The Fleece is a fairly standard gig venue which sports the occasional big name – but its comfort zone lies in local artists and cover bands.
Tucked away in on a small road not far from Victoria Street, the Fleece doesn’t scream and shout its name from the outside and could be easily missed. Inside the venue consists of a single room which is large enough for a good-sized crowd, but nobody is too far away to get a good peek at whoever’s on stage. The balance between intimate and buzzy is spot on.
As with many music venues, the clientele is dependent on the nature of the music being performed. Expect a bit of a cross section of styles most of the time as well as ages that range from twenties to forties.
The Fleece is a champion of local artists, holding a nurturing ethos which is both a credit to them and pleasing on the wallet – turn up on Mondays and Tuesdays and check out the talent for free.
Most weekends are dominated by cover bands but popular names are found dotted sporadically in the listings. Big acts in the past have included The Killers, Regina Spektor, Damien Rice and Amy Winehouse. They've also recently had Sam Sparrow.
They serve food from noon to 3pm with some meal deals chucked in on various days of the week. Wednesdays are all about the grill and you can get a steak and a drink for £5.99. On Thursday it's curry night so you can get a curry and drink for £4.99.
On the standard menu though, you can expect to pay £3.25 for a burger, £4.95 if you want to make it a large burger, or if you want something healthier you can get a chicken caesar salad for £4.45.
Even the sharpest among us would struggle to grapple with the pricing system in this place which seems to charge different things depending on the time, day, and whether you happen to be wearing a jumper or not. If you turn up late to a major gig, you pay through the nose for that bottle of beer but come before 9pm and the prices are obscenely cheap.
These cheap deals include draught beers: Foster (£1.85), Stella (£2.25) and Worthington (£1.60) but you can get a bottle of Becks at £1.59. A double vodka and Red Bull or a double Jack Daniels and Pepsi come at the ludicrous price of £2.25, while a bottle of house white, red or rose is a steal at £6.89.
Don’t expect anything extravagant or interesting here, just classic gig booze where lager in plastic cups (only on gig nights) is by far the most popular drink.
The Last Word
The Fleece is a very necessary gig venue where you’re just as likely to discover new talent as you are to see a well-known artist.