04) High Fives 2019 – Ethan Anderson (Massy Ferguson)


Ethan Anderson is the singer and main songwriter with Massy Ferguson, whose album “Great Divides” we reviewed earlier this year and another band that we didn’t get a chance to check out live – next time guys. Despite us snubbing their gigs, Ethan Anderson kindly agreed to contribute to this year’s High Fives. We had Suzie Ungerleider’s cocktails yesterday and it’s Ethan’s favourite English pubs today:



Since I’m American, I admit that I have certain expectations for my British pub, ranging from pragmatic ones to wildly stereotypical. These 5 pubs fit all those, and then some, though for a variety of reasons that might not seem as obvious.

Number 1(tie), The Three Horseshoes, Ecton

I have to go number one (tie) with the Three Horseshoes for so many reasons. The place reeks of history and carousing in the best possible way. I don’t know when carpet was invented but the carpet at the Three Horseshoes is from that era. The ceiling seems to be caving in and is inches shorter than me in many places. We’ve played a show there on every UK tour we’ve been on. The beer is great, the people are great, Paul Darwin, Adrian, Rob, Kay, Victoria and the rest of the crew will look after you, and best of all, no one in the UK has heard of the bar or possibly even the town (Ecton). It’s the best of village in England. Side note: They also have a bench seat that I accidentally broke while doing a flute solo during a gig that the whole band later signed hanging on the wall.

Number 1(tie), The Thomas Tripp, Christchurch

I have to give number one to the Thomas Tripp (tie) because it’s the first place we ever played in the UK. I wish every place we played subsequently was more like the Tripp: old English pub (1700s era) with a renovated outside area, killer fish and chips, almost it is always packed with people. Simon and Aly are amazing folks who gave our guitar player a bottle of Veuve Clicquot on his birthday. I watched England lose to Iceland in a World Cup game there in 2016 and there’s no better way to get a taste of English pub life after their beloved, or much maligned, team loses. I learned a lot of new and creative ways to use the f-word and c-word that day.

Number 3, The Duke of Albany, Weymouth

John and co do a great job — again, it’s all about the atmosphere. This place has some talkers, some characters and some self-proclaimed amateur comics.  Plus I’m a huge fan of rooms that are named after English royalty with sordid history. I never played a show there but they appear to have the best karaoke on the southern coast, at least that’s what they’ll tell you. They didn’t know me but John still made a point to drive me around for a tour of Durdle Door, which was quite a memory.

Number 4, The Jenny Lind, Hastings

Again, gotta love the people. We had a show there but there was no PA system. We asked around and the local friends of friends found us one at two hours’ notice. Great stage, better people and also a great little place to get a room and crash post gig. Plus you can walk up the hill and visit a 1000 year old fortress. Definitely can’t do THAT in the US.

Number 5, The Speaker, London, UK

It’s the first place I ever drank in the UK. A great memory. It was drizzling and foggy that day, fittingly. Musty, dingy, surly bartender who hates Adele (“A-dull” in his words), extra clean taps—the only clean thing in the place. It might be touristy because of the location but I don’t care, it was a great place to spend an hour out of the London weather.

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