Sloping roof beams, dark wooden furnishings and skull-pattern wallpaper feature alongside exposed brickwork: The Flapper's distinctive character is ingrained in its material peculiarities. Hidden from the main road, its entrance lies at the end of something resembling a small metal drawbridge – but this suits a venue renowned for its fiercely independent atmosphere.
Built in the late 1960s, but renamed 'The Flapper and Firkin' in 1991, this spacious canalside pub has been an institution of the independent music scene ever since. Back in the 90s, bands as diverse as At The Drive-In and Doves chose its modest downstairs stage for early UK tours.
Today, it remains popular with bands of a hardcore sensibility; Pulled Apart By Horses and Dinosaur Pile-Up recently passed through, no doubt attracted by a subterranean live room built to reverberate with energy and noise. The Flapper even boasts its own yearly 'Off The Cuff' music festival dedicated to local and touring acts that practise noise-rock and other electronic-infused madness.
The upstairs bar operates as something of a hub for those on the fringe of more overt local shrines to heavy-metal iconography; its walls display punk and glam rock stars side-by-side, just opposite the pinball machines. Gone are the days when punters could try their luck with a £1 pint of Dogbolter (the stock behind the bar is largely standard issue), but The Flapper still excels in a spirit of alternativeness for the sake of being alternative.