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    Friday, 2 November 2007

    The Session #9 - Beer And Music

    I have to be honest. When I saw the details for this month's session: , I thought, oooh. I don't really think of the two as going together at all. I like music, but it doesn't play that important a part in my life. I really only listen to it nowadays in the car, and then often it's not my choice of music as I am forced to listen to nursery rhymes!

    But then, of course, I realised that music is pretty omnipresent. There's usually some form of music playing at the pub. It's rare that a pub doesn't have either a juke box, or a radio or infernal piped muzak. Often you hardly notice it, but sometimes you actually hum along, or, God help us, sing under your breath. The music doesn't tend to bother me, except at beer festivals where it can be annoyingly loud.

    Looking back over the various stages of my beer drinking life, there are many examples of where music has been integral to the atmosphere and has actually been a pleasure.

    As a teenager, beer equalled pints and pints down the village pub with my mates. The jukebox was always playing; usually very loud, and often one or other of us was drunkenly swaying to the music. Looking back it's pretty embarssing but it was great fun at the time. As I grew up and started to appreciate beer more, I took my first trip to Brugge. Here I realised that background music is king over loud jukebox pap. The classical music in De Garre was, and remains, an absolute treat and seems to make drinking those Belgian brews even more palateable. Of course classical music is rare, if not unheard of, in English pubs, and pub staffs' ideas of what makes good music to drink to, can vary dramatically, and can be way off the mark.

    Probably the most apt and most beautiful music I've ever enjoyed a couple of pints to was in Charters Bar, Peterborough on September 6th 1997. This was the date of Princess Diana's funeral, and it seemed appropriate after watching the sad events to go for a beer. The pub was playing The Division Bell by Pink Floyd. This is a great band, and that is a great album, and somehow the sound of the bell just seemed wholly appropriate on that day. I don't know whether it was intentional or not, but it was an excellent choice of album. Give me a beer and Pink Floyd together and I'm well happy.


    Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

    The connection between beer and music seems natural to me. The same urge that used to push me to play bass, now pushs me to brew and to paint

    Pink Floyd funnily enougth is my choice of music when I paint. when brewing things are alittle more eclectic.

    Stonch said...

    I've never had a problem with loud music at beer festivals - in fact, quite the reverse. So often there's no music at all and consequently no atmosphere.