Saturday, 22 August 2015

Kelsey's -- The End Of An Era

Quotation of the day: J.R.R. Tolkein ~ Orcs, and talking trees, and leagues of grass, and galloping riders, and glittering caves, and white towers and golden halls, and battles and tall ships sailing.

As my regular reader will know, my favourite pub in town for many years has been Kelsey's, and the primary reason i went there three or four times a week was that i liked the people who worked there (and in fact loved one of them) (although she was 'way too young for me) (or i was 'way too old for her, your choice).

The staff were great: new hires, upon realising that i was a regular, would make an effort to learn my name and it was almost like family. At one point i was Facebook friends with virtually everyone there.

And they were good to me, too: i would go in on my birthday and i wasn't allowed to spend any money. I would go in for lunch on Christmas Eve and i wasn't allowed to spend any money. One year, i went in on Thanksgiving Day. The Kitchen Manager had made turkey dinner with all the fixin's for the staff -- and they gave me a huge plate of it to take home. Then there was the occasional free pint (the way to a man's heart is through his liver, etc.) and the occasional complimentary dinner. They appreciated my business and they earned my loyalty in spades.

But, about a year ago, the place deteriorated drastically. They had an almost 100% staff turnover, very few of my friends were left, the atmosphere deteriorated terribly. One of my friends there told me that the thought of going to work gave her anxiety attacks. She's much happier where she is now (i saw her the other day). (I still love her.)

They can no longer keep staff -- no one wants to work there any more; it seems that every time i go in there now, there's someone working i've never seen before. And of all of these new people, i am impressed with ... none of them.

Today was the last straw. I went in, no one i knew was working, and the Muzak channel they had on was utter disco-pop rubbish. I mean, really. It was like having needles driven into my ears. It couldn't possibly appeal to anyone over the age of fifteen, why would a pub play such shit? I stayed for my usual two pints, trying to cover my ear holes as i used my phone to try to catch up on email and Facebook, but it was hopeless -- the noise in the background was too painful. And i said to the manager, "this music is fuck'n horrible." She tried to make a joke of it but didn't offer to change the channel so i downed my second pint very quickly and fled.

I may never go back.

The Muzak at Crabby Joe's -- and at Bentley's -- is much better.

Here, have a playlist:

Florence + The Machine -- How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Van der Graaf Generator -- Merlin Atmos
Rory Gallagher - Irishman In New York
Various -- Essential Drive
Max Webster -- High Class In Borrowed Shoes
Fairport Convention -- The Wood And The Wire
Peter Hammill --This
Jefferson Airplane -- After Bathing At Baxter's
Pat Benatar -- Best Shots
Bruce Guthro -- Guthro
Colin James -- Take It From The Top
Jeff Beck -- Live +
Richard Thompson -- Still
Marillion -- The Thieving Magpie
Matchbox Twenty -- North
The Albion Band -- The Vice Of The People
Max Webster -- Mutiny Up My Sleeve
Ian Anderson -- TAAB2
Paula Cole -- 7
Stephane Grappelli -- Live At The Cambridge Folk Festival

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