According to Looking at Buildings. org, this Grade II listed building is an example of Bristol Byzantine architecture, a style I’ve never heard of before, which is characterised by, amongst other things, “upper floors unified through either horizontal or vertical grouping of window openings“.
As well as being of architectural interest, it gained a place in music history, in its second life as The Granary Club. Between 1968 and 1988 it hosted Motorhead, Iron Maidan, Dire Straits, Status Quo, Def Leppard and many more big names [if you follow the link to the club’s tribute page you can see the full list of bands].
Despite the buildings rock credentials, it was initial opened, according to a certain on-line encyclopaedia, as a Jazz club by Ted Cowell, with the help of bowler hat wearing, clarinettist, Acker Bilk MBE.
I had no idea I was going to uncover any of those facts when I started to look into the history of this building; I love it when that happens.
Almost opposite “The Llandoger Trow” public house, which I mentioned in my previous post, is “The Old Duke“. A certain on-line encyclopaedia informs me that there is a record of a “Duke of Cumberland” public house being on King Street as early as 1775, but now the pubs name pays tribute to a very different Duke; Duke Ellington, the American composer, pianist and band leader.
To quote it’s own website, “The Old Duke is a music venue situated on the cobbled King Street in the heart of Bristol. Named after Duke Ellington, the pub has become world famous for it’s live traditional, New Orleans inspired Jazz music“.
I don’t know anything about jazz, but I find place names, especially the names of public houses, and the history behind them fascinating.
The name “The Old Duke” doesn’t bring anything immediately to mind, neither did the eye catching sign that I stopped to photograph, but I guess that’s because I’m not very musically inclined. “The Duke” however is a nickname common to the late Academy Award winning American actor John Wayne and antiques expert and television presenter David Dickson, so if I were to inherit a pub called “The Old Duke” a subtle name change might be in order.
band names, Bicycle Thieves, Bicycle Thieves 1948 film, Dire Wolfe, Easter Island Head, Ex-Easter Island Head, illustration, Inside Pages, Liverpool, Moai, Music, poster, The Bido Lito Magazine launch, The Cubical, Toxteth Rebel Alliance, Vittorio De Sica
I must confessed, I haven’t heard any of the bands listed above! It was the use of the Easter Island Head or Moai that caught my attention initially, as these monolithic sculptures have fascinated me for a number of years, but there are some great band names on there to. Bicycle Thieves [surely a reference to the 1948 Vittorio De Sica film of the same name?], The Cubical, Dire Wolfe and Toxteth Rebel Alliance to name only four. Perhaps I should look up some of these bands and have a listen…
Established in 1814, the Kippax Brass Band currently have vacancies for a “Eb Bass” and a “Cornet“(if you’re interested, follow the link and click Vacancies). They sounded great in Leeds last Saturday and I hope they will sound great for many years to come. If you want to know where they are going to be playing next, it might be worth consulting their Facebook page for details of up coming performances.