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Prostitution is revolution. You can hate me, until you pay me!

Posted by Chalky on Jun 21, 2009 in Bad Luck, Music, Review

Last.fm Mock PosterI can’t believe it’s been over a month since this actually happened.. Anyway… After two cancelled gigs, on Wednesday 20th May Afternoon I finally ventured down to Nottingham to go and see Cobra Starship. I ended up having to go on my own but I wasn’t going to let this spoil my enjoyment too much.

The journey down to Nottingham was much quieter than I expected was going to be, indeed it only took me 50 minutes to get down there despite the roadworks on the M1 and the fact that the VMSs saying that there was long delays between Junction 27 and Junction 25. There wasn’t any traffic and I was getting off at Junction 26 anyway.

Nottingham greets its visitors by lining the streets with SPECS cameras and Red Traffic Light Camera which makes you feel extremely welcome(!)

The Premier Inn that I was staying in, the Nottingham Centre (Goldsmith Street), was pretty easy to find and was very convenient as it is on the same road as The Rescue Rooms. They were originally meant to be playing Rock City, but ended up in the Resue Rooms instead. This Premier Inn was the most expensive I’ve ever been to (when you include parking which is normally free) and is the first I have been to where you have to surrender your Car Keys. I’m sure I’ll do a more detailed post about it later.It turned out that most of the Cobra Starship Crew were staying in the same hotel.

pit_and_pendulumAfter settling in the hotel, I decided whether or not that, dispite being on my own, I should stick with my original plan for the evening. After mulling it over whilst having a long soak in the bath, I decided that I might as well go for it. So I headed off in search of the Pit and Pendulum Errie Pub. After leaving the Premier Inn, it took me a little while to get my bearings as it’s been nearly a year since I was last in Nottingham. After walking past the, already, queing Cobra Starship fans (it was only 5pm and doors opened at 6:30) I managed to make my way over to Victoria Street, passing by the Hostel that I stayed in for the Paramore gig last year.

They had a 2 for £6(ish) offer on their Seven Deadly Sins Cocktails so I decided to treat myself to a couple before going for their Double Burger with Cheese and Bacon which also included a pint of Fosters, oops! The bar staff were very friendly however the burger was the greasiest thing I have ever eaten! Didn’t stop me polishing it off though!

I headed back to the Resue Rooms where there was now a long queue which remained civilised until it starting pissing it down whereby everyone rushed under the large umberella’s outside. Once in the venue, I noticed how small it is! I’ve only ever been in the other half of the Rescue Rooms and hadn’t been in the Gig bit before.

MiMi SoyaThe first Support Act MiMi Soya from Brighton were OK but really failed to get the crowd going which made them a bit disappointing. I can’t really remember any of the songs they played. During their set, I started getting a tight chest which I first attributed to the drink but promptly decided it was a mini Asthma attack so I had to drag myself back to the Premier Inn, get my keys back for the car and grab my inhaler. I then sat back in the bar for a while with a glass of iced water. A good start to the evening(!).

By the time I’d finished expiring and got back to the Rescue Rooms, MiMi Soya had finished their set and it was the turn of Cash Cash. <CONTENT REMOVED>

Sing It LoudThe final Support Act was Sing It Loud who were by far the most recongnised by the crowd. Indeed, some of the crowd in front of me got so excited that they started jumping up and down and managed to hit me in the face, leaving me with a nosebleed. At which point, I was beginning to think that the evening couldn’t possibly get any worse!

I had never heard them before, nor any of the other Support Acts but I will certainly be looking out for their EPs and Albums as well as Cash Cash. I’ll be looking forward to seeing them again at some point.

Cobra StarshipAt 8:30, it was the turn of Cobra Starship themselves. As soon as they came out on stage, you could tell that the wait was going to have been worthwhile. Everyone at the gig were true fans and all knew the words to every song that was played. They played all of my favourite and was probably, despite the set backs, the most enjoyable gig I have been to.

Cobra Starship apologised for it taking them so long to get back to the UK and are currently working on their third album. I hope it’s not too far away and they get their act together next time round.

The gig ended with Snakes on a Plane from the movie with the same name.

After the gig, I stumbled back to the Hotel and had a drink in the Hotel Bar and then headed up for an early night after battling with the Key Card for the Lift for some time!

¡Viva La Cobra!

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Slough

Posted by Chalky on Mar 25, 2009 in Review

Slough Premier Inn MapWhen I first drove up to this Premier Inn, I thought I was coming up to a prison camp. You’re greeted by a great barrier at each end of the complex preventing anyone from getting in or out. There’s CCTV cameras a-plenty and you can’t even get into Reception without a key card or pressing the buzzer and having someone let you in. It was so intimidating that I daren’t take a picture of it for fear of someone jumping out and shooting me on the spot!

