Straight out of Central to our first stop, The Globe.
A Cains lines our stomachs and with a sense of forebode
We head up the hill, Renshaw, Bold, Wood or Fleet,
Our crawl has begun, we march with energetic steady feet.
Bold Street is first as far as the reconciled pair,
Then it’s a wobble on the cobbles and through to Concert Square.
The old Wood Street warehouses are now sadly gone,
Shiny bars in abundance as we head for the Swan.
I’m stood at the bar and the bar stares at me.
The jukey and barflies ooze familiarity.
Some say a life of bland mediocrity,
But for me there stands a security
As I ponder their lives and find what they mean to me
Is an overwhelming sense of continuity.
The dimly lit red walls and aging windows of stained glass.
The attic bar upstairs and the tables topped with brass.
A pint of Wobbly Bob, our livers fearful and afraid,
The soundtrack always Peaches followed by the Ace Of Spades.
So it’s on passed the Bombed Out and up to Ye Cracke.
Shall we have one in the Pilgrim? Maybe on the way back.
A good spot’s the War Room with its mirrors and soft seats,
But we’re under the mosaic where we’re destined to meet,
A random stray bloke, he’s our best mate in disguise,
A deep well of knowledge betrayed by his glazed, toxic eyes.
He stinks of sweet wine and his hair is in dreads
As we sit and we wait for him to empty his head.
He has something to say but it takes him an age,
We wait with respect and it’s easy to gauge
That this man has a story but his body - his own cage.
There’s a doctor on call down on Pilgrim Street,
Is he really still there? I think not I fear,
But ‘don’t even think of parking here!’
To The Fly In The Loaf and an exotic foreign ale
And a window seat in which only a blind man would fail
To notice the owl looming menacingly overhead
Shooting Anglican daggers to the Metropolitan’s crowned head.
So to the Hardman’s head or to the Hardman’s feet?
To Georgian splendour or to Renshaw Street?
Should we celebrate old Roscoe and the good Doctor Duncan?
Or head up to the Phil and then for one in the Blackburne?
We’re starting to sway and beginning to stagger
So we hale a cab ‘Sir, to Peter Kavanagh’s!’
It’s like having a pint in a museum of sorts,
Walls consumed with a frieze in which history cavorts
All around our heads watching from their distant time
Allowing the years to drift into line
To shorten the gap and lend us their map,
The history in this pub is not entirely mine.
Now shall we jump a cab to the Baltic Fleet,
Or mooch along to Sugnall Street.
To the welcome stranger on the edge of town
Where the rubber rattles on the cobbled road,
The Belvedere’s the place we choose to go.
With the Victorian era etched in its glass,
This two roomed gem is too good to pass.
The jazz has finished and it’s getting late
So it’s gonna have to be the Grapes.
Organic ale and vended nuts,
From the cosy corner as we sit and tut
And proclaim our allegiance to these orange walls
And not its sister where Lennon called
Allegedly along with his three brothers
Where tourists flock, we can’t be bothered.
As we yawn our way back down the hill,
We pass the Parrot and reminisce until
A beer fuelled hunger demands our attention
But hold on, somewhere else deserves a mention.
For down on Hanover and off to the left
Is that dingy cellar, the Planet X.
Sweaty low ceilings and a makeshift stage
Heading for the bog in the ultra violet haze,
Turning my Newkie into mud and showing up my zits,
These days only a façade, demolished to bits.
So it’s down to the Lobby, scallops and gravy for me,
The town crawlers are done as our square is complete.
Taxi for the Hanover, nine two four seven three seven three.