Originally Posted on Apr 20, 2016
Today we are chatting to musician and songwriter David Rotheray about his new bar, The People’s Republic. David is best known for being the lead guitarist for The Beautiful South which he formed in the late 1980s with songwriting partner Paul Heaton.
It’s a big jump from writing music to opening a bar, how did that happen? Well, music doesn’t occupy as much of my time as it used to do, unfortunately. And I needed to have something to occupy myself and provide me with some goals in life. Touring the world with a band for twenty years endows you with a limited skill set. I’ve learned a lot about music, beer and hotels. I don’t care if I never see another hotel, so I thought I’d combine the other two specialities into one project.
Is there a story behind the bar’s name and logo? Well, there are three of us who set up the bar together. Dave, Darren and Robert. So we wanted to call it DDR, using our initials and echoing the German initials for the name of the old East Germany, a subject which fascinates me. But there are a few other things called DDR, so we changed it to The People’s Republic, which is what DDR (very loosely) stands for. Also it contains the letters PUB in the middle of it.
We have seen The People’s Republic being described as offering world beer and world music in an adult ambience with a 70’s twist. What inspired you to create this combination? Well, world music and world beer was my starting point. The decor was not explicitly intended to be 1970s, but I wanted to source some German wallpaper and the wallpaper ended up dominating the design concept. It does look a bit 70s I guess.
There have been many musician/booze collaborations. If a brewery offered you the chance to brew your perfect beer, how would it taste? I hope I would never accept a commercial offer of sponsorship in regard to my business affairs. But if a German brewery made me an offer, I might find that hard to refuse. It would be a light, crisp lager in the Dortmunder style probably.
Out of all the beers you stock, which is your favourite? I particularly like the Vocation Life & Death on draught. In bottles, I’m quite partial to the Kelpie seaweed ale.
What drink can you no longer face after having had too many? Jägermeister. No question. It’s a love- hate relationship. But it has to be served in a frozen glass (which we do).
What is the silliest thing you’ve done whilst drunk? This question could take a long time to answer, but here goes:
– Climbing out of a fourth floor hotel room onto an icy ledge, inching along it and climbing into the next room.
– Setting fire to my own foot.
– Climbing up some scaffolding and into a hotel room occupied by a Saudi Arabian sheik with a crew of bodyguards.
– Dancing all night to ‘Get Down’ by Gilbert O’Sullivan on repeat play.
– Buying giant catering size bottles of Heinz ketchup.
– Getting married.
You are stuck on a desert island, what three things are you taking with you? My girlfriend , a guitar, and Ray Mears.
Huge thanks to David for taking the time to chat with us. The People’s Republic is open 12 noon to 11pm and is located on Newland Avenue, Hull.