Glasgow is a city close to our hearts.
In its infancy, Clash once boasted an ad hoc office in the city, many of our contributors are still based locally, and we've hosted events there in the past, too.
So, we know it well. Yet the city's intense creativity means that it is forever changing, with Glasgow somehow managing to re-invent itself on a seasonal basis.
This coming week - on November 17th, in fact - Glasgow based indie shock troops Gallus will hit London, performing at The Great Escape First Fifty.
A key show for the group, it allows fans in London a chance to check out what's been getting Scottish audiences hot and bothered.
Ahead of this, Gallus guitarist Eamon Ewins has penned a personal guide to Glasgow...
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What makes people love Glasgow is an almost impossibly vague question to answer, and will definitely vary greatly from person to person. It doesn’t have many world famous landmarks (like Edinburgh), feel particularly historic (like Edinburgh) or hold any real political or ceremonial clout (again, like Edinburgh).
So what then makes it vastly superior to not just Edinburgh but indeed any other city on Earth?
We are Gallus and we are going to give you an entirely objective list of reasons why Glasgow is the great city that it is. Below are some of the places that have shaped us as a band, and as people, that you won’t find anywhere else. Some of them are places that we still frequent, some of them we are no longer allowed entry to. Nonetheless, each holds a special place in our heart/s.
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The Barrowlands is well known to many as a famous venue in Glasgow. It’s independently owned and has a truly iconic sign across its front visage. It’s the holy grail of venues to play in for almost every band in Scotland. Any band worth their salt, Scottish or otherwise, has played this hallowed space (we have not).
But in recent years Glasgow’s inner east has given rise to several other incredible venues, such as St Luke’s and BAAD (both of which we HAVE played). Added to this, there are other smaller venues such as McChuills and Drygate nearby and all of these places sit to the north of Glasgow Green, where TRNSMT takes place. So many incredible venues in one place naturally meant that the city’s Tenement Trail festival recently relocated there. Never a dull moment down there.
If you ever visit the dear green place, this area is a must. Lots of Celtic pubs there as well.
Moving slightly further towards the centre of Glasgow, we have two renowned venues/vegan eateries - Mono and Stereo. Stereo holds a special place in our hearts as we sold the venue out in early 2019 for an EP launch. We felt really big-time when we first spotted scam ticket sellers on the Facebook event for the gig. Wow. Scammers are targeting our gigs. It felt massive at the time.
But for the wider Glasgow creative community these two spaces are deeply loved and revered. Mono is home to Monorail Records, a record shop attached to the venue/restaurant itself. It’s a one stop shop for eating, boozing and listening. A must for any music fan. Added to that, King’s Court, where it’s located, also has several clothes shops, Strung Out guitar shop, and the hallowed Shawarma King - genuinely the greatest kebab/wrap joint you’ll ever visit.
Built beneath old railway lines, this goldmine is located a five minute walk from the Barras, tucked in behind Argyle Street.
The Priory is the subject of much myth and legend in Glasgow. Much of it true, some of it bollocks. For us, however, it’s where we cut our teeth. I think we played here six times over the course of one particularly fusty summer back in 2018, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. This is where we found our audience and our community.
The owner, Jokey, became our manager and most of us have worked here at one point. It’s hard to overstate this place’s importance to us. Places like The Priory create music scenes. It’s a meeting point for like minded people. Nowhere plays these tunes on Sauchiehall Street. There’s no room for pretension in here, and that’s what ultimately draws people to it, and what probably repels many others.
Most other cities have small independent venues, but nowhere else has a Priory.
Moving further west still we have Bar Gallus. I’m sure you can guess the significance of this place. It’s the pub from which we took (stole) our name and the place we as a group became friends over the course of many drunken Wednesday nights. It was Barry’s idea to take (steal) our name from the pub, and to be honest for a long time I wasn’t very keen on the idea.
I thought it was a bit obvious and didn’t think it fit the music we were writing at the time. Thankfully I don’t know what I’m talking about and it ended up being the ideal name for the band and we eventually stopped writing god awful, boring songs (subjective).
We owe a lot more than our below-par uni grades to this pub, it was the centre of our social lives for about five years.
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Catch Gallus at Dalston Victoria, London on November 17th as part of The Great Escape First Fifty.
Photo Credit: Ryan Hunter
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