Monday, 19 March 2012

Varied weekend entertainments, Glasgow

My head is spinning after a very random selection of outings this weekend. The problem I have is that I see something that seems interesting, then order tickets whilst forgetting what other stuff I've already booked. This leads to weekends like the one just past where I have a very incongruous selection of nights out.

Friday Night is Poetry Night
The Aye Write festival in the Mitchell Library had a sell out show by the laureate poets of Britain, Wales and Scotland; Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke and Liz Lochhead. I was familiar with some of the work from  Carol Ann Duffy and Liz Lochead but it is always given new vigour when a poet explains the process and thinking that went into making a poem. Liz Lochead discussed some of the pressures of being a poet who has to write on demand, but from the examples she read, she clearly does it with aplomb.

Saturday Night is Comedy Night
Saturday was obviously a day for celebrating, what with Partick Thistle winning 5-0 down in Dumfries I was not surprised at all to see Sauchiehall Street littered with drunken bodies from early evening. THen it clicked, when I realised I was the only one who didn't have a Guiness hat on, green and white balloons tied to my wrist and a shamrock painted on my face. It was St Patricks Day and as Mark Millar accurately described it recently Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night at the best of times now resembles Arkham Asylum. We were off to see Rich Hall at the Garage, up for the Glasgow Comedy Festival. He had noted the carnage outside too and did a great show rambling on about that and other stuff, singing with his guitarist and drummer accompanying at times and showing an old hand's knack at improv. He seemed like a man you could pleasantly spend an evening sharing a beer with. We passed a couple of bars on the way home and I had to dress like the locals so as not to stand out.
Obligatory dress-code in town Saturday night
Sunday Night is Music Night
What with my fellow admirer of eclectic music not currently in the country I had to go to the gig at the Art School on my own as nobody else could be persuaded that Blanck Mass supported by Konx-om-pax was a good idea. So I went alone, sat in a bar reading poetry about a skinhead desecrating graves first to get me in the mood, then went downstairs to get into the chin-stroking groove. First up was Konx-om-pax. It was dark down there so don't be surprised if you can't see anything in the video below, and the only action onstage was a man playing Angry Birds or something on his iMac whilst we nodded appreciatively to his drone, distortion and electronic beeps. (I actually rather liked it.)


Next up was Blanck Mass, a side project of Bristol's Benjamin John Power, half of the experimental/noise duo Fuck Buttons. I enjoy the energy of the Fuck Buttons stuff and had it on today when I was out running and though I enjoy the ambient, wafting feel of the Blanck Mass stuff it can become quite introspective. Certainly he had more lights, buttons and wires on his table than the support act, but at times it was like watching Scotty concentrating on doing a particularly fiddly teleportation over 15 minutes, (except Scotty had swapped his red jersey for a green and white T-shirt that said Jamaica on it, but you know what I mean). It was a gig where several people ended up sitting or lying on the floor to help them stroke their chins, but I prefer to have a bit more head-nodding and toe tapping.

Blanck Mass

Anyway that ended the weekend on a relaxing note, a weekend on which Partick Thistle won 5-0, Rangers got beaten by Dundee Utd and just about lost the League, and Celtic got beaten by Kilmarnock in the League Cup Final. An all round good weekend.


  1. Ah, that was you reading a book between acts. I really enjoyed Ben's music live. Made more sense than the CD at home.

  2. I had to check that Thistle did actually win a game 5 scud, even in muslim Malaysia there was an abundance of silly hats about on Saturday. Konx-om-pax sound like they are worth further investigation. With 500 discs on my laptop, I'm still craving new sounds, 7 months with a dearth of new music. You have too much time on your hands these days Paul.