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The Culture Focus: Nottingham

The Impact Travel Team brings you a regular Culture Focus feature each issue, as we delve into the music, literature and food that are a city’s life and soul. This issue, our focus is on our very own Nottingham…

Natalie Duncan

Take just one listen to Natalie Duncan’s stunning vocals and we defy you not to fall head over heels for the gal. The Nottingham born half Jamaican, half Greek singer songwriter has done wonders for the Nottingham music scene, being the first Nottingham artist to release an album backed by a major label within this decade. Sitting somewhere between Nina Simone and Kirsty Almeida, Duncan’s style is infused with elements of soul, classical and jazz.

Otherwise dubbed as Her Satanic Majesty courtesy of Mojo magazine, Duncan is the latest face in the line-up of British female soul singers. A self professed ‘grim-reaper for the pop world’; Duncan was scouted by Simon Gavin in 2010 at a pub in Nottingham and subsequently signed to Decca records. Her debut album ‘Devil In Me’ is filled with anger and heartbreak. Offering up 14 hefty tracks filled with passion and heart-wrenching emotive wallops, Duncan lashes out at society, relationships, consumerism and 21st century brainwashing ideologies. Not an easy ride, but one well worth undertaking.

D.H Lawrence

David Herbert Richards Lawrence was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire in 1885. Having studied for his teachers certificate at the then University College Nottingham, Lawrence became a novelist, poet and literary critic of some repute. His writings however, began to reveal an attitude that was deemed radical toward sexuality and gender, often exploring the subconscious desires and impulses of the characters in his novels. Lawrence’s boldness unfortunately resulted in persecution and censorship. Infamously, Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which was published in full in 1960, saw Penguin Books prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act. D.H Lawrence caused widespread discussion and his novel was a significant landmark in sexual revolution.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Richard the Lionheart’s crusaders gulped down their ale at this famous inn before heading off on the long road to wage war in The Holy Land in 1189, giving this ancient pub both its name and a lasting legacy that has continued through the centuries. It is also the oldest inn England.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is literally carved out of the stone of Nottingham itself. Situated at the foot of Nottingham Castle, the pub is built into the surrounding rocks and connected to the city’s cave system. Tours of the cellars and caves are on offer and drinking here feels like being taken on an historical journey through Nottingham’s past.

The inn has a fine selection of ales on tap from all over the country and local ales brewed closer to home. The beer garden is fantastic for a summer’s day, or if the caves get too hot. The food on offer is the finest of pub grub and Ye Olde Trip boasts a varied menu – from fish finger sandwiches to sirloin steak in a honey mustard sauce – at affordable prices, served in a remarkably historic environment.

Richard Collett & Helena Murphy

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