Glasgow: city of sport and music – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted by Google News | Industry News | jueves 29 agosto 2013 3:58 pm

The smartest distinction between Glasgow and the Scottish capital I’ve come
across is from the Orcadian writer Edwin Muir, who in 1935 observed how
“every Edinburgh man considers himself a little better than his neighbour,
and every Glasgow man just as good as his neighbour”. In truth, there is an
exciting synergy between the cities. Over the last few weeks Glaswegians
have been popping over to Edinburgh for its Festivals while Edinburghians
have travelled west for a bevy of events including the World Pipe Band
Championships and the new, annual Summer Sessions pop concerts recently
launched in Bellahouston Park, which drew rain-defying crowds of up to
30,000 to see superstars like Eminem and Kings of Leon. “You’re the best
audience of our tour!” yelled Caleb Followill, lead singer of the latter,
paying tribute to Glasgow’s reputation for having some of the most
passionate and receptive music fans in the country. And that’s not just down
to mass inebriation.

The SSE Hydro is Glasgow’s answer to the O2 and will host both concerts and
sporting events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

These days the biggest draw in Glasgow isn’t Charles Rennie Mackintosh, or,
thankfully, deep-fried Mars Bars. It’s the musical life – as befits its
status as one of only five places around the world to be declared a City of
Music by Unesco. Nearly half of its visitors are under 35, and every week
some 130 musical events take place. And while its dishevelled streets have
given us many famous performers from Lulu to Franz Ferdinand, it’s by no
means all rock ‘n’ roll. Every January the Celtic Connections festival
attracts over 100,000 Celtic music-lovers, while one of the most appealing
events in the build-up to the Games will be a nationwide “Big Big Sing”
featuring massed singing events and an online Commonwealth choir.

You can learn a lot more about this heritage by downloading the entertaining
audio tours created by Walking Heads, which guide visitors to myriad points
of musical interest in the city centre to a backing track of
locally-inspired sounds. Here is the low-down on how Oasis were discovered
at the 300-capacity King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut twenty years ago. There is the
1857 Panopticon, the world’s oldest surviving music hall where Stan Laurel
made his debut.

“Whatever happened to the Barrowlands?” Debbie Harry asked last July when
Blondie played the Clyde Auditorium, a somewhat sterile conference venue
next door to The Pie that is better known as The Armadillo. Nothing, is the
answer. Properly called Barrowland (most people add a s, as if it was some
kind of dream state), this run-down ballroom opened in 1960 and is still
going strong with acts like Paul Weller and Manic Street Preachers appearing
in the next few months. With a wood sprung dance floor, monumental oak
pillars and room for 1,900 people, it’s a legendary engine of memories – you
don’t have to go far to find someone whose parents or grandparents met
there.

A new book, Barrowland: A Glasgow Experience, will be published next month
chronicling its lively past, and a tour of its seen-it-all corners will be a
highlight of this month’s Doors Open Day programme, when heritage buildings
across the city are opened to visitors. Fittingly, its huge, shooting
star-spattered neon sign (erected in 1985 to bring a touch of Vegas to
Glasgow’s beleaguered East End) inspired the logo for the Cultural Programme
that will be part of the build-up to the Commonwealth Games.

“Definitely Bowie in July ‘79” says its manager, Tom Joyes, when I ask about
the most memorable performance he’s seen in over 20 years of service.
Touring Barrowland’s unashamedly dated halls and dressing rooms, with their
authentic 1960s lino, it’s telling how both bands and fans still adore this
great, sweaty, beery love-barn.

Will the Scots warm in the same way to a massive new, state of the art
people-processing machine like the SSE Hydro? Will The Pie be spoken of with
as much fondness as the city’s many cherished small venues, from the
DJ-filled caverns of The Arches beneath Central Station to the on-trend
performances and after-parties held at the SWG3 warehouse in the West End?
I’m not sure, but one thing is clear – if you do go to Glasgow for the
sport, get ready to have a dance too.

GLASGOW BASICS

THE BEST HOTELS

£

CitizenM Glasgow

A zestful, newbuild high-rise in the city centre with an arty lounge, cheery
staff and 198 cabin-style rooms with king-size beds and Frette linen (0203
519 1111; citizenm.com,
doubles from £59 including wifi and free movies).

££

Hotel Indigo Glasgow

Set in a former power station near Central Station, with 94 contemporary rooms
plus high ceilings, funky wallpapers and a handsome bar (0141 226 7700; hotelindigoglasgow.com,
from £99 including wifi and non-alcoholic minibar).

£££

Blythswood Square

The former HQ of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club is now a vivacious,
100-room town house hotel with five-star service, top-notch cocktails and a
spa (0141 248 8888; blythswoodsquare.com,
from £200 with breakfast).

THE BEST RESTAURANTS

£

Mother India’s Cafe

A clean-cut Indian restaurant opposite Kelvingrove Art Gallery that serves
spicy and substantial tapas dishes at £4-£5 each (1355 Argyle St; 0141 339
9145; motherindia.co.uk).

££

Crabshakk

A small and often packed modern restaurant devoted to Scottish fish and
seafood, offering everything from a “wee supper” of fish and chips (£7.95)
to a platter of fruits-de-mer for £70 (1114 Argyle St; 0141 334 6127; crabshakk.com).

£££

Ubiquitous Chip

This plant-filled, multi-level West End restaurant opened in 1971 but it’s not
dated: the cuisine is so inventive and engaging (without being silly) it
deserves a Michelin star (12 Ashton Lane; 0141 334 5007; ubiquitouschip.co.uk).

INFORMATION

For tickets and information on the Commonwealth Games (July 23-August 3 2014)
see glasgow2014.com. To
book an introductory track cycling session at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome
see emiratesarena.co.uk.
For other sports visit the Going For Gold section at peoplemakeglasgow.com.

The SSE Hydro (thehydro.com)
opens September 30. Other recommended musical venues include Barrowland (glasgow-barrowland.com),
King Tut’s (kingtuts.co.uk),
The Arches (thearches.co.uk)
and SWG3 (swg3.tv). Download
Glasgow music tours at walkingheads.net.
Tickets for the 2014 Summer Sessions (glasgowsummersessions.com)
go on sale next April.

Barrowland: A Glasgow Experience (Mainstream, £12.99) is published on
September 12. Doors Open Day runs from September 16-22 (0141 554 4411; glasgowdoorsopenday.com)

Glasgow Visitor Information Centre (0141 204 4400; peoplemakeglasgow.com).

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