Beer Cocktails and Reggae Pie at Hereford’s Latest Pub for the Craft Beer Connoisseur

The May Day Bank Holiday in the Hereford city centre was taken over by the annual Hereford River Carnival, which attracts tourists from afar with it’s unique and colourful celebrations.

The liveliness and atmosphere of the Carnival carry on into the evening at the various nearby pub restaurants and music venues who offer up an interesting variety of live music and dance music, some until the wee hours of the morning. It seems to have become a tradition, or perhaps more of an opportunity for the pubs to entertain the carnival goers who are wanting to carry on with their merry celebrations and benefit from the trade.

Firefly Hereford, Craft Beer, Local Herefordshire Cider and Ale, Bohemaian and Urban Uk Pub Vibe, Beer Cocktails
The Firely is located at 16 King St
Hereford, Herefordshire  Tel: 01432 358252

 

“Marcin Zachara has recently inherited the position of manager and is working on expanding the cocktail menu by curating his own unique beer cocktails that consist of spirits he infuses on the premises with either fruit, almonds, coffee, vanilla pods and other interesting additives”

I was one of those carnival goers looking to carry on where I left off, which in my case was co-hosting an acoustic live music stage at De Koffie Pot for the carnival. Don’t ask me where I found the energy, but I had compiled a list of various planned stops at all the venues hosting music and decided to begin in the Firefly on King Street. Well, I never left, I stayed until 3 a.m. deploying all my favourite reggae and dancehall dance moves, or perhaps they were ones I had invented in the moment – I really couldn’t leave and I really couldn’t stop dancing.

The Firefly Hereford just celebrated one year of trading and is the second location outside of the original location in Worcester, which is known for its quality craft ales and live music. The Hereford location received a warm welcome from the moment its doors opened and has developed a loyal clientele who enjoy the aesthetic of the pub created by owners, Mathew Pugh and Ray Velasquez, and the continuously fresh selection of incoming craft beers and ciders that make each experience one of inquisitive beer sampling leading to a pint of something to ponder over with your newly acquired craft beer knowledge.

STEERING THE SHIP

Firefly Hereford, Craft Beer, Local Herefordshire Cider and Ale, Bohemaian and Urban Uk Pub Vibe, Beer Cocktails
Photograph: Marcin Zachara

Behind every great pub is an experienced manager and friendly, willing bar staff to support the ideology of the venture. Marcin Zachara has recently inherited the position of manager and is working on expanding the cocktail menu by curating his own unique beer cocktails that consist of spirits he infuses on the premises with either fruit, almonds, coffee, vanilla pods and other interesting additives.

Marcin was fortunate to be given an opportunity to train with some of the countries best bartenders during his time at the Malmaison in Newcastle and is a true mixologist with an expansive imagination and flair for creating complementing alcoholic fusions. Myself along with two very discerning foodie friends were introduced to his beer cocktail fusions one lovely evening last week and I think we all still fondly savour them in our thoughts.

BEER COCKTAILS

Beer Cocktails at the Firefly hereford
Snail’s Cup Cider Cocktail Photograph: Catherine Jennings

We began with a ‘Snail’s Cup’ Cider Cocktail. Marcin combined gin he infused with lemon peel and cinnamon, the very tasty Herefordshire Snail’s Bank Pineapple & Pink Grapefruit Cider, (regularly available on tap), and topped it off with an extra crisp Prosecco. This cider cocktail was reminiscent of the summers one spends sipping on Pimms & Lemonade, but this cocktail has a bit more zest and edge to it. It receives a definite push as a summer favourite. This cocktail was priced at £5.

Beer Cocktails at the Firefly hereford
Kentucky Wonderland Photograph: Catherine Jennings

Then we bravely went on to try the ‘Kentucky Wonderland’ Porter/Stout Cocktail. This already looked like a proper gentlemen’s drink served in an old-fashioned bar glass with an orange peel. For this rather snazzy concoction, Marcin infused Woodford Reserve Bourbon with orange peels, coffee beans and vanilla pods. What a beautiful marriage of flavours! He then adds Thornbridge Brewery’s popular Cocoa Wonderland Porter  and tops it off with a splash of Coke.

The Cocoa Wonderland Porter has fast become a favourite of many and has a creamy chocolate taste with a hint of coffee bitterness. This cocktail was stunning and was not as rich as I expected it to be – it was balanced by the Bourbon and Coke. The selection of Beer Cocktails on the menu will change regularly, which in a way gives them an aire of exclusivity. I recommend you pop in soon to try one.

REGGAE PIE

So of course, on this River Carnival evening, I joined in on the Reggae Pie DJ Night and was mesmerised by the selection of reggae albums being played and the dancehall and ska that had me busting out my one of a kind dance moves (laugh with me readers). Reggae Pie is a collective of DJ’s who come together with their unique personal vinyl collections of previously mentioned musical styles and put on a pretty fierce night.

