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Swifties on a Pub Crawl: The Black Dog Becomes a Taylor Swift Fan Pilgrimage Site

'I don't want to give too much away... but we do have a certain blonde regular who frequents, let's just say that.'

Source: Republic Records

Variant 4, known as 'The Black Dog' Deluxe version.

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Forget Buckingham Palace: For many Taylor Swift fans visiting London, the hottest attraction isn't royalty, it's a quaint pub.

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Thanks to a namecheck in The Tortured Poets Department, The Black Dog in Vauxhall, once a locals favorite, is experiencing a tidal wave of fans, all eager to connect with a place mentioned in her latest release. While the overriding theme of heartbreak and loss has made for commercial and critical accolades for Swift, it has also created a whole lot of unexpected publicity for the previously unassuming boozer.

Social media manager of The Black Dog Lily Bottomley, when questioned by Sky News on who may be visiting the pub, answered: "I don't want to give too much away, but we do have a certain blonde regular who frequents, let's just say that."

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Source: Google Maps

"And so I watch as you walk, into some bar called The Black Dog."

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Speculation continues as to whether the quote could allude to Swift herself, or to her ex Joe Alwyn, who reportedly enjoys a frequent pint or two at the pub. But as noted in a breakdown of the individuals name-checked in The Tortured Poets Department, the other ex in Swift's story is Matt Healy, frontperson for The 1975, who was also linked to her romantically for a short time.

The lyric in question runs: "How you don't miss me / In The Black Dog / When someone plays The Starting Line and you jump up."

The Starting Line, a pop punk band formed in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s, had a minor hit in 2003 with "The Best of Me." Healy's band covered the song during The 1975 tour in 2023. You can do the math (or the conspiracy theory) from here.

Source: Screenshot via Q4Music/YouTube

The Best Act In The World Today. Matt Healy at The Q Awards, 2019.

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Healy claims that he hasn't paid much attention to the album himself yet. When approached by Entertainment Tonight and asked about a/any 'diss' track(s), he responded, "My diss track? Oh! I haven’t really listened to that much of it, but I’m sure it’s good."

The Tortured Poets Department has continued its record-breaking run on the charts since releasing on April 19. The debut single "Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)" has broken Spotify records for the platform's most streamed album in a single day with more than 300 million streams. The single also shares the same record for most streams in a single day, surpassing Adele's "Easy On Me" in 2021. The Swift-directed-and-written video for the above with Malone, Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles) premiered April 19 and as of April 25, has over 39 million views.

Source: ℗ © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC/Taylor Swift/YouTube

Taylor Swift - Fortnight (feat. Post Malone) (Official Music Video)

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The (expected) debut at Number 1 on both the UK Official Charts and Billboard 200 won't be official for a few days, but the reported tally from music industry sources has noted that it's surpassed Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter as the biggest album in 2024 so far. Physical sales are at 1.4 million according to initial reports to data tracking firm Luminate, marking Swift’s biggest sales week ever for any album in the U.S.


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