Fishtank (Neville Street above Stanton’s Fish & Chips) is not glamorous, at least not conventionally, but it does have romance. I don’t mean moonlit booths and ballroom décor-style romance… I mean… Ok, so I don’t mean romance at all… I mean character, It has character and in generous cheese-smothered portions. One visit to the men’s toilet and its many tributes to Sylvia Plath will introduce you to some of her lesser-known and frankly underrated sayings such as “Ted Hughes is a bellend”. This is a place that thought that turning itself into a barbershop-cum-recordstore during the day would be a viable business plan. Imagine that: What would you like cut today? Your neck-hair or your EP? The first time I turned up they were playing Syrian rebab music and the last time I turned up the singer of a post-hardcore band was trying to extinguish his flaming hat with a pint of Kozel ; at some point between these two events I came along on a Tuesday night and discovered Grammar.
The problem is, that with all this talk of rebabs, leggings and Kerouac , people think that Fishtank is just some place for lonely hipsters and fans of Sylvia Path to get their kicks and get together, but you’d be wrong. For sure there’s a lot of that going on in the place, but by the admission of one miserable bitch I mistakenly begun train-conversation with “I don’t think Grammar is pretentious enough”. I asked her to explain what that meant, but I don’t think she knew either. The truth is I’ve seen more sincerity in one hour at Fishtank than I have in three years of Studio, not to mention a more interesting cloak depository.
If there’s one thing you try before the end of this year, you must make it Grammar. It’s as integral to the circuit as Sundays at Klute, Mondays at Studio and Wednesdays at Lloyd’s. It’s the answer to the age-old question: ‘Where to be on a Tuesday night?’ and Fishtank’s the only place in Durham I’ve seen a guy wearing rainbow leggings. As Sylvia Plath once said: “There is nothing like puking with somebody outside Grammar to make you into old friends.”
A Short Introduction to Grammar DJs:
Ralf “make ‘em dance” Webb: – Starter: Rudie Can’t Fail – The Clash
– Mid-flow highlight: Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!,
– Closer: Anywhere I Lay My Head – Tom Waits
Oliver “Iron Hands” White:
– Starter: Yes I do – Captain Beefheart,
– Mid-flow highlight: The Rat- The Walkmen
– Closer: County Line – Cass McCombs
Rafael “Indie Rock and” Lubner:
– Starter: Excursions – Tribe Called Quest
– Mid-flow highlight: Age of Consent- New Order
– Closer: Louis Louis – The Kingsmen
Grammar nights are closed for exams but will kick back into full flow after they finish. Check out the page to get updates