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“One of the Few” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Purple Thistle

The Purple Thistle
Avd.Gamonal, Arroyo De La Miel, 29630 Benalmadena, Spain (Formerly The Brass Bell)
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Ranked #85 of 117 things to do in Benalmadena
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
53 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“One of the Few”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

There used to be several kareoke bars in and around Bonanza Square. Now there are three. The owners of the Purple Thistle, (former owners of The Brass Bell) run an efficient, friendly bar with kareoke hosted by Cath and Barry who are very well respected and liked around the coast. If you enjoy kareoke you will like this bar. If you don't care for it so much you may still enjoy the friendly atmosphere. The bar inside is very warm and most people prefer to sit outside on the terrace. Children are welcome and there is a pool table, sofas, a television on the ajacent terrace which is ideal for the kids or for the men who want to play pool. The best nights in my opinion are Sundays, Mondays and Fridays. These tend to be the most popular. There is a happy hour, I think from 8.30 - 9.30, when you can have two for the price of one. Kareoke begins at 10 p.m. and finishes at 1.a.m. This is a very popular location for locals and visitors. The bar is located on what is known as "The Strip", next door to Innuendos, where I am told the food is very good. It is not far from C.J.'s, another kareoke bar which is more for the very young crowd. Another kareoke place is Picassos Show Bar, found in Ibensa Square, underneath Eduardo's restaurant. The interior of Picasso's is superior to any other, with air conditioning and a touch of luxury if rather compact and bijou. Try there for something different on a Sunday afternoon from around 4 p.m. until early evening. There are also shows there - see the local papers for details. Back to the Thistle - which is where many people like to finish off their evening - and you will find it warm and welcoming. I should just mention also Capone's, which opens at around midnight until the early hours. It is located adjacent to the Elefante and the die hard revellers enjoy this as their last port of call - before breakfast!

Visited August 2012
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4 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“The Brass Bell - has closed down?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2012

I'm the "Arj" referred to in Sir Wilton Shagpile's review. I note that someone described the bar as terrible and referred to Carlos as the worst singer in Benalmádena. This somewhat pompous person doesn't understand the bar. Everyone knows that Carlos IS the worst singer in Benalmádena - and everyone appreciates him because he is a character and awful as his singing is, he is a nice guy and everyone likes him and very few Spanish people, I might add, bother to sing English songs in karaoke bars like Carlos does. Carlos is a character from the "old days" before the cultural divide set in very strongly on the Costa. For that matter, most of the singing in most of the karaoke bars is "average" or worse. That isn't the point : it's the crack and good feeling that counts and people need to express themselves. I was appalled at poor old Carlos at first - and after a while I understood the point of Carlos. You need to take a little time for this and I suppose most passing visitors can pass the time. I assume the man who didn't like Carlos can sing well himself? I hope so! I certainly can - by everyone's definition in every karaoke bar from Montemar to Fuengirola - and I think Carlos (who isn't a mate of mine, by the way) is just fine.

Less happily, The Bell seems to have closed. I went down last week and saw it shut and a for let sign. Considering it was recently refurbished to a good standard, this must be a disappointment for the bar owners and I sympathise with them very much. I do hope it opens up again and Barry and Cath - among the finest karaoke DJ couples in Spain - are once again back in the saddle...

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Kilbride, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“One of the Best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

My friends Jane and Arj, residents up at Mijas, took us to the Bell on a Sunday afternoon. It was a home from home, The D.J. Barry is a master of his art, and Cathie is there to complete this amazing double act. She smiles she joins in shes one of the nicest people I know. The Karaoke is frequented in the main by locals but others are made very welcome. I was impressed by the fact that there was no favouratism (The blight of most Karaokies) Everyone got the "good" mike, everyone got a bit of echo and Barry was quick to change the key when a performer struggled.
If I lived in Benalmádena I would come here every Sunday. There is no smoking in the bar but the Bell boasts a very large patio where smoking is allowed.

Visited October 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaga, Spain
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Probably The Best”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

Probably the best Karaoke show in town, Barry and Cathy put on a great Karaoke show, and the Brass Bell at Gamonla is an excellent venue to catch it. Their show has the edge on most other Karaoke shows and they are both very professional friendly and polite. They are working the circuit here in Benalmadena a long time and attract many fans including some of the best amateur singers in the area and occasionally a few professionals. For Karaoke with a difference come here. This is more than Karaoke it is a social gathering where you will meet locals and make friends. The Brass Bell is a well run bar in a nice location, whether the Karaoke is on or not it is well worth a visit, well run friendly staff and good prices in a comfortable setting. I am amazed there are not more reviews about this excellent bar when bars of much lower standard come out higher rated so come on lets hear your opinions.

Visited May 2012
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