Glasgow: a musical history

A city with a culture deeply rooted in independent music tradition, Glasgow’s musical history reveals a place like no other.

Glasgow’s unique and compelling musical history is at one with the vibrancy of the city. This has always been a place so intimately involved with art and culture, and though its complexities and marvellousness can never be fully appreciated, I am sharing my small, personal connections to the artists and venues which are amongst Glasgow’s moments of great significance.


Podcast of the week: Full Disclosure with James O’Brien

Alan Cumming says his role in Stanley Kubrik’s Eyes Wide Shut was a turning point in his film career – but it all started with Taggart and Take the High Road. “I loved the fame,” he says. “I loved opening fêtes and being pinned up against a Scout hut wall by old ladies.”

Cumming talks about his early career in Full Disclosure with James O’Brien, a podcast series the notoriously feisty LBC presenter has designed, he says, “to let me spend more time than is available on my radio show with fascina

Table scraps: what to eat and drink in Scotland this week

It’s been a busy time for the chefs Sam Yorke and Tomás Gormley. Last month we brought news of Skua, their new opening in Stockbridge, and now Heron, the restaurant they opened two years ago in Leith, has scooped a Michelin star.

Aged 25 and 28 respectively, Yorke and Gormley are now the youngest Scottish chefs to win a Michelin star — and Leith now has the UK’s highest concentration of Michelin gongs outside London.

Commended by the judges for its “fresh, understated and uncluttered” cuisine

Queer Love and the External Gaze

Who is the top and who is the bottom? A long-running question and/or joke as old as time within the queer community and society at large. The heteronormative lens in front of queer representation appears in all aspects of culture. The relationship between language and one’s sexual experience has been controlled through self-identification for centuries. The ambiguity of this question is based on outdated assumptions and arbitrary labelling mechanisms.

Language holds the omnipotence to determine

Glasgow's social gig for young people

Young people make Glasgow. The significance of Glasgow’s history in the music scene is one of world-class recognition. There are no limitations to the richness of Glasgow’s cultural scope, whether that be an intimate gig at the back of a West End pub, or thousands of students screaming along to a chart favourite at the O2 Academy. The history of each concert hall or hidden theatre is lined with tales from those who used to frequent them, and is now an area waiting to be delved into by the younge

Independent Venue Week: Suede's intimate gig @ Stereo

The insatiable ones congregated in glory as a sea of forty-somethings filled the floor of Stereo last Friday night. To mark the 10-year celebration of BBC Radio 6’s Independent Venue Week, Steve Lamacq hosted events across the country, booking one of the UK’s biggest Britpop stars at the Glasgow music cafe/bar hybrid.

Scottish rising star Theo Bleak lined the room with her soft, woozy vocals as the support. Having released her EP Fragments last May, this hour was filled with relaxed instrumenta

Album review: Permanent Damage

With the release of his debut album Permanent Damage, Joesef has created a track list of heartbreak, sexual exploration and nostalgic longing, while emulating his soulful delicate vocals as a dream-like escape from harsh realities. Long-awaited after the release of his two EPs, the album has only escalated the bittersweet melancholic overtone of his sound, which ties his voice to being that of Glasgow’s finest.

Growing up in the East End of Glasgow, Joesef pays homage to the raw beauty of every

Why artists are finally hitting the pause button

The lifestyle of a music artist - turning up to interviews and sold-out shows on little to no sleep, and surviving on caffeine and microwavable meals - is often glamourised. But it is sure to reach a state of exhaustion and deliriousness.

After the announcement that Sam Fender will be playing St James Park in Newcastle next June, he has taken the decision to pull out of his forthcoming headline shows in the US. Due to burnout, Fender is taking this time away from the stage for recuperation and

Review: Kaiser Chiefs @ OVO Hydro

As the lines to the Hydro filled with retired noughties indie fans, as well as couples with kids of the Employment era, support bands The Sherlocks and The Fratellis warmed up the stage. Last Friday night kicked off the weekend with sing-along indie hits and double denim, all drenched in the warm stench of a half-swigged pint.

The Sherlocks’ setlist was shortly missed by my tedious wait in the drinks queue, though I managed to catch the start of the Fratelli’s 40-minute stint. As I fought to we

Reaching a state of happiness: Interview with We Three

American heartbreak pop sensations We Three kick off their debut UK/European tour at Glasgow’s King Tuts Wah Wah Hut. Following the release of their third studio album, Happy, Manny Bethany and Joshua talk tracks of relationships and heartbreak in front of a whole new audience.