Early on in the afternoon, there were sets from Dr. Nico Demus Puffalot and Ally Baba in the beer garden, followed by live music from singing electronic keyboardist Regor followed by a beatboxing session from General Jams with whom audience members Mark Turner and Leo Bell joined in for some brilliant impromtu rapping. Once the music was moved inside due to cooling conditions, Owen Culture took over on the decks followed by BDS of Last Tree Squad. Finally there was the Idris Sound System trio with AshberB who came over from Aberyswyth.

The music carried until 3 a.m. and the Firefly soon was filled with like-minded punters joining in on the dancing, many who I recognised and realised were in a similar jolly state. Hereford has found its heart again and it is beating strong thanks to talented promoters like Reggae Pie and new establishments like the Firefly who bring their own kind of investment into our local culture, in this case, a pub with an urban and bohemian vibe that caters to people from the ages of 18 to 80. I don’t know if that is because Hereford is so isolated but young and old mix beautifully which is a sign of an intelligent, friendly and forward-thinking community. Who knew!

Happy drinking and dancing!

Visit the Firefly Facebook and Twitter Pages to find out more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘This is England’ 2017 Night Relived at The Venue Hereford

‘THIS IS ENGLAND’ NIGHT AT THE VENUE, JANUARY 6TH 2017

“Terminal Rage played a blistering set in the middle of this to an energetic response of dancing and pogoing and the bands in your face punk showed another side of the sounds that shaped This Is England”

Though they do still exist, definable subcultures aren’t really as big as they used to be and certainly not as big as they were in the 1980s and 90s. Punks, skinheads, rudeboys and rudegirls, goths and ravers all at one point ruled the country and all had their looks set out just right, as well, as the music that they listened to and all feature highly when you think of the different tribes of those eras. It is that era that Shane Meadows classic film and its subsequent follow up TV series This Is England is set, and this special night at The Venue paid tribute to it and the music that defined it with classic songs from those days along with a set by local punk heroes Terminal Rage.

the venue hereford 2017

Arriving at The Venue to two big screens and a smaller one in the middle of the stage above a DJ setup and the Terminal Rage equipment set the stage as the screens played montages of news, adverts and TV shows from throughout the times when This Is England was set and this nonstop barrage of retro memories really set the scene (who remembers Kellogs Start cereal, Teddy Ruxpin and Trio biscuits?!).

“Hopefully there will be something similar happening again, paying tribute to another classic film and the music that shaped it, with its sequel due out shortly, one for Trainspotting would be excellent!”

These visuals played a big part with the footage that also played from both This is England and the three television series that followed it showing the changing fashions that Shaun, Woody, Lol and the rest of the gang sported from skinheads to up for it ravers inspired by the Madchester scene and the music being blasted out by DJ  MoonOnAStick reflected that.

Throughout the night the crowd skanked along to the likes of Madness and The Specials and some other choice reggae and ska hits, grooved to both the original version and Soft Cell’s remake of Tainted Love, danced to Joy Division and swaggered to the legendary She Bangs The Drum by the Stone Roses before the night ended with a selection of classic acid house anthems. Terminal Rage played a blistering set in the middle of this to an energetic response of dancing and pogoing and the bands in your face punk showed another side of the sounds that shaped This Is England.

Terminal Rage, This is England 2017, The Venue Hereford
Left – Terminal Rage Bassist/Vocals Terminal Rage, Raphael La Roche Right – Guitar/Vocals Rich Lovell

Opening with a scathing selection of dialogue from the film that took firm aim at that parasite Nigel Farage, Terminal Rage wasted no time in blasting out the defiant punk anthems with a mixture of their own material like the far right attitudes bashing Casual Racist and some choice punk classics with songs by the Pistols, The Clash, Anti Nowhere League and the Stooges going down a storm and showing how important punk was to that time and still is today to an energetic audience.

As the night went on, the vibes kept coming and all in all, this was an excellent and vibrant night that paid tribute to a glorious time in this nations culture and the only disappointment were that the drinks were not priced as they were in the 80s! Hopefully there will be something similar happening again, paying tribute to another classic film and the music that shaped it, with its sequel due out shortly, one for Trainspotting would be excellent!

Article by Freelance Writer Gavin Brown

Photography by Dominique Brinkley

Culture Shock and the Subhumans Play The Hereford Underground Punk Revolution

The Underground Revolution kicked off December, the last month of 2016 with one of our most successful shows to date featuring anarcho punk/ska legends Culture Shock and support from AtterkopAlvin and the Angry Barrels, and the amazing Last Tree Squad who were spinning the killer Rastafarian tunes mon. We expected a barrage of devotees who not only follow Culture Shock but also Citizen Fish and the Subhumans.

Culture Shock, The Booth Hall Hereford, Photo Nickie Bates Distorted Image
The kids lead the dance crowd at Culture Shock – Distorted Image Photography by Nickie Bates

Continue reading “Culture Shock and the Subhumans Play The Hereford Underground Punk Revolution”

The Underground Revolution bring you Culture Shock, Atterkop and Alvin and The Angry Barrels with Special Guest Dub DJ’s Last Tree Squad TONIGHT!!!!

Thursday 1 December @The Booth Hall Hereford HR1 2LW.  $8 Entry and £5 with N.U.S card.  Join us for a night of Ska and Punk Beast legends. 

