Glasgow is, in recent years, happy to report as clean a bill of health as it has ever had, musically speaking. With a seemingly never ending conveyor belt of talent coming out of the city, it’s position at the forefront of Scottish music allows it to stand head and shoulders above most other cities in the UK, perhaps even London. However, like any success story, there has been the odd rough patch to upset the smooth.
Here’s 5 things about music in Glasgow/Scotland that have caused a mixture of outrage, disappointment and desire to vomit your dinner up.
1. The closure of The Arches
When one of the UK and Europe’s most revered cultural and club venues shut down, it sent shock waves far and wide. A Glasgow institution, the 2,400 capacity venue became a hotbed of creativity right from the word go, when it opened its doors as a theatre way back in 1991, before morphing into a gig venue and club space – one which regularly found itself amongst the best in the world lists. Sorely missed by those who frequented the unique space underneath Central Station.
2. Any T in the Park after, perhaps, 2008
Scotland’s ‘premier’ music festival is, lets be honest, a festival in appearance and name only – with lineups in recent years resembling a playlist at Campus on Sauchiehall St. Once a place of joyful frustration in trying to decide between cracking bands that shared the same time slots, those of a ‘real’ music persuasion looked on in disgust this year as Calvin Harris spun ‘Bits and Pieces’. Just ask LCD Soundsystem, who played a headline slot to less people than a Michelle McManus karaoke gig upstairs in The Horseshoe Bar on a Monday night.Suppose Geoff Ellis has done everyone a favour, we have all discovered the joys of other festivals such as Primavera or Bilbao BBK.
3. Anything George Bowie has ever done
The pied-piper of the coke and MD 20/20 brigade has been offending people’s ears ever since he started with Radio Clyde way back when, with his ‘GBX’ experience show on a Saturday night acting as a war cry for the Kyle’s and Debbie’s of Glasgow to start causing it on the streets of the city centre before, during or after they get their rave on. The last straw for many was the untimely, tragic death of David Bowie, with his ardent followers rubbing salt into the wound by confusing Bowie with Mr Radio Clyde, tweeting that ‘they are gonna miss GBX on a Saturday night’. Where’s the sick bag.
4. When they pulled the plug on Connect Festival
Boasting a location that put all other festivals to shame on the banks of Loch Fyne at Inverary Castle, Connect festival. The boutique festival (limited to 20,000 tickets) seemed a perfect antidote to the much bigger T, with a relaxed atmosphere and amazing food ticking all the boxes. 2007’s stellar bill requires a double take even now looking back at it, with Bjork, LCD Soundsystem, Beastie Boys, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Mogwai, Idlewild and many, many other great artists. Granted, 2008 wasn’t as strong – but the setting and non-music related offerings still made it a welcome addition to the festival calendar.
5. Avicii’s concert at Bellahouston Park
A night which can only be described as a national embarrassment, brought to the city in 2013 thanks to the guys who run Glasgow Summer Sessions. With more than a passing resemblance to America’s presidential race, Avicii must have resembled a Trump-like figure spewing out garbage after garbage, energised by a toothless, non educated support in the form of every bam from Dumfries to Dingwall. With papers saying the gig quickly into ‘drink and drug’ fuelled bedlam, its reported that residents in Mosspark Boulevard planted crosses and garlic in their front gardens in a vain attempt to stop the vampires from shaggin’ in them after the gig.