Apostille
A changing city, but also an inspirational one...

As hard as it is to believe but Glasgow was once almost a pariah city, a city the media rejoiced in kicking.

But it was always a creative one, and - gradually - this has come to the fore, with Glasgow's reputation as a hub for free-thinking stretching across the globe.

It's cheaper than London, and more than a little relaxed, too, and this attracts musicians from around the country and beyond.

Michael Kasparis was drawn to the city, using it as a base for his Night School Records imprint and his own musical dalliances as Apostille.

Here, he writes for Clash about a changing city, but also an inspiring one. Glasgow, smiles better.

- - -

- - -

I used to think Glasgow was an ideal place to be because of how relaxed people are, because of the fact it existed in its own, hermetically sealed world. In my mind it had grown into this socialist utopia that reacted against the neoliberalism that had beset the mass mind since Thatcher.

I moved back home in 2014 after a stint in London and found the city changed, mostly for the better, but different from the grimy but faintly anarchic town of the 90s.

Make no mistake, living and making stuff in this city is easier than in London. In the smoke I was pulling 10 hour days at a day job five days a week, commuting two hours on a bike and trying to make music in the hours I wasn't passing out from commuter rage and sleeplessness.

- - -

The trick is to not squander your free time

- - -

That environment forces you to act though, you either succumb and give up or you get your act together and work. Glasgow has endless opportunities to get lost; in partying, in a kind of suburban apoplexy, in yourself, so when I came back I had this work ethic I'd forged in London and managed to find a live/work balance I was happy with.

I can work three or four days a week and make the others count without surrendering over half my pay on rent. The trick is to not squander your free time.

The city has changed, opened up, become more outernational. The omnipotence of the SNP has cemented the neoliberalism dressed as Scandinavian-style socialism that the New Labour government started in Scotland, but you can ask for a flat white and not fear your head getting kicked in.

Gentrification and the big influx of people from other parts of the U.K. who were drawn to their own image of Glasgow has contributed to the city evolving into a progressive space, by and large. With all this change, however, is a new ambition and vibrancy that you could see as either having a whiff of the start-up, the Wolf of Sauchiehall Street or if, you were feeling charitable, a blue-sky-thinking openmindedness and willingness to create.

The fact that there are now many different protagonists in the city vying for space, people from different backgrounds and perspectives has made the place dynamic, exciting.

- - -

You plug in and do things with an open mind and heart...

- - -

Glasgow's become both open and self-reflective: we're forever worried about being wide, self-analytical with our politics but also not afraid to make an arse of ourselves.

For the most part, art and music are made for the love of it, it doesn't immediately get subsumed into a capitalistic framework because its made in an economic environment that allows artists space and time to experiment and fail.

To some extent, my heroes in this city are people who have no concept of "success," they just do what they do. People like Richard Youngs are allergic to convention unless it suits him, there's a collective called Domestic Exile and one called 12th Isle who are just these kids who love what they do, they release records, put nights on and do everything on their own terms.

My friend Stephen and his band The Pastels have been going for over 30 years, steadfast and stubborn in their resolve to do things exactly the way they want.

Ultimately, the outside world comes to Glasgow and assimilates, you plug in and do things with an open mind and heart. I think that's one thing that hasn't changed about tinseltown, forever in the rain.

- - -

Apostille will release new album 'Choose Life' on June 8th through Upset The Rhythm.

Join us on Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

Buy Clash Magazine

-

Follow Clash: