Trad Sessions at the Brazen Head
Venue: 20 Bridge Street Lwr, Dublin 8 Website: www.brazenhead.com Price: FREE Date: Ongoing Time: Mon-Sat 9:00pm onwards, Sunday 3:30-6:30pm
The Brazen Head holds that most sought-after of titles: the oldest pub in Ireland. Although the building situated on Bridge Street today dates from the not-too-distant 18th century, there is evidence of a tavern having stood on the same spot since 1198. But no matter the legitimacy of the claims, the big attraction here is far and away the music. Live traditional music sessions take place every day of the week, with the pub becoming particularly atmospheric at the weekends. And the music, like the fare and the beer, is quality stuff. In its day the Brazen Head has hosted the likes of Van Morrison and the Dubliners. Neither is this pub lacking in literary and political connections. Other former patrons have included James Joyce, Brendan Behan, Jonathan Swift and revolutionaries such as Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O’Connell and Michael Collins.
The Brazen head attracts a mixed crowd. It has retained some of its loyal base of locals but legal eagles from the Four Courts and nearby solicitors’ offices are now just as likely to be found here as well as a good sample of international visitors keen to experience the music and the craic. Although the food is very good, I recommend you go for the music. It can get fairly crowded and noisy so, for me, it’s not the ideal way to dine. The Sunday sessions are an absolute must and it would be a shame to leave Dublin without having experienced one. Arrive early to secure a good spot!