult to parallel, Hereford found its soul mate, and I found my favourite new pub in the city, the newly refurbished Booth Hall.
The Booth Halls latest caretakers, young and inherently eccentric Bristol natives Willow and Arran Vidal-Hall, have taken over the Booth Hall with a vision to establish a venue that promotes music and creativity. This does not of course, discount the many other wonderful venues in the city that I love, but this one stands out as the most unique. It has heart.
Upon entering the building, which is off of the beaten track in the city like many of the new establishments being set up by young, daring entrepreneurs, you immediately are overwhelmed with an energy not experienced before in Hereford.
It was no longer the place you once new. A red, glow that felt like an aura filled the room, emanating warmth and positivity, and the snazzy stage set up drew your attention as soon as you walked down into the main bar and suddenly you realized, “you aren’t in Kansas anymore Dorothy” or shall I say, the “old, stale Hereford anymore” Gotta tell it like it is.
There was a tribal vibe, with family and friends giving Arran and Willow their full support, and adding character and hospitality to the crowd, with smiling faces, emanating excitement for Arran and Willow’s now successful venture.
As the night unravelled, performances by sultry songstress Bekki Cameron, popular covers band Phoenix and entrancing circus acts rocked the socks off and visually stimulated the literal sea of humans flowing in like a high tide. The crowd was interesting, one I had not seen in so many numbers at any venue in Hereford. Us media types were certainly taken a back.
As I regretfully departed for the next leg of my nights journey, I could have stayed for days, which involved a small, intimate open mic Christmas event at Hooty Roots Vintage (again like no other in the city), with participating musicians such as Claire Perkins, Tom Berron and musicians from polish gypsy jazz band Hybrid Vigonr (I may have the name totally wrong…sorry guys); the human tide continued to flow into The Booth Hall making for a most successful affair.
In a brief, conversation with Arran, which at this rate I was fortunate enough to get in, I realized he is a humble, genuine dreamer who, like his sister, is passionate for his craft, one Hereford City Centric understands completely, and well just an all around wonderful human who had no clue what was coming his way. At 8pm the numbers were picking up and Arran was already appreciative…uh oh Arran you had no idea.
Willow’s pixie-like beauty only added to the character of the venue. She was a busy girl behind the bar, zooming around making things happen. No chance in engaging her this time. These two jumped right in the deep end with only three weeks to make this opening night happen; I can only say, with genuine admiration and awe, that they succeeded in their endeavour.
Upcoming events at the Booth Hall include Porkbelly Promotions featuring Troy Redfern on the 22nd of January and also the Hereford Blues Club commencing February 13 which will be a really cool event to look forward too.
We also hope to see them promoting more of our unique, talented acts on offer around the city from various music genres that don’t often have a platform. I have often felt that only certain acts have prominence over-shadowing entire genres of unique musicians hidden away in little garages or having to perform outside of Herefordshire. A complete waste. We love all our musicians, but want more…hint to The Booth Hall from Hereford City Centric.