The penultimate gig of this tour was at the legendary Square and Compass in Worth Matraverse on Englands’ Jurassic Coast. Gerry had been telling us about this gig since he picked us up at Heathrow. We had heard so much about the gorgeous coastline, the pub itself, the cider and pasties, that we were beyond excited to get on the road to Dorset on Saturday. It was all just as advertised. Worth Matraverse is an old seaside town on England’s southern coast, the high concentration of fossils earned the area the nickname “Jurassic Coast”, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival we piled into the Square and Compass and each dove into a pint of the house made cider. This isn’t the syrupy stuff you tend to get in the states. It’s not sweet and seems to me to have more in common with white wine than beer, it’s also strong. Really strong. Warmed by our ciders, we followed the directions of Charlie, the owner of the bar that has been in his family for more than one hundred years, and made our way down to the coast. A walk down a path of about one mile brought us out to the top of a cliff that overlooks the English Channel and is marked with a handful of caves carved into the rock when the area had been an active quarry. The view is absolutely incredible, there are some pictures below that won’t do it justice. It was one of those places that gives you a sense of how big and powerful the planet is, and how small we each are in comparison. We explored for an hour or so before the wind and cold drove us back up the path to the Square and Compass for another pint and piping hot pasties.
The Square and Compass is an old pub and seems to serve as the social hub for the area. When we arrived the patio was full of cyclists and climbers who had been outside all day and were beginning the evenings’ festivities. The building itself was built around 1700, with its’ roaring wood stove, low ceiling, and small rooms, it is the single coziest bar I have ever visited. The owner, the aforementioned Charlie, is a fossil collector and the very back of the place is one-room fossil museum and is a great place to look over while waiting for a seat. We had some time to kill, so there was some jamming and some napping done. Later on we set-up and soundchecked with the Kevin, the bar manager, and then it was go time! This was one of the smallest rooms we’ve played on the tour and the crowd present was more than enough to pack the place. We had a fantastic close quarters show, literally toe-to-toe with the audience. It was an incredible night and we can’t wait to get back! After the gig we went to the nights’ lodging, a lovely house owned by a retired gentleman named Brian who kept us up late and then was up before any of us making breakfast. Thank you, Brian!
Reluctantly, we were up early to get on the road to Spalding and the final gig of the tour. Thank you to everyone who joined and Charlie, Kevin, Tom, and Zoe at the S+Q who took such good care of us and kept the pints and pasties coming!
Thanks for reading,