The Cob & Pen is a popular pub in Rhyl, ‘a local’s pub’ – it was previously however a renowned hardcore punk venue called The Dudley.
The Dudley Arms in Rhyl has a long history and was built by the Great Western Railway Company in the early-mid 1800’s. It was also hosting live music as early as 1898; the Rhyl Record and Advertiser described a Smoking Concert held at The Dudley in December by members of the Rhyl United Football Club, when a very enjoyable evening was spent. Smoking concerts were very popular during the Victorian era, at these functions men (only) would smoke and speak of politics whilst listening to live music.
During the 1970s and 80s it became a bikers pub called Load of Mischief and it was said that you could obtain any part for any motorbike from the clientele.
Reverting back to The Dudley it began hosting regular punk gigs from 2002 and became a haunt for the misfits, the freaks, the goths and the punks who could seek sanctuary away from the chavs and beerboys who frequented most of the town’s other bars.
The landlord, Peter was tolerant of all the moshing, high decibels, shenanigans and horseplay that went on during the gigs, quite simply because people didn’t take the piss. Yes, there were occasions when someone would leave head first through a window or someone would be thrown out for literally having a piss off the stage – but these were rare. (Brian, the legendary barman who must have been as old as the building itself, sadly died in 2011)
The Dudley hosted some fantastic nights (see the archive gig reviews), including the Dirty Weekends until its closure in May 2010.
(from Crud blog 2001 – pic courtesy of Rhyl History Club) – The Dudley Arms in Rhyl, a spit ‘n’ sawdust pub once called The Load of Mischief, a bikers haven in the 70s and 80s where you could get any part for any bike. Welcome to the 2001 Mutant Oddity – a snug Dickensian pub with quaint porcelain figurines in need of a dust next to a Marilyn Mansun framed poster and full of mutant punks. The majority of whom were never seen at The Breeding Ground. It was like a subculture that has developed away from the main glare of society, full of PVC and piercings and hardcore punk blasting out from behind a curtain, shrouding an exclusive dark and smokey room. An adjacent room had a couple of amazing looking karaoke queens in pink dreadlocks and leather bras murdering the B52’s Love Shack.
[from The Knowhere Guide]
A superb place free from the oppressive nature that can be found in Rhyl’s other pubs and a guaranteed Trendy Free Zone. Rhyl is a once trendy seaside resort now filled with trendy sports pubs, you can expect to pay higher prices for half the content as you look part of the crowd with your Vodka Kick or whatever bottle is in your hand.
Nestled snugly on the periphery of these bars is the Dudley Arms that tried miserably to become a Steak House but soon had the beef to allow adoption by the town’s large punk rock fraternity.