I have been up on Elizmor for a week by myself, so on Friday I decided it was time to do some exploring, find some live music, and surround myself with some human company.

I’ve lived in Brighton for the past three years and have been absolutely spoilt by the amazing nightlife, events and live music that goes on there on a daily basis. So I had a look on Google to see what was going on in Preston on Friday night.


There were a handful of events listed. One was for a jive dancing evening at a local church; there was an over-50s disco; and another was a family Christmas event… you get the picture. All I wanted was a good live band on a Friday night.

It occurred to me that Manchester and Liverpool are both about an hour away, and I was almost tempted to get a train to Manchester as The Prodigy were playing there on Friday. But I knew that would be an extremely messy night and I wouldn’t get home until the first train on Saturday morning, at which point any chance of me being conscious enough to go to the Preston Marina berth holder’s Christmas get-together on the Saturday evening was nil, and I was looking forward to that. So it was going to have to be something in Preston.

53 DegreesThanks to The Ark Preston and Facebook, I eventually stumbled across a gig at a venue in town called ‘53 Degrees‘ – there were a few bands playing, including The Pinstripe Pigeon Band and headliners The Gentrymen, a folk/rock band including sax and a banjo. Absolutely perfect.

A bottled of Rayburn-mulled wine later (oops), I treated myself to a taxi into town as a half-hour walk in torrential wind & rain wasn’t going to be the ideal way to start my evening.

The gig turned out to be really good – I was looking forward to a bit more banjo though! – and I chatted to quite a few people. One guy asked what I did, and I explained that I had recently moved to Preston as I’d bought Elizmor. He thought I’d said I had bought a ‘U-Boat’ instead of a ‘new boat’ so that made for an amusing crossed-wires conversation until he realised I couldn’t possibly be referring to a submarine. I was chatting to some other people outside and they all seemed to be about my age, but weren’t drinking because they were breastfeeding. They seem to have children a lot younger up here, most of my friends in Brighton are late twenties and I think I know one person with a kid.

After the gig I walked across the road to another pub with a band playing and started chatting to a few people, but it all got a bit strange and went downhill from there so I decided it was time to go home to Elizmor. The rain had stopped so I had a nice wobbly walk home, via a double cheeseburger, om nom nom.

I woke up late on Saturday and decided getting out of bed wasn’t wise, so I laid in and finished my book. I got up later on and did a bit of Christmas shopping (all will be revealed) before heading to the berth holder’s Christmas party at the marina later that evening…

P.S. Sorry for the rubbish photo. When I see a live band, I make a point of not being one of those people who watches the whole gig through their camera lens, so I found this photo posted on The Gentrymen’s Facebook page.

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