Trillians, Trillians, Trillians. Talk about missing a trick. Are you or are you not the North East’s number one rock bar and a one-stop haunt for classic crusties, nu-metallers, hair metal heroes and pierced punks alike?
I always thought so. At least until I hot-footed in from Monday night’s Extreme show at Newcastle’s City Hall to chew the fat with Self Made Man – hot footing it (albeit slower than me) from his own Airbourne gig at the Academy.
It seemed like the most natural place to meet. They play rock, it would be full of rockers and it’s nearer to the City Hall than the Academy. I have also been in there long after midnight on a week night.
But not Monday night. As I walked through the door with Plus One, a Dirty Rock and Roller and Dave the one-time Merch Man we were met by a series of stony faced punters coming the other way.
Because I’d gone and parted with 20 quid for a Hot Leg T-shirt after the Extreme encore we hadn’t hit our favourite watering hole quite as quickly as the athletic young men pushing past us on the stairs. But they wished they hadn’t bothered. And so did we.
You see these lads hadn’t raced from the City Hall, necked a couple of bottles of Brown Ale and moved on. Nope. They’d got to Trillians at the same time as time had been called – and that time was sometime before 11.
Now call me daft (and people often do) but I’d just assumed that with two huge gigs in the city on the same night the old late licence would have kicked in. And I imagined a mass of merry punters from both sides of the Toon would have converged on the city’s rock Mecca to debate the relative merits of their respective gigs.
Surely that should have been the case? I couldn’t wait. I would have spent the change left over from lining Justin’s pockets on a few beers. Self Made Man would have done the same. Even Plus One was ready to dip into his shallow cords and pull out that fiver he’d been putting towards Guitar Hero World Tour.
So Trillians would have earned a few quid they might normally have missed on a windy Monday night. It might not have been a fortune. It might not have even covered the DJ’s wages for the weekend. But at the very least Trillians would have been catering for the rock crowd on a landmark night in Newcastle – and that, after all, is why the place has always been there.
But there were some very pissed off punters on Monday night. And a lot of them ended up at the Head Of Steam where a good night was had by all – students, indie kids, chavs, rockers et al. They sell pork scratchings, they sell real ale and getting to the bar is rarely a hassle.
So where to go after Thunder next Wednesday? Gamble on the short trek to Trillians only to discover the doors are shut. Or take a longer hike to the Head Of Steam where guaranteed beer awaits. Right now it pains me to say that I’m erring towards the latter.