Where are the heroes of yesteryear? — 6 Comments

  1. I know what you mean. All the pubs are like that now. Whatever night of the week you go, there is never more than a handful of people in the pub unless said pub happens to be in the middle of the Town or City. Even on match days (and we had a Grand Slam to play for last weekend FFS), the pubs are never packed out anymore. Most of the pubs near me now also have wall-to-wall screens and piped music blaring out so that any conversation can only happen by literally screaming in each other ears. Not my idea of fun.

    From what I have seen, the only time pubs even get close to full these days is on a warm sunny day (and we don’t get many of those) when everyone can sit outside. Strangely, on those days you see swarms of smokers on the tables in the beer gardens. Where do they go when it is wet and cold ? NOT to the pubs. That much is evident.

    I stopped going to pubs a long time ago. Even though my local is vape-friendly, there is always some prodnose tut-tutting and complaining about the vape in complete ignorance that they probably breathed in more carcinogens in walking to the pub in the first place. Then those same prodnoses are the first to complain that the pubs are always dead.

    Like you, I blame the smoking ban. Pubs that were once full to bursting on weekends (and often during the week) are now just massive shells inhabited by a handful of people balefully sitting in silence staring into their beer. Hardly what I would call somewhere to socialise. Fuck knows how many of these pubs even survive anymore. They need to put the price of the beer up to make up for the lack of custom, and those prices only exacerbate the problem by driving more punters away.

    Sadly, the pub has had its day. The only pubs you will see in the future will be closer to being restaurants.

    • In the days gone by, pubs were a great place to meet friends or even strangers. In particular a well known sight in rural pubs was the single elderly person [usually a bachelor farmer] whose only social contact was in the pub. They have nowhere to go now, and I believe the suicide rate amongst them grew considerably after the ban came in. Where does the single person go now to socialise? The coffee shop? [Fine during the daytime] The pub selling food that they probably can’t afford and aren’t welcome if they’re a smoker? They are the forgotten victims.

  2. Ya know even when I drank I rarely went out on Paddy’s day. Probably for the same reasons you mention. I never liked the overwhelming crowds of drunks. The fake green beards The “kiss me. I’m Irish badges “ and the general idea of drinking your self in to a stupor in celebration of Ireland.

    • The drunks I can nearly take, but the leprechauns, the floppy green hats and the fake “oirishness” just plain annoy me. Anyway, Paddy’s Day is more of an American thing these days.

      By the way, is there any way you could arrange for all our politicians who are over there to be incarcerated? Preferable for life?

  3. I play music on St. Patrick’s day every year but I usually try to time it so that I stop by about 7pm. Before the crowds become stupid. This year though I had no such option so I was gigging until about 1am on sunday morning.

    You mentioned the fella with the amplification turned up full. I absolutely hate this. I played in a restaurant on st. Patrick’s day and as it was a restaurant I assumed people would appreciate a reasonably low volume from the speakers. Because tipically in restaurant, people like to talk while eating. Music is just in the background. But because it was St. Patrick’s day, the manager wanted a lot more volume than was both necessary and comfortable. His hope was that it would make people hang around for longer and drink more. I felt very sorry for the customers.

    I’m very glad it’s over. From saturday to last night I played 8 gigs and 20 hours of music. If only people were as proud of our culture for the other 364 days of the year.

    • I am one of the old school from times when music in a pub was generally spontaneous, when a few of the locals brought in a fiddle or a guitar. Those sessions naturally were without the “benefit” of amplification. If people wanted to listen, they would listen, and if they didn’t they would carry on chatting. What drives me mad now is the bloke who sits up there with the amplifier blaring and usually some kind of electronically created beat in the background. Painful. I imagine it drives away more custom than it attracts.

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