Duke Ellington looks down from the pub sign of The Old Duke, a jazz pub in the centre of Bristol. Spent a pleasant sunny Sunday lunchtime there, August 2011, sitting on a bench outside listening to a decent revivalist group of musicians of – shall we say, mature years – membership of which seemed to involve the cultivation of a goatee beard a la Acker Bilk. In an ideal world all towns would have a hostelry such as this. Good music, decent beer, a visit to the Gents becoming therefore inevitable, mine eyes did see this glory:
There, on the left, above the – not exactly state of the art but no worries – urinal, a verse from All along the watchtower. Presumably mine host, or someone in his employ, renews the chalk boards every day with fresh words, other songs. What a fine way to start the day. Whether it’s a pub tradition that certain letters get rubbed out as the day passes I know not. Today, to the right, some lines from the great Sam Cooke:
Sheet music, newspaper cuttings, old posters pasted and varnished on the walls. And should you venture into the throne room, more reading matter awaits:And on the way out, a nod to Duke and back into the music …
Apparently the Ladies’ loos are unadorned.
Ladies, you should complain!