On Thursday night I had the pleasure of being able to head to Manchester to meet my Dad and go and see one of my favourite bands, Bear's Den. The night as a whole, including the gig itself was one of the best nights I've had in a really really long time.
I arrived in Manchester after a day at university and headed straight to the hotel Dad had booked for us to stay in that night so we could both enjoy a few drinks without worrying about getting home. We both got ready at a record pace as food was calling and we were desperate to get out and get the evening started! After a recommendation from my Mum who used to work in Manchester (and is therefore a pro in all things regarding places to eat/drink/visit) we headed to a rather unassuming place called The Bakerie. I must admit, after having looked at the menu before arriving I wasn't that excited but when I'd sat down and got myself settled, the thought of a hearty stew and some freshly baked artisan bread was incredibly appealing.
I had the chicken and chorizo stew and my dad had a beef stew and my goodness, it was heavenly!! If you're ever down in the Northern Quarter of Manchester I would highly recommend heading there and checking this place out because it was genuinely so good (and they gave me a bucket of wine too which was an even bigger plus!).
Once we'd finished eating, it was still a little early to head to The Ruby Lounge so instead we headed to Black Dog Ballroom, a place we are both familiar with and like.
Another glass of wine later (the first couple of way too many) we decided it was time to head down to the venue and catch the support act, a lovely gentleman called Christof. In hindsight I wish we'd headed there to see the whole of his set because he is an incredibly talented artist and I could've stood there and listened to him all night.
Next up was what we'd been waiting for. Bear's Den came on stage and the (intimate but clearly very passionate) crowd received them with tumultuous applause. The set was a variety of songs, old and new, performed flawlessly. The guys were amazing in their performance, it's rare to find a band that sounds just as good, if not better live than they do recorded.
And if this gig couldn't get any better, the guys even came into the audience to perform "Bad Blood" acoustically, right there in front of us!
The set was over all too quickly, and everything about it was perfect.
The advantages of being a fan of artists who play small venues is the chance of meeting them is so much higher, and lucky for us both Christof and Bear's Den were selling their merchandise and were having pictures with us fans. Now I'm quite a shy, reserved person but after 6 wines and a night of excitement, the thought of missing this opportunity wasn't sitting well with me so I asked for photos and signed albums from both the band and the support and both of which I got! (And for a girl who is a self-confessed beard lover, being surrounded by that much facial hair made me stupidly giddy. No shame. Also, excuse my appearance in the next few photos, I'd been rained on, had too much wine and been dancing so I wasn't looking my best!)
To end a perfect night, Dad thought he would treat me to a cocktail or two at the Alchemist, a very well known cocktail bar that I had been dying to go to for ages. I'm not a big drinker in general but I can never pass up a rather exciting sounding cocktail, and exciting they were. I had a Rose Bud cocktail (with actual rose buds in it) and a Passionfruit Meringue Martini and wow, they were amazing! I would 100% recommend heading down there :-)
If you've read all the way down to here you deserve a medal. All in all it was an absolutely phenomenal night and I would recommend listening to Bear's Den and Christof wholeheartedly as they are some of the best live acts I've seen.
I hope you're all well! What are some of the best live bands you've seen? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.
Until next time!