'Italian harpsichords like this were particularly favoured for their ability to fit in lifts when the concert was on the first floor...'
One of the best things about the Night Shift (apart from the music) is that it always takes place in a unique and interesting venue. So, in the run-up to our grand tour of England, we’ve decided to delve a little deeper into these amazing places. First up, our Newcastle venue, the Cumberland Arms.
What’s the best thing about being in Newcastle?
The bridges! And the parks and the nightlife and the music scene and the art galleries and the people and the architecture and the river and being near the sea, pretty much everything!
Has there ever been a major disaster at the pub?
Not while we have been here but legend tells that at one point in the 19th Century the corner of the building collapsed and landed on a builders’s head, killing him instantly. This corner of the pub is known as Dead Man’s Corner and is a very popular place to sit!
How has the place changed since it first opened?
The pub has been open for some 200 years but amazingly not that much. We still have the external service hatch for selling drinks to women before they were allowed to frequent the bar, the interior has been updated slightly over the decades but those who drank in here years ago would definitely still recognise the place.
What was most unusual event that’s ever been put on there?
We have just been part of the BBC 6 Music Festival in the North East which was great and certainly doesn’t happen every week! In the past we have been one of the venues for DERT which is the annual rapper dancing competition. And we’re planning a dog show for this summer.
Has anyone famous ever come in?
Yes, we are a low key kind of place and there are a few recognisable regulars who can come in for a quiet drink when they are in town.
What’s the oddest thing someone has ever left in the pub toilets?
Writing, we can have pretty interesting graffiti, we have to paint over it every now and again so that there can be more! My favourite recently has been a picture of a guinea pig!
What is the most common drink that people order?
Beer, we sell a house ale called Rapper made by Wylam Brewery, it is on most of the time so it is probably the most common drink.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about the pub.
It has a B&B! Lots of people who drink in the pub have no clue that above them are 4 B&B rooms!
The Night Shift comes to the Cumberland Arms on 24 April. Book tickets below or find out more.