 

The Underground Revolution present Culture Shock Dec 1 2016 at the booth hall hereford

Rise up Together With The ‘Pungrunk’ Songs of Freeborn Rising…It’s A Mind Revolution

Matt Broom and Thorin make up Freeborn Rising, a band that has practically come crashing into Hereford from everywhere..so they say, and have even landed a gig as promoters for The Underground Revolution helping to put their own personal stamp on the music scene. Although these guys don a “devil-may-care” attitude, their souls run as deep as the tectonic plates. 

freebornblu-rsz
Photo and Editing by Michelle Cuadra

Continue reading “Rise up Together With The ‘Pungrunk’ Songs of Freeborn Rising…It’s A Mind Revolution”

The Power of the People – The Hereford Music Community Strikes Again

Saturday October 15th, 2016 brought a community of Herefordshire musicians, music lovers and promoter’s (The Underground Revolution) to Hereford’s latest popular music venue The Booth HallThey hosted a free We Shall Overcome anti-austerity gig requesting food or cash donations for Hereford’s local food bank. Similar communities also hosted events all over the country during the first week of October proving that the UK is a nation of charitable hearts.

Many of us have been touched by the cruel hand of austerity, and during desperate times have accessed local food banks in order to put food on the table for our families. It isn’t a joke when you have to decide whether to pay your rent or buy food, especially when both are not an option.

“The support for the cause was amazing, I think Hereford has a big heart”

We Shall Overcome 2016 Hereford
Clockwise: Starting Top Left – Terminal Rage, Moshing Crowd, Alvin & The Angry Barrels, Nick Davis

This sentiment must have hit home for many as food donations piled in, merchandise was sold and a £100 in cash was collected for the food bank. People of all ages took matters into their own hands showing support for the less fortunate.

Hosted by The Underground Revolution, the idea came to U.R. Co-Founder Rich Lovell after his band Terminal Rage was asked to perform at another We Shall Overcome event taking place at The Rigger in Newcastle-Upon-Lyme alongside notable bands including Headsticks and Sons of Clogger – all performing free.

underground-2

You don’t have to be loaded to support your local charity. A pound means a lot when they add up. I asked Rich if he expected the turnout and support on the night, he replied “It far outweighed my expectation, both in the number of people who attended and the amount of food that was donated. The support for the cause was amazing, I think Hereford has a big heart”

Artists performing on the evening were: Nick Davies bringing in the crowd with his acoustic songs, setting the tone for a soon-to-be ferocious musical evening, Alvin and the Angry Barrels getting the mosh pit going and the ladies dancing to punk and ska, and lastly, Terminal Rage, whose local following is increasing leaps and bounds with every chord of Pretty Vacant. Warning, there have been a few bruises and bumps in the process…ah well that’s PUNK for you.

You can’t quite picture a room of headbangers, crusty’s and punks of all ages mingling with your average Joe too often, but it certainly was the case at Hereford’s 2016 We Shall Overcome fundraiser…living proof that diversity creates stronger communities. Power to the People!

We Shall Overcome Hereford 2016

Photography by Nickie Bates

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Free SKA, PUNK and ACOUSTIC Live Music Fundraiser Oct 15th@The Booth Hall – Taking #FoodBank Donations At The Door

T h e  U n d e r g r o u n d  R e v o l u t i o n Presents 

W E  S H A L L  O V E R C O M E 2016

Saturday, October 15th @ The Booth Hall, 3 East Street, Hereford HR1 2LW

Donations appreciated for the Food Bank. Free Entry from 8pm 

Courtesy of Alvin and the Angry Barrels Facebook
Photograph: Alvin and the Angry Barrels Facebook
Terminal Rage – Punk
Alvin and the Angry Barrell’s – Ska
Nick Davis – Acoustic Rock

 

“We Shall Overcome was launched as a reaction to the 2015 election and the prospect of another five years of austerity policies. A group of musicians decided to put together a coordinated series of events in defiance of the Tory victory, but more specifically, the ever-deepening cuts to come. We considered, and still do, Austerity to be an ideological attack on our communities and we oppose it outright” – We Shall Overcome Read Here

 

We Shall Overcome Hereford 2016

Standing at the door of our last fundraiser for The Big Issue Foundation and Musicians Against Homelessness evening event, I was confronted by an unpalatable character ranting stereotypes about homeless people at myself and Matt who was helping work the door. He was far from kind and light years away from sensitive.

“I disagree with homeless charities, they enable these drug addicts”, my jaw dropped. Education is crucial in this matter, but at times overshadowed by the power of ignorance. What people need to understand is that none of us are resistant in these precarious times to ending up a part of the homeless “caste”.

Despite information based on evidence – a blind eye is turned and stigmas remain in their stubborn place. To quote free-thinker and feminist Emma Goldman, “Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think.” By these words I stand. Continue reading “Free SKA, PUNK and ACOUSTIC Live Music Fundraiser Oct 15th@The Booth Hall – Taking #FoodBank Donations At The Door”