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Tag: music

Brussels Breweries Tattoo Tour

For quite some while, I had been pondering getting a tattoo celebrating my love for some of the Brussels breweries. After mailing back and forth with the tattoo artist—Laïs at Koko Tattoo Shop—and a project discussion in person, I finally had it done mid June. After three hours on the table, I had a beautiful tattoo on my left triceps, featuring seven of my favourite breweries in Brussels: Cantillon, Brasserie de la Senne, La Source, L’Ermitage, La Mule, Surréaliste, and—being a pure brewpub, the odd one out—Mazette.

To celebrate my new tattoo, I decided to try to visit and have a beer in all of those breweries in one epic taproom crawl! I puzzled an itinerary together, created a Facebook event to invite some drinking buddies along, and I even had a T-shirt printed for the occasion… A healthy breakfast pizza to line the stomach, a cold brew tonic to fully wake up, and I was ready to start…

Cantillon (planned 15.30, but arrived at 15.20)

I arrived at the first stop, Cantillon, a little ahead of schedule, and ordered a bottle of Menu Pineau (2020) to get started. I asked for two glasses with it, since only one person confirmed her presence from the start. Imagine my surprise when somebody else already turned up first, and just before I actually planned on moving on, two more people I didn’t expect to join that early. So by the end of the second bottle, there were already five of us!

L’Ermitage (planned 16.15, arrived 16.45)

At the second stop, l’Ermitage, a sixth drinker was already waiting for us. To make up for the slow start, we stuck to only one beer at this taproom.

Mazette (planned 17.15, arrived 18.00)

Brasserie de la Senne (planned 18.45, arrived 19.00)

Almost made up for the delay, and just in time, since the Zenne Bar actually closes at 20.00. After saying goodbye to one participant in the previous bar, we welcomed a new on here, so the number stayed at six drinkers.

La Source Beer Co (planned 19.45, arrived 20.00)

At the fifth stop we could start to relax a little, since none of the remaining taprooms close early. So plenty of time for more than one or two beers… We were also joined by a seventh person.

Brasserie de la Mule (planned 21.15, arrived 21.55)

There was a band playing at La Mule, because they were celebrating their birthday. Live music here usually means beer from plastic cups only, but this evening at least then made an exception for one liter Maß glasses…

Brasserie Surréaliste (planned 22.45, arrived 23.15)

The very last stop, number seven! Five brave souls actually made it from the very first until the very last brewery, and they have the stamp cards to prove it!

It was great fun, and actually quite doable, so… maybe I’ll make this an annual thing?


Razernij – Beerdrinkers & Hellraisers

After a crazy Friday like that, the weekend had only just started, and on Saturday I went to the beer and punk/rock/metal music festival Razernij in Rumst. It luckily didn’t coincide with BXLBeerFest—which it often had in the past—and it was a lot dryer than last year!

FyneFest Trip – Day 4 till 6

Finally FyneFest!

After a lot of anticipation, on Friday morning, FyneFest finally started for real!

Friday

After a pancake with bacon and maple syrup from Hector & Harriet for breakfast, and securing some T-shirts from the merch tent, it was time to get properly started. The ‘doors’ of the main tent opened at 11.00, and I managed to order the very first beer of the first official festival day there! The line of keg pumps and beer engines was impressive, as were the beers listed behind the bar, but as it would be a long weekend, and the servings relatively large for a beer festival—1/3 pint (19cl) or 1/2 pint (28cl)—I decided to take it slow, alternating and combining beer tastings with concerts and food… Speaking about the music: one of the first acts was a proper ceilidh band!

Saturday

The second festival day had plenty of variation as well. Pellicle’s Matt Curtis was hosting a couple of interesting talks with brewers, and in between I walked up to the Walkers Bar, five kilometre upstream, where they served some gravity poured cask beers.

In the evening the highlight without a doubt was the Massaoke show, which got the whole crowd singing their lungs out.

Sunday

The last day of the festival started with an awesome bacon roll with egg from Prime Street Food. The beer boards were a bit more sparse, since it was basically leftover day. Still enough beers I hadn’t tried yet to keep me occupied for a while though!

I also booked a Fyne Ales brewery tour this day, so I could see where our host’s beers come from.

After having gone through most of the festival beers, I spent some time in the brewery courtyard to enjoy some of their Origins beers.

After six, the Brewers Lounge tent was the only place still open, but there still was beer—just to drink and enjoy, done with rating—live music, loads of happy and nice people, and a gorgeous sunset!

FyneFest Trip – Day 3

Motherwell & Pre-Festival

The last day in Glasgow was spent mostly out of the city. First up was a visit to BrewDog’s Hop Hub, their Scottish, refrigerated distribution centre, which of course also has a bar. It’s a bit in the middle of nowhere though, not particularly public transport user friendly… But I hadn’t visited it yet—it was still closed during my Flying Scotsman Trip—and they had a 2-4-1 pizza offer on, so I had to go!

Once back in Glasgow, after a way too tight connection, another Citylink bus brought us to the Fyne Ales brewery, where FyneFest was about to start for the early birds. A nice cold can as a welcome was very much appreciated! The brewery taproom was only open until six, but luckily the Brewers Lounge was serving some beers after that, already with some live music to kick off the fun.

Cell reception isn’t great, but expect a full report of the next three festival days on Monday! Off for some more beers now…

Razernij

Beerdrinkers & Hellraisers

Craft beer and live music make for a great combination!

I thoroughly enjoyed being at Razernij again, a beer and music festival I had only been able to visit once before. Usually it coincides with BXLBeerFest, but since that sadly was eventually cancelled this year, it freed up some of my time to spend an afternoon in Rumst.

