Pick Six: Tom Ainsley from Neon Raptor Brewing Company

Words: Tom Ainsley
Thursday 20 June 2024
reading time: min, words

For this month’s Pick Six we turn to Tom Ainsley of Neon Raptor Brewing Company in Sneinton Market…

Tom + Vinny On Table RGB
Wake In Fright Sm Rgb (1)

Film - Wake In Fright (1971)

I first saw this (hungover) during Broadway Cinema’s annual Mayhem film festival, knowing nothing of it. It’s full of sweaty claustrophobic closeups, peer pressure beers and gambling, a terrifying Donald Pleasance and a notorious kangaroo scene… I loved it. It’s a bona fide Australian classic that I recommend to all fans of intense but rewarding cinema. Do not watch when hungover!

Book Sm

Book - Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron by Daniel Clowes

I’ve read and bought this graphic novel multiple times and still don’t fully understand it or really know what it’s about. On the surface it’s a pretty gripping and paranoid down-the-rabbit-hole adventure involving a cast of uncanny outsiders, beautiful weirdos and unhelpful passersby. It’s a sad, beautiful and mostly hopeless slice of Americana that fans of classic Film Noir and David Lynch would enjoy.

Bodega Mackenzie Hall Websize 001

Notts Spot - The Bodega

I’ve been going here so long that I still sometimes call it The Social. I’ve seen mates play here, I’ve seen Interpol, King Gizzard, and The Last Dinner Party here. I love that the gig crowd is still a mixed bag of ages, and that often downstairs the revellers have no idea of the genius that’s happening upstairs. The beer fridges are also ridiculously good for a gig venue. It’s friendly, welcoming and is always a good place to hang out. The Christmas Covers Parties at The Bodega have been my favourite ever Nottingham nights out.

Rolands Varsbergs Epoh0okeoje Unsplash (1)

Holiday Destination - Copenhagen

It’s been nearly ten years since I first set foot in Copenhagen, and I’ve visited many times since. I’m usually here for the impeccable beer scene but the Danish capital has a majesty and charm away from all that where I feel relaxed, welcome and at home. It’s a beautiful city to walk, or float, around, especially with all the amazing beer and food stops you can make on your way.


Image: Roland Varsbergs

La Rock

Notts Meal - La Rock, Sandiacre

For my birthday in March this year, my girlfriend treated me to a meal at this tucked away gem down an unassuming side road in Sandiacre. It was very reasonably priced with attentive staff, generous portions and a relaxing lack of pretension. I had halibut as it’s a buy on site item for me and it was probably the best halibut I’ve ever had. Everything, from the aperitif to the wine, from the bread to the dessert was perfect. The dessert and attention to detail was out of this world and I need to find an excuse to visit again.


 Song - Cakes by Max Tundra

This bright kaleidoscope of instrumental chaos pop from genre defying musician Max Tundra (aka Ben Jacobs) came out at the tail end of Britpop and during Nu Metal’s unstoppable rise. I was in my late teens and it was just what I needed. Cakes skips through marching band drums, light jazz, and video game music, samples the sound of a cd skipping, and ends with an uplifting trumpet crescendo. The doors to anything psychedelic, noise, and full on pop music were opened to me by this short masterpiece.

Neon Raptor are located in Sneinton Market, Avenue A, Nottingham, NG1 1DT.


We have a favour to ask

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion

Please note, we migrated all recently used accounts to the new site, but you will need to request a password reset

Sign in using

Or using your

Forgot password?

Register an account

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.

Forgotten your password?

Reset your password?

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.