Hidden Gem? Big tunes at Duffy’s Bar

I have a (relatively) new local in the city centre. My go-to pub, when I just want a drink, a nice sit down and a warm welcome is Duffy’s Bar on Pocklington’s Walk. It was an excellent spot to visit to watch the LCFC games last season where you could get a table and the mood was jocular. They’ve got a pretty decent wine selection and fun locals. Prices are good too. It’s an all round solid boozer – they just do ‘being a pub’ properly.

But it’s aactually more than just that, I have been a few times in recent months and caught a whole variety of gigs and events. And so I thought it was time to spread the word about this hidden gem, smack bang in the centre of Leicester.

We had a banging afternoon on International Worker’s Day, heading back to the bar for a range of fantastic performances, all free, after we had finished our May Day (peaceful) march through the city centre. It was actually the second time we’d caught the Brassick Bears, whose catchy ska-punk, brass led tunes will stick in your head for the rest of the week, as well as enjoying the opportunity to catch up with the seriously underrated Homeless Shakespeare, who as I recall we first came across at the Western Park Secret Beer Club in 2016. He is a joy to watch, but I won’t ruin it for you with descriptions – you’ve just got to be there. Hopefully one day he’ll get his own TV channel and then I can just tune in to him whenever I want.

The stage is small but perfectly formed, they have plenty of seating as well as room for dancing – the back room is surprisingly spacious when it comes to gigs. We have enjoyed a range of genres there, from Metal to the Masses heats to delicate acoustic flowers (like Jackie Duffy). So put it on your ‘to do’ list. Here’s a couple of my recommendations from the forthcoming programme.

July 8th

Free/Pay as you Feel
Produkty/Try Subversion/Mess Yourself/Mark Cooper

Art rock, punk rock, grunge rock, punk poet. Now what’s not to like there? That sounds like how a narrator would describe me and my mates at the pub.

Now I’ll be honest, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of these before, but I can guarantee you that punk is a solid choice at Duffy’s. So I am putting my faith in their choice of line up and you should too. After all, it’s pay as you feel – what have you got to lose?

July 27th
The Brandy Thieves Festival Warm Up

Yes! This is the one I’m most looking forward to. Multiple stages (including the Homeless Shakespeare as I mentioned earlier). The Brandy Thieves are one of the jewels of our local scene and I cannot describe them better than they describe themselves –

combining gypsy rhythms and punk energy, ska grooves and folk storytelling, 
the band has created a sound that is uniquely their own, 
a sound that has stolen the hearts of all of whom that have seen them perform. 
‘Raucous’ ‘Infectious’ ‘Enthralling’ ‘Captivating’ and ‘Sweaty’ are just a few of the words 
that have been used to describe the alcohol stealing gypsy punks.”

Tickets are already 25% gone, so don’t hang around on this one. I’m going to pop by Duffy’s for mine tomorrow.

August 4th

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets) acoustic set

Fancy something a bit more chill, a bit more intimate? Then checking out Tom Hingley is bound to hit the spot. We all know the Inspiral Carpet’s amazing pedigree, so this is sure to be a night to remember.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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