Triangle’s in the Square: Richie rocks the Black Swan


RECALLING a dreary evening of yore as sole patrons, spent listening to the landlady hark on about a phantom woman in a white dress floating through the rooms; you can appreciate my apprehension upon revisiting The Black Swan in Devizes. The 18th Century coaching inn’s décor and atmosphere was unequivocally average; pitching the ghostly fable seemed its only niche.

However, my pessimism was abandoned on the doorstep, I was astonished and captivated, immediately feeling welcomed by regulars and its authentic rustic makeover. Unless you’re Dr Egon Spengler, if the ghost still haunts you’d be excused for missing her through the jumble of objects d’art and curiosities. The Black Swan is now an antique shop styled hotel; everything overwhelming your eyes has a price, an ardent punter informs me.

I’m not David Dickenson though; I’ve come here for atmosphere, a pint and some live music, the quality of all above my expectations. To suit the off-beat character transforming the place a young Irish singer stands at the windowed alcove grasping his guitar with passion.

As a gentleman moves over, making space for us to sit at the bar the performer, Richie Triangle glides into the Pogue’s Dirty Old Town; I sense I’m at home before my cider hits the bar.

No cliché with Triangle’s song-choice though, he slides gracefully through classic acoustic versions from Tracey Chapman, Tom Petty, Bill Withers and Snow Patrol, even renovating Elvis’s can’t help falling in love.

Open for requests Richie’s natural charisma and quick wit regales the modest crowd. He involves himself with them, nipping through to the restaurant area to serenade a birthday girl, criticising the boyband cover of Chapman’s song or else perpetrating a Sambuca session.

An ever-changing menu of quality food, a friendly lurcher, a fire and every other element of a hospitable pub layers its appeal; The Black Swan is truly a fine establishment for the intelligent alternative or eccentric and its prime location in Devizes’ market square is nothing short of a triumph for the new proprietors. And this is without a marvellous soloist accompaniment with an appetite for entertaining you.

It promises more live music, so you may have missed this but you have no excuse for doing so again.

The Black Swan:
Richie Triangle:

DL 2

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I was born in the Fling Dynasty of a small planet known as Duncan in a galaxy far, far away. My humble parents, believing the planet was on the eve of destruction, sent me off as a baby in an egg-shaped craft and I landed here on planet Earth in the spring of 1973. I was later to discover through a cavern of ice, as you do, that the planet was fine all the time and it was just a particularly nasty prank by my father’s mates down the pub. I landed in a deep jungle and was raised by a company of wolves, learning to live as they did. Until one day when a naughty tiger with a very English accent came along and I was whisked away by a black panther and a jazz singing bear to a man-village. It wasn’t the tiger I was worried about; it was the American cartoon producer following on behind him. It was at the village that I won a golden ticket to visit a chocolate factory where I fell into a river made of chocolate and was sucked up a pipe into a fudge room; happy days. It could have been worse; I heard some other kid turned into an exploding blueberry. I lived at a coastal Inn for a while until an old sailor paid me a penny to look out for a legless seadog. In finding him I discovered a treasure map and was promptly whisked away by a sailor to a Caribbean island where I got into a bit of a rumble with some pirate radio DJ called Captain Tony Blackbeard. It was that or another holiday in Clacton. At eleven I was taken away by a man with an uncanny resemblance to actor and comedian Robbie Coltrane to a school for wizards where I had to battle it out with some bald blue bloke who killed my parents, said he was a lawyer working for an author called JK Rolling or something. That wasn’t as bad as the frog flavoured semolina we had to eat for school dinner. As I grew up and went to college I decided to give my favourite toys, a cowboy and a space ranger, away to a snotty girl from around the corner, nobody told me the cowboy was really Tom Hanks otherwise I would have given them away a lot sooner. So, other than the time I was bitten by a rare spider and found myself with special arachnid powers which I used to defeat an evil leprechaun, I left college and it was all very uneventful. Nowadays I have settled down to a family life and enjoy writing books, striving to be more like Bruce Bogtrotter every day. People say “where do you get your ideas from?” I tell them I have no idea, I've had such a boring, everyday life.



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