Belgrave Music Hall Leeds review: Drowning the Dry January sorrows

It’s very quiet on a weekday evening in Leeds city centre in mid-January and I can’t help feeling sorry for the hospitality businesses with barely a customer inside.

By YEP Reviewer
Saturday, 15th January 2022, 12:36 pm

It’s a traditionally quiet time of year, of course, but the prevalence of the omicron variant is surely keeping people at home.

Dry January also can’t be helping - an unwelcome new tradition in my eyes, (indulge me here) born out of a protestant-influeced, binge-purge mentality in which people feel the need to pay the price for the pleasure they get from alcohol. You don’t hear of them doing Dry January in the Mediterranean, do you?

It seems a fair few who share my dislike of Dry January have come to Belgrave Music Hall, however.

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Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen.

It’s become something of a Leeds institution since it opened in 2013, and helped enliven the Merrion Street area into becoming a go-to place on an evening.

Such is its popularity, that it’s often difficult to get a seat on the ground floor, particularly on one of the many sofas.

The demographic always skews towards the young and trendy here, but as usual it’s a relaxed and friendly vibe. One of my only long-running complaints about Belgrave is that the music (they have DJs every night of the week) is slightly too loud, but maybe that’s just me getting old.

There’s a great range of beer on offer, with plenty of local choices.

I go for one of the guest cans, a cucumber and yuzu pale, a collaboration between Northern Monk brewery and new ramen restaurant House of Fu.

The yuzu citrus hits first with a light tartness, followed by subtle cucumber that comes through more as it warms - delicious.

A collaboration between local breweries Ridgeside and Anthology and hotly-tipped Leeds band Yard Act, called The Overload, is the other guest can.

On tap, there’s Saltaire Brewery’s South Island pale and Nightjar Brewery’s Batfink, a vanilla pod porter.

If you’re peckish, Dough Boys can serve you up a slice of pizza and Patty Smith’s Burgers also have a permanent stall.

Add in the roof terrace and the regular line-up of gigs and events on the second floor, and you’ve got a top notch venue.

And if you are doing Dry January, well - cut yourself some slack and pick up some of the 0.5 per cent beers.

Factfile

Address: Cross Belgrave Street, LS2 8JP

Telephone: 0113 234 6160

Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11am - midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11am - 3am

Website: www.belgravemusichall.com

Scores

Drinks: 8

Value: 7

Atmosphere: 7

Service: 7