Congleton is my new favourite place.
On August Bank Holiday, me and John, (the guy on keys with the cheeky face) paid a visit to the home of Bears. Beartown they call it. And there are MASSIVE bears everywhere, in a similar vein to the Liverpudlian cow bananas. Benign-looking upright bears, clothed and decorated, flanking each corner of the town. Very pleasant.
In addition there is the Beartown brewery, whose ales I did not sample so I cannot evaluate I'm afraid.
However, a dark history belies the ursine ubiquity of Congleton Town. Apparently they were really into their bear-baiting, something which is quite against my vegetarian sensibilities. The Congleton Museum also boasts a special woman-taming muzzle, for those days when your wife just needs to be kept under control, and only torturous iron-mongery will cut it.
This aside, we had a lovely time in The Cong. I arrived at the ELECTRIC PICTURE HOUSE to be met by a blues brothers themed bear and a host of artists studios in a really cool semi-crumbling artists space. The place looked cool. We set up our gear and salubrious cultured music-seekers trickled in in ever growing numbers. The gig was like a parlour concert and the crowd were my favourite kind: they listened, they clapped feverishly, they exhausted my merchandise supply.
Having played many venues over the years, I have to say, The Electric Picture House, a former cinema, turned artists studios-cum-exhibition space-cum-gig-venue with bar was bloody brilliant. We are thinking of returning to film a little music video. Maybe even dressed as bears.