Monday, May 15, 2006

F.A. Cup 2006 – MU Bar

Now I am not much of a football fanatic. In fact I hardly ever watch the sport until the World Cup comes around. But it is always fun to watch some finals here and there. On Saturday Liverpool took on West Ham United for the FA Cup final and on Wednesday coming, Barcelona is facing Arsenal for the Champions League Trophy. I dig Barca so that will be a blast to watch as well. So anyways, we went to the Manchester United Bar here in Jakarta to watch the final on Saturday.

The MU Bar is located in Sarinah, exactly where Hard Rock Café used to be. After HRC moved, they used the exact space for the MU Bar. The layout is exactly the same, meaning the kitchen, bathroom, and stairs are exactly where the used to be. The surface area is also unaltered. They did of course change the overall design and furniture layout, including bars. The escalator leading up to the entrance has this goal post over it, which suited the theme of course.

We were seated on the upstairs balcony that over looks the downstairs bar. We had a clear view at the projection TV from there. When we arrived, Liverpool was already 1 goal down. My mates are ardent supporters are they were clearly flustered with the current play.

By the second half, I recall the score went to 2-1 in favor of WHU. Soon after that Liverpool managed to equalize and we were all confident this game would go into extra time and a penalty shoot out, but in the last quarter WHU managed to score another goal seemingly securing a championship victory over the house favorites. It was unbelievable. The game was in its last minutes and all hopes seemed lost. I know somewhere in Mumbai Brother Ro was sitting in a bar with a huge smile on his face thinking this match was over. I was slouched back in my stool, also disappointed when all of a sudden through some confusion during the last minute of injury time, the Liverpool captain Gerrard gets he foot on the ball while outside the penalty box and fires it directly into the post!!! The crowd went insane!!! GOAL! They were flat lining, staring into the jaws of death when Gerrard snapped them back to life. They played an additional 30 minutes in which no goals were scored and Liverpool secured the FA Cup in a penalty shoot out. I rarely watch football, but when I do, this is the kind of match I like to see. It was a battle to the end. For some comments and video clips from a REAL Liverpool fan, look here. (Sorry for the shitty game review Ash)

So with that the game was over. The band came out and played ‘We Are the Champions’. I love Queen but someone really needs to come up with a new victory tune. It seems MU Bar has a different band everyday of the week. The music can get a bit loud if you are just looking for a decent meal. The band on that night was alright I guess. They did play some new songs like ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ by Shakira but they also screwed up some lyrics. As most local bands do, they had some hot lead singers that really moved to the music and kept the guys mesmerized.

As most themes bars are, MU Bar is also decorated with there personal memorabilia. It can not really compare to the variety that HRC had displayed on these very same walls but I this could be some sorry MU fans wet dream.

The staff at MU Bar is awesome. It is always great to hang out at a place where you never feel alone, even when you are. I usually like to hang out at places like this when I travel alone. I have been here only a handful of times but a few of the people there remeber me and chat with me as well. Dude, I so need to be loved.

Just as we were leaving, we collectively decided to have one more drink, for the road, at the downstairs bar. I think that was the best decision we made that night. The band played one more song then moved aside for these devilish dancers. They performed some pretty steamy sequences to raunchy music. Thier moves were not only limited to the stage, but they also dance on the bar and interact with patrons.

This act can be some fun and it goes on at pretty much all the big bars in Jakarta. The girls do not get naked or anything, and of you look closely enough you might notice that they are wearing skin colored stockings as well. So these girls are not just prancing around in skimpy underwear. But people I meet abroad have such a negative opinion of Indonesia, thinking all people here are fanatics but that is so not the case. This is just good clean fun, and it is not really sexist because is some bars the dancers are males.

Everyone who watched this game knows how awesome it was. Matches like this do not occur very often and I am glad I caught it. Manchester United Bar is also a great place to kick back and watch football games Jakarta. Although you should always call first to find out what they are showing and if they will be playing live commentary or allow the live band to play. It can be quite frustrating when the select the latter while your favorite team is getting their ass handed to them.

1 comment:

Shan said...

Yup I was watching it at my local on Sat nite. Was indifferent as I'm a bit of an arsenal fan - but Sabah is Liverpool territory and all my friends are hardcore fans. But it was a great match nevertheless, not short on the goals.
And there was a lot of hootin' and hollering and yes, We Are The Champions singalongs.