Welcome to Hull

words: Hanna Houghton

pics: Phillip Rhodes

September - October 2004

H007

As a new Autumn sets in, writes Hanna Houghton, and the leaves start to change colour and then create health hazards for the elderly, the pitter patter of new feet can be heard as this year's new fresher intake make Hull their new home. To you brave new souls we would like to say hello and welcome you firmly into our bosom. As a gesture of good will we though we might save you some precious time, effort and pennies and give you the heads up on all the best places to go in town.

Hull gets a pretty rough deal, partly due to the easy of rhyming it with dull (if you’re local anyway) and partly because not many people actually visit it, bit out of the way as you've no doubt already figured. The truth is that most of those who do actually visit rather quite like it, Hull has one of the highest numbers of students staying in the city once they've graduated. Honestly it's true, I did.

So what do you want from a city? If it's an enjoyable friendly nightlife, a vibrant and welcoming live music scene, an accessible and independent arts scene or even if it's just cheap drinks Hulls got it all. Read on and find out more - although it’s not everything...

LIVE MUSIC:

Hull is actually a hidden hotbed of live music and has a thriving music scene. The most famous venue is The Adelphi on De Gray St - at first glance just another terraced house. It’s celebrating it's 20th year next month, during which time it has been the bastion of live music. With an intimate capacity it’s the place to catch bands on their way up. Keep your eye on its listings and you may well catch the next Oasis or Supergrass in a venue you will never forget. They also play host to a wide variety of international music as well as being the second home of many of Hull's own bands and as you can see from the cover there are quite a few of them. Bags of character and you won't find anywhere else quite like it. Hull University’s Union itself puts on some great gigs with some of the bigger NME bands passing through.

The Welly on Beverley Rd has also become a popular venue of late, filling the medium sized venue gap that has been so apparent. They are bringing in bigger names as well as supporting local groups.

There are also several pubs in the area that believe in the power of live music. The White Room has a 'no charge' policy which means that you can walk in and see a band for free pretty much any day of the week. Predominantly a rock venue they do also have a cross section of styles. The Linnet and Lark on Princes Ave has been running the incredibly successful 'Sesh' night giving you 2 live bands a night for free. The Ringside on Beverley Rd, tending to specialise in the more punky/metal end of things, is also running a popular Wednesday night, with bands from round the country and as well as top local favourites (look out for the occasional Ska Bar nights as well). Take a wander down Spring Bank and you're likely to find music coming out of pretty much most of the pubs down there. There are a lot of covers band and such but you can find some really good musicians. The same goes for venues such as The Springhead Pub in Willerby and The Springfield Club in Anlaby good venues with some very good musicians.

CLUBS:

Of course the first stop will be your award winning Student Union, which offers a wide range of club nights from indie to r'n'b to cheese all with the expected cheap drinks offers. But once you feel like spreading your wings a bit there are a selection of great clubs to keep you entertained into the wee hours. Just a short walk from the Union you'll find the Piper Club offering a selection of different late night entertainment and drinks offers. A good mix of students and locals always a popular choice. The Welly Club on Beverley Rd offers several different nights and is the home of some of the most successful and long running club nights in Hull. The Welly has a friendly atmosphere and is also probably the most inventive of the nightclubs. Tuesdays is Alternative Rock with Helter Skelter.

Thursdays Sweet and Sour provides a host of well known bands and an rock n roll disco after. Fridays are for a Hard House dream with including the fabulous Eat Your Words and Drum and Bass upstairs and Staurday houses both Indie heroes Yo Yo and the nationally renowned house night, Déjà vu. The Rhythm Room on Baker St has been open about a year now and is a stylish venue also with a 24hr license and the cities only mixed toilets. It plays host to big name nights such as Moneypennies and locally promoted nights such as The Grapevine. Downstairs is open during the day with a selection of food available and big screen entertainment. Probably the most legendary club in town, in fact you may have already heard of it.

Spiders on Cleaveland Street (get a taxi, feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, especially when you're trying to walk home afterwards!) All atmosphere, the club itself is an intricate maze of cast iron spiders webs. The music is alternative rock with some of the best in disco funk and motown upstairs. Then there's the drinks, their cocktails have earned them a nationwide reputation. Try a Tizer to begin with and if you're feeling a bit more hardcore the Green Monster will have you slayed by the time you get to the bottom! Believe me you might think you'll hate it but you won’t.

