NEWMARKET — Deafening rock music swept a crowded function room in The Palomino pub one recent Wednesday night.

The music, played by young local bands, seemed to take control of several teenagers who head-banged and moshed into each other. Despite baffled looks from the owner, Sheila McNally, the teenagers continued this behavior throughout the night.

“They’re a pain in the rear end,” a smiling McNally said.

Every other Wednesday night, the pub opens its function room to let young rock bands showcase their talents.

“It’s mainly to help new groups that are just starting out,” McNally said. She has owned the pub with her husband for about 18 years.

On this night, the venue appeared to attract a younger crowd of 18-year-olds, yet, there were some spectators ranging from ages 20 to 50.

For a change of pace from the chic pubs and clubs throughout England, venture out to The Palomino pub, which is hidden in a residential area off High Street, Newmarket’s main drag.

About 9:30 p.m on that Wednesday, numerous teenagers were loitering around. Many had come outside, away from the loud music, to socialize with friends or for a quick make-out session. The cover charge to watch four local bands rock out on this night was 3 pounds. According to the bands’ promoter, Richard Phillips, the earnings were split among the bands.

“It’s very difficult for these young local bands to get into venues,” he said. “It’s getting to a situation that they have to pay to play anywhere.”

Phillips reminisced about an American band that used to play here about two years ago.

“They were all from a nearby American base. They were good, sounded like Blink 182,” he said.

He mentioned that he and others would like to see more Americans — either bands or fans — at the live performances.

“We would love to see more of them out here. Come off that base and come join us,” he insisted.

Besides the live bands, The Palomino offers its function room for weddings, funerals and other events at no cost.

“We’re the only pub in Newmarket that has a function room. We don’t charge for the room; we just take the money behind the bar,” McNally said.

Anyone interested in reserving The Palomino’s function room can call 01638 663794.

As always, if you drink, do so responsibly. Don’t drink and drive.

The Palomino

Location: 122 Valley Way in Newmarket (a few blocks north of the High Street and Hamilton Road junction.)

Drinks: There are nine beers on tap and the usual selections of spirits and wines.

Food: There is no pub grub here.

Ambience: Every other Wednesday night, The Palomino hosts live rock bands trying to stake their claim. The next live performance will be held on May 10.

Service: Same as other pubs.

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