Posts Tagged ‘Glasgow’
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
We left the deep freeze of Toronto and landed in the damp chill of Glasgow. I’m not sure which I prefer, but I’d toss them both out for the hot sand of any Caribbean Island….I’d even take a Florida beach at this point. Fuck, I hate the cold.
It was a long journey, 36 hours between sleeps, including a six hour lay-over at Heathrow while BA searched for a plane that could fly. And it was an expensive journey, $1200 in excess baggage fees. But we made it and, as anticipated, fresh pints of John Smith’s were waiting for us at the end of the journey.
I like coming to Glasgow, if for no other reason than the Scots are such a welcoming and friendly tribe. Perhaps it’s the familiarity; there is a lot of Scottish blood running through Canadian veins. I don’t have much of a feel for the city, itself. It doesn’t have the natural charm of Edinburgh, but there is something genuine about it. The gig tonight was part of the three week long Celtic Connections festival, which takes place all over the city in different venues. Tonight we were placed in the Kelvingrove Museum: an enormous Victorian building housing the oddest collection of art and artefacts, everything from a spitfire to a stuffed elephant to a priceless Dali. They used the Great Hall for the gig which probably seemed like a good idea to the person who envisioned the gig, but if they had asked a sound engineer or musician if the room would work with a PA in it, they would have passed on the venue. Stone and marble with a 100 foot high arched ceiling never goes well with a kick drum. It was a nightmare for Jared and not very pleasant for us on stage: a big, echo-y mush. The urban myth about this building is that once it was built the architect came to visit and discovered that it had been built backwards. In his despair he killed himself. I think he came to see a rock show here and just couldn’t handle the mess. On the positive side; the show was sold out and the Glaswegians showed their class and gave us a warm welcome and plenty of support; we also got to listen to John Murry who opened for us and also had to fight the sound but made me want to check out his album; and we got to rummage around in the wardrobe room…always a good time.
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
We all eventually made it to Glasgow, straggling in at various times of the day. Margo and my flight was uneventful, the Toronto contingent (who hooked up with Alan who was coming from Victoria and had been sitting in the Toronto airport for six hours) hustled through Heathrow and caught their connection to Glasgow (just barely), and Jared, who was coming from Boston, suffered through a four hour layover at Heathrow but he eventually straggled in to the hotel as well. All bodies, instruments, fingers and toes accounted for….so far so good. Most spent the rest of the day and night recovering from the unnatural state-of-being that we charmingly call “flying”, wandering the streets of Glasgow like a squad of zombies making sure to look right, then left then right again before crossing any streets.
Glasgow is a big, old industrial city that is trying to re-make itself, trying to become hip and vibrant and modern. To a certain degree the face lift is working, but it is in competition with its neighbouring city Edinburgh which is only sixty miles away and is an internationally renowned city and has kind of cornered all things cultural in this neck of the woods. And then there is London to the south, sucking all of the youthful energy of this island into its great, voracious maw. So Glasgow has its work cut out for it. Alan compared its looks to East Berlin when the wall first came down, with all of its dour neo-classical buildings covered in decades of soot, Pete thought it felt more like Hamilton and I kind of think it has a little bit of North Bay in its gene pool, except that it’s more than a thousand years older. In any case the audience tonight definitely had an “Ontario” feel to it and why shouldn’t it have, we share a bloodline. Extremely quiet and polite, almost reverential at times, and then completely enthusiastic and exuberant at the end of it all. It’s difficult playing in front of that type of audience because there isn’t that exchange of energy that helps make a live show….live. But we recognised what was going on and it was so much fun to play again that we plugged-in to our own energy and had a very good opening night. On the road again.
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
We’ve just confirmed seven shows in Europe for November. It’ll be a quick trip, but we’re excited to get back to Scotland, England, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Belgium. Check the Tour Dates page for more details.