I can’t believe this was over a month ago now, but I wanted to talk about how I spent much of the Easter weekend in Nottingham with my good friends Beth and Mandy. Beth and Mandy are both still at university doing their History PhDs (poor things) so we were looking to celebrate the end of term in style! We did this by attending an Amorphis gig at the Rescue Rooms on Good Friday, visiting the Kitty Café on Saturday, and then checking out The Pit and The Pendulum pub on Easter Sunday.
We had briefly seen Amorphis support Nightwish at Wembley Arena, 19 December 2015, however back then we had only managed to catch the tail-end of their setlist, much to Beth and Mandy’s disappointment. It was good to see them play a full gig of their own this time. Though I have been known to blast a bit of ‘Bad Blood’ upon occasion, I am not particularly au fait with Amorphis’ stuff and due to some train issues (i.e. it never showed up) we also missed both support acts, so I didn’t feel qualified to write a full gig review. What I did see and experience however was quite good, though not especially distinctive or exciting. Amorphis have a very steady, rhythmic sound that blends death and prog metal with folklore-based lyrics, specifically taking inspiration from the Kalevala; the Epic Poem of their home-country, Finland. Whilst I had a lot of fun and it was by no means a bad show, I feel as though I may as well have gone home and put one of their albums on. They were technically very good, but the sound and performance were very rote; not dramatic enough for my personal tastes. I did manage to dig up a copy of their setlist for the night though, so if they sound like your bag check out the below. I recommend ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Death Of A King’, both of which were gig highlights:
1. Under The Red Cloud
3. Bad Blood
4. Sky Is Mine
5. The Wanderer
6. On Rich And Poor
7. Drowned Maid
8. Dark Path
9. The Four Wise Ones
10. Silent Waters
11. My Kantele
12. Hopeless Days
13. House Of Sleep
14. Death of a King
15. Silver Bride
16. The Smoke
The following day, we all had a bit of headbanger’s neck, so we took it easy in the morning, mainlining episodes of How To Make A Murderer on Netflix before making our way into town for the thing I’d been looking forward to most about my visit… lunch at the The Kitty Café!
Cat cafés, for those who don’t know, are places that serve up food and drink – often of the high tea variety – to customers whilst they are surrounded by adorable rescue cats, all of which are up for adoption. The concept originated in Japan – because all things cute, crazy and a little bit genius start there – and since then, they’ve begun to spring up all over the place.
Obviously, if you’re planning on visiting a cat café, make sure they’re reputable and put the health and well-being of the cats first (I’ve read some real horror stories). In keeping with this, the Kitty Café in Nottingham has strict rules about what will and will not be tolerated during your stay. It was very clean environment with a calm, relaxed atmosphere, and the cats were all very contented. A £5 donation fee was charged upon entrance (£3 for concessions), and then the food and drink was all very reasonably priced inside. I had a pot of tea to myself, with an absolutely enormous tuna and caramelised onion melt topped off with an indulgent slice of banoffee pie. It was absolutely delicious! On our way out I also bought a branded teacup and a cute cat scarf as souvenirs, the proceeds of which go towards the welfare of kitties.
The only downside of our visit was that due to the place being so completely booked up, we only had a time limit of one hour to enjoy ourselves. Still, it was more than enough time to eat our food and we had an absolutely lovely time. I cannot recommend it enough! ♥
The Pit and the Pendulum
Last on our list of must-see places to visit whilst in Nottingham was the Victorian-style Eerie pub, The Pit and the Pendulum.
We went here for lunch on the Easter Sunday, shortly before Mandy and I departed by train to our respective home towns. Considering that we had positively gorged ourselves on take-away pizzas and oily curries already that weekend, I’m not sure any of us were in the mood for a greasy pub lunch… Nevertheless, the pilgrimage had to be made! Named after a short story about dread and torment by horror writer Edgar Allan Poe, The Pit and the Pendulum is a gothic themed pub run by alternative members of staff decorated in the style of a torture chamber. As well as stone walls, heavy gothic tables and chairs and artwork paying homage to Poe all over the walls, there is an actual pit with a great bladed pendulum hanging from the ceiling in the spiral stairwell.
If I am honest, the food in here was not that great. I had a fish finger sandwich and it was pretty dry and dire. However, it was lunchtime on an Easter Sunday – the town was completely dead – so the kitchen probably resented us being there at all. I have been well assured by Beth that the place really comes alive at night, and they specialise in gothic club nights and a couple of drinking challenges called The 7 Deadly Sins and The 7 Contrary Virtues (you get a T-shirt for completing them). A return visit is definitely on the menu!
Many thanks to Beth and Mandy for a wonderful Easter weekend. I had so much fun and hope to do something equally as awesome soon.
For more information on the locations that we visited, please visit the below links:
Amorphis’ official website:
Fancy a listen? Check out these officially-released videos from their latest album, Under The Red Cloud:
All photos included in this blog were taken by me, except the photos of Amorphis which were taken from the band’s official Facebook page.