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irish stew

first published on the leeds innscene

Blimey, Chris, what another steaming night.

You can say that again, Torps, if weíd had any tickets, theyíd have sold out faster than an Oasis concert, or should I say an OíAsis concert.

Yes, very funny, I wondered how long it would be before you rediscovered your Irish roots, your obviously more easily influenced than I thought.

Torps, I think we should explain to our reader what we are ranting on about. You see we paid a visit to OíReillyís, that place with the tiny entrance near The Square and opposite Yatesí, in fact it's in one of the best locations in the whole of Leeds.

Itís really easy to find, as you probably know, it used to be the old Yatesí, in fact they still own the place, but itís run for them by Kay OíReilly, and a good job she does too. What were your first impressions, Chris?

Well, itís definitely not an Irish theme pub, it just happens to have an Irish name. Its a bit like pubs Iíve been in in Ireland, the same sort of forbidding atmosphere as you walk in, but as soon as you start talking too the locals, you feel like it's your local. I donít think we were helped by your fake Irish accent either, Torps.

Iíll have you know that those two young girls were very impressed, they were completely fooled by it, or so I thought, until they asked me which part of Australia I came from.

Thatís quite an improvement for you, normally all your accents sound Welsh.

Anyway, back to work. I know from experience that the place is great at weekends. It used to be a pre-club bar, but now since theyíve had DJs on, nobody bothers going off to a club, they just stay and dance the night away.

And with the space they have there, itís just calling out for dancing, at any time. We visited OíReillyís on a Sunday afternoon, Irish music 2-5pm, and everyone was up dancing, apart from you obviously, Torps, we didnít want to scare everyone off.

Well, we had a very entertaining band in The Maguires, a two-piece Irish folk band, who also played English standards, and mercifully, unlike every other Irish band, they didnít play "The Irish Rover" over and over, forgive the pun.

What pun? That's called assonance.

Your being very clever this week, Chris, whatís wrong, started going out with a librarian, and trying to impress her by reading The Iliad?

Do you mean the one by that Simpson bloke?

Oh yes, very funny, bet that goes down very well at the poetry recitals.

Sara doesnít like poetry, too many words and not enough action.

We donít want any more details, Chris, this is supposedly a pub review, not a self-promotion exercise. What did you think of the band then?

As you said, it was a pleasant change to hear a different style of Irish music, and even though there were only two of them, they werenít held back, as both of them could sing brilliantly, as well as being multi-instrumental, if thatís a term. And as Iím on commission, you can contact them on (01302) 811511. There thatís some more beer money for me.

Chris, Iím ashamed, you should know better. But, then again we know where to spend it. The John Smithís was only £1.40, and the spirits £1.15, so you canít go wrong.

Plus they have drinks offers on. Hang on a sec, what do you mean "we know where to spend it", you mean "I know where to spend it", youíre not getting any.

Oh, go on, after all the favours Iíve done you in the past.

Well, I might buy you a half. You have done me the favour of not being related to me.

We are wandering off again. Control, you must learn control. Right, your final thoughts on OíReillyís, Chris.

Iíd just like to say that its not often that you go in to a pub where after half an hour you feel so at home, you donít want to leave. Itís got lovely, friendly bar staff, which is something most pubs try to have, but not this successfully. Oh, and before I sign off, Iíd like to say special thanks to PJ, for helping us get some photos of Kay OíReilly, she was a little bit camera shy, I donít know why.

Before we go off for the Rabbitís verdict, I would like to say what happened later. Just as I was beginning to think that that was another classic day over with, who should I bump in to, none other than Keith Deller, the famously youthful darts player.

And on Leeds station platform, with all the riffraff, I would have thought a chauffeur driven limo was more his style.

You know, Chris, he hasnít changed a bit since I met him at a fund-raising dinner, held at my, then, local labour club. He had just made an excellent speech about his top-notch career as a darts player, and his little known love of 50s rock legend Carl Perkins.

I would have guessed that he was more of a Big Bopper type.

What are you saying? Darts players need to be heavy, so that it acts as a counter-balance when they are at the Ďocheí.

Right, Torps, the Rabbitís verdict is awaiting us. Such excitement.

The Rabbitís verdict: Iím not bitter.

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