Here’s hoping you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and had plenty of opportunities to visit great local pubs. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a fantastic New Year for 2019.

I put on my own tasteful Christmas jumper, grabbed a sprig of mistletoe, and headed straight for the Prince of Wales in Clarence Square.

I know there’s a danger we all get a little carried away at this time of goodwill to all men and general over indulgence, but it’s important to know your limit.

When I saw the landlord’s impersonation of a sex-crazed kangaroo on speed I became seriously worried. My major concern for the slightly rotund, not as young as he used to be, Trace (yes, that’s his name) was keeping up this type of full-on physical activity might finish him off long before January 1.

In the end he not only survived and managed to crawl over to a bar stool, but recovered sufficiently to open the karaoke – now this is a publican that believes in leading by example.

Personally I avoid all animal impersonations – at least until I’ve had a pint or six.

This being a house belonging to Britain’s oldest brewery, I selected a pint of Bishops Finger and settled into a corner table with some of the biggest white church candles I’ve ever seen. Talking of settling, the Finger took a while but once it had calmed to barman Kieran’s satisfaction it was a superb pint.

Getting served was a tricky as the locals love a seat at the bar with their mates but they seemed jovial enough and many looked as if they’d been in some time by my 7.30pm entry point.

There were three TV screens, two showing old horse races and one Sky Sports News, though when the main footie event kicked off at 7.45pm they were dutifully turned over.

What was interesting was that by 8pm the karaoke was in full swing and footie fans were cast aside in favour of cat strangling and other similar murderous renditions.

Trace kicked us off with a noble effort but others who followed were all effort and absolutely no ability.

One fellow, I’ll call him Geoff as that’s what everyone called him, had been perusing the book for possible song titles for ages before he stood up to take his turn – he was a trier, I’ll give him that.

This is a place which takes its karaoke seriously, seven days a week seriously, and the man on the mic takes no prisoners.

By now, Sue was massacring Mistletoe and Wine so I popped downstairs for a little light relief. The gents was well tiled and clean. Not slick by any means, but pleasant smelling enough and someone had thoughtfully left a homage to Nana Chubb, whoever she is, scrawled on the light fitting.

Just beyond the facilities is the “games room”, which was uninhabited. I saw darts, some dodgy looking lights and a few other pastimes to while away the hours, but it felt a little uncared for and dank. I’m sure with enough bodies and good cheer it could be a happy enough space. Maybe it acts as a chill out room for those who really can’t bear any more off-key renditions?

On the wooden stairs back to the pub I noticed one of those old carousel sweet machines – I assume there simply wasn’t room for it elsewhere.

Nothing about this place is smart or trendy, but it is welcoming and as long as you’re prepared to find the right level these people will befriend you.

I moved across to the Five Grain lager, another 5 per cent offering from Shepherd Neame, which was balanced, fresh and tasty.

Back in the main bar I’m delighted to report the guy in the full Aston Villa tracksuit had finished on the fruit machine and headed into the night.

I must be frank and say I can understand why some people might have a bit of a downer on this tatty-round-the-edges boozer but I think they might be missing the point. It’s a haven for those seeking this type of old fashioned pub – OK, the furnishings are never going to win any prizes, and the clientele certainly won’t scoop quiz trophies, but it provides exactly what those who head here are after – it’s an accepting, no nonsense place for all-comers – and, what’s more, they offer sandwiches and nibbles later in the evening.

The picnic benches outside are unsurprisingly just for customers and are mainly used by smokers, equally unsurprisingly there are plenty of those here. Finally, I can report it wasn’t a sex-crazed kangaroo after all. It was just Trace doing an impression of an 87-year-old man with whooping cough having sex with his wife – the old ones are the best, the jokes that is.

Prince of Wales – 47 Clarence Square Brighton BN1 2ED

Decor: Three stars

Looks are not everything, it’s what’s under the surface that matters – rough and ready.

Drink: Four stars

All the basics were on offer, and both the beer and lager were well kept and well served.

Price: Three stars

The Five Grain lager was £4.80, I’d stick to the Finger for 50p less if I was you.

Atmosphere: Three stars

If karaoke and salt of the earth are you’re thing then you’ll be in heaven, that’s for sure.

Staff: Four stars

It might be a pub for locals, but they’ll talk to anyone in here, which is a major strength. Trace and Kieran were both great.

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