I brought my own version of a ploughman’s platter, to soften the blow of the alcohol a bit. It helped… a bit!

But first: London

We only had a couple of hours on our first day in London, but we managed to squeeze in a fish meal at Hook Camden, a visit to BrewDog Camden — with some familiar Glaswegian faces — and a last drink at a pub near our hotel, The Queen’s Head, with live piano music.

The Musical City

Glasgow is a very musical city. I don’t just mean the National Centre of Piping, but also the many artists originating from the city, and the bands that have been discovered here.
But even though I’ve been here a couple of times now, I hadn’t been to King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut yet. So this time I had my girlfriend h–na pick the most promising band of the week — Young Kato — and reserved some tickets for them.
I didn’t quite realise they would be preceded by a supporting act. I should have known, since Oasis was discovered right here, when performing as a supporting act.
But there wasn’t not just one, but three bands preceding the main act!
I don’t know if any of them will ever will become famous — the potential was there — but if they do, I can at least say I was there while they were still playing as a supporting act…

The Kelvingrove Bandstand

oh-glasgow:

The Kelvingrove Bandstand November 2012 & August 2015.

I took the above two pictures, nearly three years apart. I like how it’s turned out. Plus, seeing and hearing Teenage Fanclub play ‘Did I Say’ here was a joy to behold.

Piping Competition

fotoflingscotland:

Darach Urquhart, Piper by Richard Findlay@FotoFlingScotland @_Highland Games
Via Flickr:

Lochearnhead Highland Games 2015

Solo Piping Results

Piob:

1 Darach Urquhart (Big Spree)
2 Peter McCalister
3 Graham Mulholland
4 John Mulhearn
Judges: A Wright, M McRae

March:
1 Gordon McCready
2 John Mulhearn
3 Finlay Johnston
4 Ben Mulhearn
Judges: A Forbes, A Frater

S&R
1 Gordon McCready
2 Finlay Johnston
3 John Mulhearn
4 Graham Mulholland
Judges: J Banks, G Lumsden

Lochearnhead Highland Games – History

The Highland Games have been a classic part of Scottish culture for centuries. Many stories have been told purporting to explain the origins of highland games:

A method of finding the best warriors to fight for the clan chieftain
A way of passing the time for agricultural workers – using available items such as hammers, tree trunks and bales of straw as a means of testing the strength.
Whatever the origins, highland games take place regularly in many highland villages and towns every year. Set in the splendid natural amphitheatre of the surrounding hills, Lochearnhead Games are still run along traditional lines as a “village games”
Ewen The games were first run many years ago with the three villages – Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre – taking turns to host the games. For a few years the games lapsed before being re-started by Mr Ewen Cameron, then the proprietor of the original Lochearnhead Hotel. He was himself a notable heavyweight athlete taking over 100 first prizes over a season when he was competing. Ewen stood almost 6 feet 5 inches in height but did not look anything like this as he was 22 stones in weight, with a 53 inch chest, 16 inch biceps and 36 inch thighs, remotely related to the great A.A.Cameron he was , like his predecessor , a very good wrestler and for a long time was unbeaten, on one occasion he even beat the British Cumberland style champion, which is no mean feat, for it took a lot then, as now to “coup”the lads from the north of England. On one occasion Ewen packed up his caber and went off on his own to Denmark to appear before 30,000 spectators proving , as always, a wonderful ambassador for Scotland.

When the games once again became a regular annual event they were always held at Lochearnhead games field, mainly for reasons of space and convenience.

The three villages are now in the midst of the new Trossachs National Park, and have wonderful historical links to many of the famous Scottish clans. To this day, there is a strong presence of the clans MacLaren, MacGregor. Macnab, Stewart and Cameron, all whom have been represented as Chieftain.

Wickerman

castlefest:

This year, the Wickerman will not be a mythical representation, but a image that symbolizes love. Love for nature, love for each other and love for yourself. Love. Caring for each other. Together, through love, try to make the world a better place.

Although strictly speaking not Scottish or Celtic, kilts seem to be quite popular at Castlefest anyway, both with performers and public. Needless to say what I will wear then…

Scottish Weekend Alden Biesen

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This Saturday my girlfriend and I visited the Scottish Weekend at the Alden Biesen castle in Bilzen (Belgian Limburg). Although there are more Scottish festivals and games in Belgium, this is one of my favourites. This is mainly because there are some interesting competitions being held, like the Highland Dancing Championship and the Belgian Championship for Pipe Bands.

One of the pipe bands competing (in fourth grade) was the MacLaren Pipe Band Venlo, so that was an excellent opportunity to meet up with a clan member that couldn’t make it to the Clans’ Days.

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Apart from the competition, there were lots of other music performances, like a concert from the Jarlath Henderson & Ross Ainslie Band pictured here. I would have loved to see Bags of Rock, but their gig was just too late to be able to get home afterwards, and since I had to work the next day… Next year I might just take a tent and stay the whole weekend, to be able to see everything!

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Na Fir Bolg – part 2

Just spent a great weekend at the music festival Na Fir Bolg. As expected I wasn’t the only one in a kilt, although some of the garments that would probably identified by their wearers as a kilt, would not really qualify as such by a strict definition…

There were quite a few bagpipes on stage as well: Corvus Corax, Berlinski Beat, The Black Tartan Clan and Kadril all used them.

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Oh, the drink / bottle holder turned out to be quite useful, although most of the time it was easier than I expected to find a spot at a table.

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