The group’s previous album, Dear Paranoia Sincerely Me, marked the beginning of the lockdown period, with their UK/EU tour being cancelled. “We were able to choose very specific songs for the record because we had so man

Review: Brooke Combe @ The Garage

Brooke Combe implemented her infatuation with soul music in the set of her sold out Glasgow show. Having only been prompted by a high school teacher to practise singing as part of her Advanced Higher music course, Brooke Combe captured the audience solely with the natural raw versatility of her vocals.

As the notorious nightclub filled with hometown supporters and pop-soul enthusiasts, anticipation rang from the stage set to the bar. Instrumental soulful sounds filled the room as Brooke and her

Genre trouble: niche or needless?

he music listening process, whether through vinyl or a streaming service, finds that each sound is distinguished by its correspondence to a genre or musical period. From rock and punk to pop and grime, we find ourselves unconsciously guided by the existing structures in music consumption and everything in between.

The categorisation of music into sonic boxes can be argued as successful, yet is this only in the realms of originality conservation? Thinking of mono-genres such as country, rock, or

Albums of the Year 2021: Arlo Parks - Collapsed in Sunbeams

Described by Parks as “both universal and hyper-specific”, Collapsed in Sunbeams’ fluctuations between ethereal bliss and relatable vulnerability are just one factor in the album’s critical celebration. A gorgeous set of sonic vignettes, each track explores a different nuance of Parks’ personality to culminate in a seminal work of art wholly deserving of the acclaim lauded on it over the past year.

Olivia Marrins, Writer: It was not until I saw Collapsed in Sunbeams colourfully illustrated on s

You May Have Missed: October

October saw the release of many highly anticipated albums such as Music Of The Spheres by Coldplay and Lana Del Ray’s Blue Banisters. However, I would like to review the albums which fell a little under the public eye that month, from indie soul to alternative hip-hop, last month celebrating all genres. Though many artists have been passed over by the mainstream recognition of releases, I found the albums by Coco, JPEGMAFIA, Jarvis Cocker and BADBADNOTGOOD to capture a range of music suitable fo

Review: LANY @ O2 Academy

After a four-year absence, the O2 Academy hosted Los Angeles indie-pop darlings LANY upon their return to Glasgow. The 2021 BB GG XX tour saw the global impact of the emotional soft-boy infatuation, fuelled by Paul Klein as he was swooned over by the young, Scottish population.

Perhaps attributable to the lingering fear surrounding gigs after Covid-19, but the venue felt as though social distancing measures were still mandatory. With many in the audience choosing to watch on from the bar, the i

Movements That Shaped Us: Disco

The origins of the disco scene remain somewhat uncertain; was it the discotheques of New York City in the 1960s (Le club, Regine’s and Arthur) or the Parisian club scene at the time? It wasn’t until the 1970s when disco began to be truly heard, when the subterranean gay clubs of New York created a culture of psychedelic strobes and sex which shaped the genre. When David Mancuso opened the doors one of New York City’s biggest gay clubs, the Loft, disco all of a sudden shaped the club scene of the

From runway to screen

As nearly every social event is rescheduled, cancelled, or taken to Zoom, it is no surprise that Milan fashion week has traded up bustling live venues for digital runways. This fashion exhibition showcases autumn/winter 2021/2022 collections across January and February through the theme "Evolution". Consequently, this year’s take on one for the fashion world’s most coveted events will see little of the social buzz surrounding a traditional fashion week. Instead, an isolated audience, watching vi

Rethinking your wardrobe for winter

Let's face it, who can't resist the arrival of the winter collections on the high street? Fresh wool coats and cosy jumpers is all anyone needs to entice them into buying a whole new wardrobe for the upcoming season.

As we enter not only a new season but a period of serious environmental issues, we need to stop categorising styles into specific months of the year and instead think of them as a suitable option year-round. Therefore, we should follow suit of the many people who “trans-seasonal” d

Our top 5 NPR Tiny Desk (home) gigs

How can we enjoy live music now? Generations left lost without a mosh pit, the electricity of the crowd, or pint of suspicious smelling “beer” thrown towards them; was it even worth experiencing a concert via YouTube? The introduction of the National Public Radio's Tiny Desk (Home) Concert series has perhaps answered this, giving viewers the opportunity to see their favourite artists perform a stripped-back set from their home, ideal to experience from the comfort of your own bed or sofa. Think: