Hard to believe the Purple Turtle has been around since 1990 (and one building move in 1997 to avoid the Oracle’s bulldozers).
Last year they spent a million on refurbishing the place and it is indeed really lovely.
The decoration around the building is always interesting with some classic pieces, such as the old favourite “It’s a trap!” meme:
So now it’s 25th birthday time and the pinnacle of the “25 shows for 25 years” run is John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett.
I’ve seen John Otway a few times now (2010, 2011 and maybe Glastonbury 1999 when he teamed up with Attila the Stockbroker) but I can’t declare myself a big fan. The gigs are fun, especially after a few beers, but I can’t shake off a feeling that may be pity. I don’t think he’s really the sort of comedy act I appreciate the most (Mitch Benn, Bill Bailey, Boothby Graffoe, etc.) and the way Barrett looks at Otway during the set just makes me feel sorry for him. I know it’s all part of the act – it has to be – and he has a fantastically loyal fanbase but I find it difficult to feel empathy with ‘Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure’.