I had a 3 day week last week and for good reason - I had tickets to go and see The Stereophonics at Manchester's Sounds of the City at Castlefield Bowl. I love The Stereophonics and they were one of the last bands I had on my list that I had to see before I died/they broke up or whatever.
We hopped in the car and after a surprisingly easy journey, we parked up and found ourselves with a few hours to spare before the gig started. We ended up going to the cinema to see The Secret Life of Pets which was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and having food at the burger joint, Almost Famous.
Byron Burgers are all about keeping something simple and I would describe them as the A* student who does everything right whereas Almost Famous is it's wild and crazy cousin who can't be tamed.
Don't believe me? Some of the burgers toppings included Cheerios, strawberry pop tart and Frazzles.
So yeah, the menu was a little bit overwhelming for a Thursday Afternoon but after hearing good things about the food I didn't let that deter me. I was a bit upset when I was told the milkshake machine wasn't working however I mean wtf?
Redneck Crack Wings - £5
Despite being upset over the lack of milkshake I soldiered on (I know, woe is me) and ordered the bbq 'Redneck' wings. They were hot but not so hot that I couldn't eat them and I could've probably manned another basket. The sauce (a creamy cheesy one I think?) cooled it down a bit and made it much more edible. They made an awful lot of mess but it was totally worth it.
Bacon Bacon Fries - £3.50
Winning Fries (Skin on and sweet potato), bacon bacon mayo and bacon rain.
These were the winners for me (which I imagine is where the name came from). The Bacon Mayo was genius and was so creamy and delish. The fries were perfect, crispy on the outside and nice and fluffy inside. They ruined normal chips for me.
Hoghammer - £8.50
Pulled Pork, Slaw, Shoestring Onions, Famous Sauce, Redneck BBQ
Mmm, I hate to say it but this wasn't my favourite, Jody actually ended up eating most of it (but he highly recommends it). I think the pulled pork + bbq sauce combo was just a tad too spicy and I had trouble keeping the burger together, not something I'm a fan of. Wasn't terrible though so don't be put off.
Almost Famous was pretty good, I wasn't starving, starving when we went so I'd like to go back and experience it on an empty tummy.
We parked in the Great Northern Warehouse for £20 which is where this Almost Famous branch is located. There's a cinema in there aswell as a bowling alley so you could spend a whole day there quite easily. Castlefield Bowl was a 5 minute walk away too so it was the perfect base for our day.
But now it's time to talk about the real reason we went to Manchester.
The venue was the Castlefield Bowl and tbh I think it's just a stage set up on a street, can anyone from Manchester confirm or deny this? Regardless, I loved the venue, it was quite intimate and although it was packed it didn't feel uncomfortably full.
Walking on Cars were the warm up act and they were really good but let's face it, no one goes for the warm up do they? We spend the first half of the gig on a grassy verge sat on some ponchos and sheltering from the rain but went down into the crowd for the second half.
It was a quite tame crowd compared to say The View but we still had a good time and they played all of our favourites (A Thousand Trees, Pick a Part That's New). It got a bit drippy in the middle with all the newer songs we weren't that keen on/didn't really know but they finished off with some classics.
I've never seen such a professional band, they started bang on 9 o clock and it was like listening to a CD. They were perfect.
After the gig we went straight home 'cos it had pissed down and we were a little bit wet from dancing in the rain. Left at 11.30 and were home for 1 so not bad going really. I'll defs be keeping an eye out for next years Sounds of the City Line Up.
Have any of you been to Almost Famous? Did the menu scare you a bit like it did me?
And what are your thoughts on The Stereophonics?