Friday, 12 October 2012

The Wunderbar

My favourite place in the world, The Wunderbar, turns 18 tonight! The bar was opened in 1994 and is the longest running pub under the same management left in my humble home town of Midsomer Norton (or as it's referred to locally, the Centre of the Universe!). Whilst other establishments have changed shape to fit the new trends, with 3D TVs, discount shots and free WiFi, the Wunderbar stands strong in the cellar of the Greyhound, providing the town with a unique and intimate venue for bands to get off their feet, an excellent watering hole for the locals, and one of the well known places where you get no signal on your phone. Bliss.

Maybe I'm biased. I've been working on and off at the bar since I turned 18 (3 and a half years), and I've had some of my best nights out pulling pints there and sitting at the other side of the bar deep in conversation with the bar staff. In fact, my 18th birthday ended up with me on the floor of the bar with laddered tights - and once I'd been dropped off at home, I promptly left the house and began walking back to the pub. I really do love the Wunderbar.

 I think this would be the perfect opportunity to share with you some oldies from my few years as a local at the bar.

Creating cocktails on Halloween night, calling them 'Blood' and promoting them on your arm. Lovely!

A couple of James' Thursday quick cocktails, which resulted in a lot of hangovers at work on Friday mornings.

With Hannah in the beer garden one summer (check out the pink hair!)

Ash doing his bar tending bit

The typical selfie in the bathroom mirror

In my 3 and a bit years as a proper drinker 'down the Bar,' I've grown to love the place, feel protective of it and a little bit smug that I can call it my local. Why? It's got to be the music. The Bar has introduced me to all sorts, from acoustic nights, to Discord to the late night jazz fusion that Wilb pulls out when it's getting close to bed time (and even closer to Special Brew time.) The Bar puts on bands every Thursday and Saturday, DJs some Friday's, and other niche evenings like Reggae and Ska night and the Unplugged night. You've just got to look around the place to appreciate the musical influences that pulses through it's exposed-brick veins. The walls and ceilings are covered in the history of the local scene along side the late, greats of music's past. (And if you look reeeaally hard you might even spot a couple Telly Tubbies.)

Chalky White aka Lucy Milner aka Landlady Supreme on stage at the Wunderbar. 
DJ Night
Working at the bar means three things; learning how to pour a 'proper' pint, opening your mind to paranormal activities (Wunderghost!) and making your colleagues your friends. I am truly thankful to have such a prestigious establishment full of such lovely humans just a 5 minute walk from my front door.

But none of this would be possible without the Wunderbar's longest serving member, owner, landlord, performer and Special Brew enthusiast, Wilb. Now, I'm not going to go into some soppy prose about how great he is, so you're just going to have to take my word for it.

Wilb, the man behind the Bar. Literally.

Last weekend, we celebrated the bars birthday with a night of Ulysses, free rum punch and big smiles - I took loads of photos with my Instax which I'll post some other time. 

So Wunderbar, tonight on your 18th birthday, I raise my glass to you, as a thanks for your service to music, to drinking, to bad jokes and to good times. Don't get too drunk, and don't you ever change!

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"The Wunderbar is a live music cellar bar in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, between Bath and Wells. The centre of the universe. We first started spilling drinks and putting on live rock and roll in 1994, and we're getting the hang of it now. Almost. Our atmosphere, we hope, is for everyone, and our live acts always entertaining. We have DJs and a film night once a month so we're more than just a rock venue. Why not come on down and have a pint. Real Ales, Surreal Lagers and a dangerous shelf to die for."

If you're interested in playing at the Bar, email
You can read more about the Wunderbar's birthday here

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