Day 6 cntd (April 4th 2009)
No. 8 (Dollis Hill) ½ Strongbow, 2 x bt Corona, ½ Kronenbourg 1664 £8.40
According to our research No. 8 is 0.2 miles from the station, but in reality from the station entrance you have to walk round a couple of extra corners to get to the right road, and it seemed like an awful lot further. Having said that, I think all four of us were just grateful that we didn’t have to try and fight our way round anything like the Neasden Lane Roundabout again.
Apparently this place had a big refurb a couple of years ago – one review on abeerintheevening.com said that it has made the place look “out of this world”. Which is true, but not necessarily in the sense that the reviewer meant. It is one of those giant corner pubs that has been “modernized” by basically removing all the furniture and painting everything in very dark colours. Still, it cannot be denied that this is Dollis Hill’s premier pub/club/pool room/internet cafe/backpacker hostel.
Black ceilings, dark blue walls and black seating was the order of the day, with four pool tables towards the back of the room. The pub itself is so big and the furniture so sparse, that you could hear the echoes of our inane conversations around the room. It also had the seemingly ubiquitous (today at least) canvas prints around the room of old film stars and the like, along with a much more entertaining and functional poster of a hugely endowed lady advertising “Jugs for just £8.50!” Subtle.
There was no real ale on of course, so we took our typically bog standard pub drinks and supped up whilst taking in the general lack of atmosphere. We couldn’t even be arsed to visit the beer garden out the back or the club room at the side. Perhaps it gets crazy and lively later on, but our first impression was one of absolute mediocrity – I’m sure all the backpackers love it though. Those that are unlucky enough to come to the wonderful Metropolis that is London, and somehow end up in Dollis Hill. Right then, I think we need to finish off another pub conversation to pass the time before we move on.
INTERLUDE – Essential Pub Conversations Number 9 – The Greatest Songs with a form of Booze in the Title
Well, this one was pretty much bound to happen wasn’t it? As previously mentioned, we had the senior West brother with us, who is delighted by all forms of trivia and list making – especially when it is related to films, music or sport. Couple that with the fact that our whole tour is based around visiting drinking establishments, and it was inevitable that we would need to sit down, sup a couple of cold ones and put our considerable collective brain power towards producing what will clearly be a definitive ensemble of musical treats with a specific mention of alcohol in the title.
As always, we needed to make rules to narrow the field down a touch. We decided that songs that are simply about booze, or being drunk were disqualified – the title of the song has to specifically mention either a type or brand of alcohol. Secondly, it needs to be a piece of “popular” music, and so traditional (ie Rugby Club) drinking songs are also out. Plus, both Keith and I had to be familiar with the song for it to be considered – obviously not a problem considering our near omniscience on music across the generations…..
Where did we end up then? Well, most of our lists so far have not had a specific order on them, and that remains the case for this one. As you can imagine, with Gareth (“I’m always right”), Keith (“I’m never wrong”) and myself (“Everyone has opinions, but mine is the correct one”) involved in the discussion, it’s a miracle we even got to a top ten, let alone agreeing on a number one
May I humbly present to you, our nominations for the Ten Greatest Songs with a Form of Booze in the Title:
Whiskey in the Jar – Thin Lizzy
Tequila – The Champs
Cigarettes and Alcohol – Oasis
Little Old Wine Drinker Me – Dean Martin
Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps – Splodgenessabounds
Streams of Whiskey – The Pogues
Milk and Alcohol – Dr Feelgood
Tequila Sunrise – The Eagles
Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve
Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield (after much debate whether it is a song or an album, or both)
Honourable Mentions: Champagne Supernova – Oasis, Alcohol – The Barenaked Ladies, Eye of the Tiger – Survivor, Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers – ZZ Top, Blue Hawaii – Elvis Presley, I am a Cider Drinker – The Wurzels, Sherry Baby – The Four Seasons, Blue Moon – by anyone from Dean Martin and Bobby Vinton to The Supremes and Showaddywaddy! Oh, and not forgetting that haunting and beautiful love song by Busta Rhymes – Pass the Courvoisier.
Disqualified despite being big drinking songs: Tubthumping – Chumbawumba, Born Slippy – Underworld (“Shouting Lager, Lager, Lager!”), Ole Red Eyes is Back – The Beautiful South, Have a Drink on Me – AC/DC, Too Drunk to F*** – The Dead Kennedys
Songs that don’t fulfil the criteria, but really should be drinking songs: I Can’t Stand up for Falling Down – Elvis Costello, Strange Brew – Cream
Disqualified because one or more of the Judges just hates the song: Black Velvet – Alannah Myles, Red Red Wine – UB40 (even the Neil Diamond original), Simply the Best – Tina Turner (Best Bitter – Geddit?)
Almost Perfect – Songs that are so nearly there: All the Young(s) Dudes – Mott the Hoople, Summer Breeze(r) – The Isley Brothers, Whole Lot of Rosie (Rose?) – AC/DC
Go on, post a comment and tell us why you think we are wrong…..