PUBS & BARS:

Not wanting to stereotype but you'll probably spend a fair amount of time and your loan in them so here are some of the good pubs to keep you entertained. The Haworth on the corner of Cottingham Rd and Beverley Rd is a very popular student pub, part of the It's A Scream chain, it offers a lively night with drinks offers for students. In fact from there you're in the ideal position for the famous Beverley Rd run. Head into town from the Haworth and you will find a multitude of pub including the Mainbrace, Hogshead and Hockneys - all pretty standard chain bars but that means you'll get some good offers, they're also quite good places to catch the football of a Saturday. (Go Hull!)

Pave on Princes Ave is one of the most popular bars in the city. Busy every night of the week, the stylish venue and has a relaxed and friendly vibe as well as nice continental beers. Just down the road the newer Dukes is of a similar vein and makes a good alternative if Pave is just too busy.

Once you get into town The Lamp on Norfolk Street is Hull's original bar. Now privy to a late licence which means you can drink till 12am during the week and 1am on Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays. The Lamp has live music, arthouse nights and is the spiritual home of Pork Records, Hull's most successful record label with many of it's DJs doing regular slots.

For something a bit more old school head to the High Street where you'll find a run of lovely proper pubs such as The Old Black Boy and The Sailmakers Arms.

FOOD:

Ah food glorious food. First off the basics. The Bacon Sandwich. Wander down Newland Avenue and you can take your pick of tasty sandwich shops offering fair. Jaws, recently opened by a pair of ex-graduates also offers you the chance of a good sandwich both before and after the Pub. Further down on Princes Ave you'll can grab something slightly more fancy at the fabulous Olive Tree or Caesar's. Café wise, Pave and Dukes also offer really good meals with plenty of exciting and tasty food to choose from and all very reasonably priced make a for a perfect leisurely afternoon.

In town try McCoys opposite Princes Quay for a good Coffee and a bite or also Leena's Russian bakery by the BBC for something a little more unusual. The Lamp isn't only one of the best and most individual bars in town it also offers fabulous fare, with a regularly changing inspiring international menu it's also pretty good on the pocket.

One of the greatest treats and still a bit of a best-kept secret is the fantastic Hitchcocks Restaurant, just off the High Street in the old time. An all You Can Eat Vegetarian restaurant this place has absolutely bags of character and never seems to fail to make your most hated vegetable delicious (even beetroot!). They offer a student discount and you can even bring your own booze. It is also the only restaurant in Hull listed in the Good Food Guide. Just right for a birthday celebration.

SHOPS:

After a while you might want something other to spend you money on other than alcohol and you'll be pleased to hear that Hull isn't lacking in the great shops either.

There are all the obvious chain shops that make the city centre look pretty much like every other but there are plenty of gems. Hepworth Arcade and Trinity Square in the old town back on the market and here you'll find Beasleys a true one-off stocking the finest in stylish labels as well a host of second hand and original kit. There's also Larry's which has a fantastic selection of interesting second hand clothing and Revolver in the market itself caters for all your Retro needs. Round the corner from these is Starhouse selling the more outrageous and original outfits. For your music needs there are all the usual and although there are no independent record shops yet there are a couple of cracking second hand shops to dig out that classic. Check out Disc Discovery on Spring Bank just on the outskirts of town and also Offbeat Records in the old town. Fat Larry's on Newland Ave also has a good selection of new and used CDs and Videos.

THE ARTS:

Due to the now (sadly closed) Hull School of Art there has always been a flourishing art scene. The city's Ferens Gallery houses a great collection of classics and contemporary and is mostly free. Independent galleries such as Red Galleries round the back of Princes Quay and Art Link Exchange on Princes Ave have local artists as well as exhibitions from modern artist. There is also Hull Time Based Arts which is the hub of digital performing arts in the city and keeps us bang up to date in multimedia mediums. The other great jewel in the crown is Hull Truck Theatre tucked away round the back of the station. With an artistic Director who is the second most prolific playwriter after Shakespeare, John Godber and an eclectic selection of entertainment from theatre to comedy to Jazz. They also give you a student discount. This intimate theatre is the perfect place to get a bit of culture.

Welcome to Hull
The Adelphi Club
The Lamp
Disc Discovery
Hull Truck
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