I don’t want to take anything away from The Brudenell.
It’s done great things for Leeds, it’s manager, Nathan Clark, has been ranked among the top 50 most infuluential people in the UK music industry. Why? Because he (and others at the club he runs) have got their act together when it comes to booking, well, acts.
Not only do they give a platform to some of the country’s aspiring talent, they manage to lure in the great and magnificent (people like Franz Ferdinand, The Wedding Present, etc). Charlotte Church played there just a fortnight ago.
This is amazing because to look at it, The Brudenell is like something out of a Peter Kaye comedy. Step through the fug of smoke outside and you’ll think you’ve time travelled to a 1970s working men’s club.
In fact, during our visit last Saturday , I thought I’d travelled to an alternate universe, where characters from the TV series Game of Thrones had become real. Practically every man in the place (and at least one of the women) had a beard, or some form of facial hair.
Wait, wait, wait... sorry, I forgot, young people walking round with biblical-style beards is normal now, isn’t it? Yes, sorry, it’s just that having two young children, I’ve not been out (well, not out out) in a while and so haven’t been as exposed to the whole young man+pub=large beard equation. I almost expected to see a stack of penny farthings outside (cos that’s what blokes with massive beards ride, obvs).
I digress. I’m not going to say the H-word (rhymes with tipster) but you get the general idea.
So, anyway, we had tickets to see Rose Elinor Dougall (interesting), who was performing in one of the two large stage rooms either side of the main bar, which was packed, by the way, from the moment we got there at about 8pm to the moment we left just after 11pm (I think).
Still, they have a decent selection of beer and whatnot. There are craft ales in cans crammed in the fridge, alongside bottles of the stuff - I went for a banana bread beer, while my buddy took a stab at Three Swords, which I went onto later and I have to say is an eminently sessionable ale: easy going and no bitter aftertaste to spoil the experience. G&Ts came in at £2.35 each and were refreshing and went down far too easily.
Outside, beneath wall-mounted outdoor heaters, there’s a scattering of wooden tables and beyond them a pizza van, which I think is called ‘Eat Our Pizza’ (marketing has to be clear when you are dealing with people who are mostly inebriated), knocking out decent 8 inch pizzas at £5.50.
So what’s the verdict on Brudenell Social Club? Yes, it might be a bit ‘studenty’, a bit retro but I think that’s its USP and we got the feeling that everyone was welcome here.
Brudenell Social Club
Queens Road, LS6 1NY