Published on June 5, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour


Here’s lookin’ at you

A flavour of continental Europe is heading for Whitley Bay with a pop-up version of a classic bar style.

Cheers81LangShotHighBridgeCafé Amsterdam is designed in the tradition of the Dutch city’s fabled “brown bars”, quintessential elements in its culture and favoured haunts of colourful characters, great beer and local delicacies.

Drafted in to advise on the project is Andy Hickson, manager at The Green in Wardley, Gateshead, and previously the Bacchus in Newcastle.

The Café Amsterdam idea is to celebrate new-wave Dutch craft beer, including small breweries such as Uiltje, Frontaal Bier, Brouwerij ’Ti Ij, Oedipus Brewing, and a few very special beers from Tommie Sjef and his Wild Ales microbrewery in Den Helder who ferments and ages his beers in oak casks. There will also be traditional and progressive spirits, Dutch cheese plates, and samples from Wilde Chutney – a lady who ferments and pickles her own produce.

The Amsterdam experience, flavour and ambience will be enhanced by 15 fabulous photographs of Amsterdam taken by Adam Lang of Lang Shot Photography, complemented by 30 Newcastle and North East shots displayed to connect the two.

Cheers81LangShotBeehiveAdam, who works by day for BT, got into photography through walking across the bridges every day to work from Gateshead to Newcastle.

“I bought a camera rather than taking pictures on my phone,” he says. “I remember seeing a reflection of the city on the Tyne that I had never noticed before. My mind is now always on framing a shot. I like soft, low light and look at shadows then manipulate them, learning by trial and error plus some YouTube tutorials.”

Adam has been selling prints through his website (, through groups on Facebook, and in various shops – The Glamorous Owl for example, next to The Old George in Newcastle, and Upside Down on Side which also opened up in premises across the road.

Cheers81LangShotAmsterdamAdam says: “I actually sold one there to a girl from Warsaw as I was bringing them in – she bought it on the spot. I want to do more craft markets and set up more shops and have just done my first album cover. I was watching local band Broken Levee with my camera and next thing I know I’m arranging CD artwork.”

Adam has already exhibited in pubs, notably The Central in Gateshead in December 2016 and had several examples of his astonishing work hanging in Gateshead Railway Club.

“I’ve got some great photographs lined up for Café Amsterdam,” he says. “One is printed with a metallic finish which I’m really pleased with – it gives them a different sort of light, it shines a bit more.”

The shine will definitely be on Whitley Bay this month.

*Café Amsterdam pops up over the weekend of June 8-10 at The Storm Cellar, 10 York Road, Whitley Bay NE26 1AB.

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Alastair Gilmour

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