After you’ve got over the exterior of the building however, inside, it has to be the nicest Premier Inn that I have stayed in thus far. The reception area was vast compared to any other Travel Inn that I have stayed in, except perhaps one of the Inns near Heathrow Airport. The staff were extremely friendly upon my arrival at stupid o’clock.

There’s quite a few things that were different from the norm in the Premier Inn. Firstly, there is no chain restaurant in the vicinity or attached to the Premier Inn. Instead, the Premier Inn contains its own Bar and Restaurant on the Ground Floor of the building. It wasn’t particularly large and certainly not big enough to house the number of guests the building is capable of. This made me wonder if this was because most guests arrive in the evenings only and don’t dine, or that there was plenty of places to dine nearby. As it was very late when I arrived, I didn’t scope out any restaurants nearby and the bar was already closed. Just as well really because I was too tired to do much of anything.

This Premier Inn uses Key Cards, which are painfully annoying to use when you’re barely awake enough to see let alone wiggle a card in and out of several doors! After going back to Reception and replacing my Key Card (why does the first one never work!?!) I managed to drag myself up to my room on the second floor.

Air Conditioning!The room was somewhat larger than somewhat bigger than some that I have stayed in and the bathroom was also a decent size. The room was equipped with a larger than normal bed, Freeview TV and a Telephone. The most welcome addition to the room that I have never had in any of the Premier Inns that I have stayed in before was an Air Conditioning Unit on the wall! All other Premier Inns that I have stayed in have had a Dimplex Heather attached to the wall near the window with a thermostat unit on the opposite wall. Whilst this is alright in the winter months for most, it’s not very good in the summer or, if you are like me, you can’t sleep when you are too warm. Most other Premier Inns have a desk fan stowed away somewhere but you can’t beat some proper Air Conditioning!

The only fault that I could find with the room was in the bathroom. The sink was built into this rather nice wooden unit. However, the toilet roll was also located inside this unit which may seem nice, but not when it’s built in only 10cm from the ground! I’ll leave you to picture it yourself!

As I had time in the morning, I decided to opt for a Premier Breakfast before I set off. This was held in the Bar/Restaurant bit on the Ground Floor that I mentioned earlier. The breakfast here was all Self Service including the hot food. I tend to like it this way because you can grab exactly what you want, when you want. The breakfast wasn’t bad at all and set me up for the day.

After gaining the Exit Code for the gate to escape from Alcatraz, I did notice that there wasn’t really many eateries around so I think that it was probably the norm to arrive quite late at this Premier Inn and that there wasn’t really a need for a big provision of food and drink and that the Bar/Restaurant was mainly there for Breakfast and maybe a few beverages in the evening before it closes.

Overall, I was very pleased with this Premier Inn, just a bit of a shame about the Prison-like exterior because inside, it’s the best Premier Inn I’ve been in thus far!

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Chalky’s Premier Inn Review Corner

Posted by Chalky on Mar 14, 2009 in Review

Premier Inn LogoAs most of you will know, I spend rather a lot of my weekends visiting various Premier Inns (previously known as Premier Travel Inns). I thought it was probably time that I started reviewing some of them because whilst most things are exactly the same wherever you go, there are some subtle differences. There is also, the all important Customer Service which I have found to be where there tends to be the greatest variance between Inns.

Premier Inn’s always follow the same format, being situated next to some form of eatery/drinking hole. These are generally pub restaurants which are also open to the general public, meaning that if you are staying at a City Centre Inn, you will most likely have to book a table as they do get quite busy, particularly at weekends. It will also be particularly busy if the restaurant is a popular chain like TGI Friday’s. Breakfast is also served in the same restaurant but is only open to Guests at this time and therefore, booking is not required and it won’t be packed out however most Inns prefer you book breakfast at the same time as checking in. Premier Inns do not offer ‘in-house’ catering and facilities are limited to the tea and coffee in your room although some are equipped with a Vending Machine for cold drinks, crisps and sweets.

Whitbread LogoPremier Inns are owned now owned by the Whitbread and, as a result, are often seen next to Brewers Fayre, TableTable, Beefeater and Taybarns restaurants. However, old Premier Inns are situated next to a wide variety of restaurants including TGI Friday’s and Two For One (previously a Whitbread brand).

One thing I pick up on, being wierd and all, is that a lot of Premier Inns house the advert featuring Lenny Henry as a big cardboard cut-out many moons past the TV campaign. In fact, there’s no signs of the campaign on the t’internet  (bar YouTube) anymore. Anyway, it always draws my attention because Lenny features a friendly rubber duck in all of these ads, however, I am yet to find a Premier Inn where the company of a rubber duck is included with the room! I think they should really!

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