Monthly Archives: July 2012

Silent Sunday – 29 July

Merchant City Festival awaits you…

The Big Man arrives on Ingram Street…

Big Man Walking on Ingram Street, Glasgow…and he brought some colourful friends.

Brazilian parade - Merchant City Festival Markets galore

Markets at Merchant City Festival Interesting quacking characters….

Quacking bankers - Merchant City Festival…and more dancing in the streets

Dancing Fish - Merchant City Festival 2012Enjoy!


Discovering Glasgow’s musical heart and soul

Quite frankly Glasgow rocks.  And rolls, and raves, and swings and just about any other musical genre you can think of – and some you can’t.  If you don’t know the impressive musical heritage of this great city, then you’re missing out.

Fortunately the geniuses at Walking Heads have created a fantastic app to enlighten the uninformed and savviest alike.

Press play, look both ways and enjoy

We loved every moment with our virtual guide Jim Gellatly.  He’s the perfect companion to navigate us through the city’s musical history with intriguing stories, excellent directions – and thoughtfully even reminding us to take care crossing the road.

App tours are broken up into four parts lasting about an hour each: centre east, river, city centre and my favourite – centre west.  A running soundtrack compliments Jim’s anecdotes and conveniently we can listen to tours on our mobiles in any order, with areas broken into shorter snippets about each venue.

The best venues and brilliant fans

Barrowland in GlasgowAs we explore the city I can’t help but swell with pride when hearing about bands like Metallica hail Glasgow’s Barrowlands as the best venue – or our fabulous music-loving city dwellers who refused to let a PA system failure stop the party at the Arches, opting to instead enthusiastically sing the rest of the song until the power returned.

I learned about Alex before Franz Ferdinand, what Bowie, Britney and Bob Dylan have in common and the truth behind that initial infamous Oasis gig at Tut’s.  And I also discovered a heck of a lot that I previously I had no idea about like the weird and wonderful Panopticon – the oldest music hall in UK, possibly the world.

Musical wonder awaits you

Seniors swing at King Tut's, GlasgowEven if you’re clued up musically, you’ll encounter something new and exciting.

One of our favourite discoveries was the Saturday afternoon swing session at King Tut’s – the normally rocking venue steps back in time providing an afternoon of live swing music to a more senior crowd.   And if you think it’s a tame affair – think again.  They may be snowy haired but granny and grandpa know a thing or two about dancing and will happily show you their moves on the dance floor.

Fall in love with musical Glasgow

This fantastic app lives up to its promise to ‘take you off the beaten track to the musical heart and soul of the city’.  And whether you’re a seasoned Glasgow music scenester or totally oblivious – Walking Heads music app tour is a must, rain or shine.

So, depending on the changeable weather, grab your umbrella or your sunscreen and prepare to explore this this magical, musical city.

– T

Why be normal when you could deviate

Hooray summer has returned just in time for the Merchant City Festival.   So in celebration I’m considering deviating from the norm.  Lucky for me Surge’s Deviator is in town and Glasgow is suddenly my own personal playground.

And just what is deviator?

It’s a lot of things; an interactive arts project, an app that gets you to explore Glasgow as never before – daring you to play the game, do the peculiar and frolic with mischief makers.   And why the heck not.

Seeing is believing –  watch this video and be tempted

Something for absolutely everyone

Surge runs alongside the Merchant City Festival and offers a fantastic selection of street art, physical theatre and circus.  But if you’re feeling a little reluctant to hop across town in a sack or ride on the shoulders of stranger, there’s plenty of other exciting events and activities on offer.  So make the most of this five-day extravaganza.

Rain or shine ‘let’s be happy together’.

– T

Silent Sunday – 22 July

Cake is the answer!  Sweet delights await you at Once Upon a Tart…

Once upon a tart - Merchant City, Glasgow 

Brighten soggy summer with a Play, Pie and a Pint

Alice in Poundland, Play, Pie and a Pint,, GlasgowFalling down the rabbit hole on a Saturday afternoon never felt better.  At least if a Play, Pie and a Pint’s Alice in Poundland has anything to do with it.

As the name suggest, lunch-time theatre at Oran Mor includes pub-grub pie (or quiche) and a pint of your choosing – even Guinness or a glass of wine if beer isn’t your thing.  But the pie and pint are merely appetisers for what’s on offer.

Panto for grown-ups

Alice in pound-land is panto for grown-ups at its best.  You’ll meet familiar reinvented poundland characters along with a few new personalities– a clucking hen-night-hen among my favourites.  This wacky wonderland-inspired story is fused together with nods to Glasgow and a timely recession-driven twist that had us chortling in our seats.  Even my reluctant companion had to admit that it was one of the funniest things he’d seen in a while.

Don’t be late for this very important date

Energetic, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny– don’t be late for this very important date because their Poundland run will be coming to an end as of Saturday 28 July.

It’s marvellous to the think that underneath Oran Mor’s regular pub banter and drinking, a totally energising show is unfolding. So escape soggy summer and brighten up your afternoon at a Play, Pie and a Pint.   And if you can’t make Alice in Poundland, be sure to catch one of their other afternoon theatrical offerings.

Shows run Monday – Saturday, 1pm and 3pm, £8-12.50 – depending on the day and time.  Unreserved seating so be sure to get there early.

– T

High jinks in skinny jeans and hoodies

Kibble Palace, Bard in the BotanicsBard in the Botanics has been thrilling Glasgow audiences with their imaginative interpretations of Shakespeare for over a decade. The Garden’s a beautiful backdrop but with rain as our permanent companion, it’s Romeo and Juliet in the Kibble Palace.

Star-crossed lovers as never before

This fantastic space completely captivates, surrounding us with glass and expansive greenery that creates a lush setting.  Romeo and Juliet is undoubtedly one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays but this version still manages to surprise me with ample laughter and energy.

The young cast have a real joie de vivre and bring a down-to-earth edge to things.  Dressed in modern day clothes, complete with skinny jeans and hoodies, they breathe new life into an old favourite – and even use contemporary anthems like We Are Young.

Old words for today’s generation

Yes, they speak in traditional verse but they’re still able to give a glimpse into the lives of today’s young boys trying to become men: the angst of first love, the indulgence in drunken revels, the heady combustion of youth and hormones.  Mercutio’s delivery masters Shakespeare’s double entendre to the full; I can’t hold back my laughter.  And Juliet, the only woman in the cast, is not outdone.  Her performance is strong and poignant in a sea of testosterone.

Rain or shine, Bard in the Botanics allows you to see Shakespeare in a wonderful new light.  But don’t just take my word on how fantastic it is, the performance has been extended to Saturday 28 July – an extra six shows added due to popular demand.

As William says ‘action is eloquence’.  So go on, book your tickets online  or call 0141 429 0022 – £15/ £10 concession.



Silent Sunday – 15 July

Happy Glasgow Fair.  A sassy robust beer for the extended weekend.

Busty Beer at Boudoir, Merchant City - Glasgow

Big Man is coming to town

How exciting! The Merchant City Festival is now only a few weeks away.  300 eclectic events will unfold between 25 – 29 July, everything from street art, music, workshops, film, food, design and more – really something for every taste.

So with so much to see and do, I’ve already been looking through the hundreds of alluring events and picking my favourites.

One stands alone

But there’s one that literally stands above all others.

Sure there’s a few self-proclaimed ‘big men’ in Glasgow but there is only one Big Man Walking – a larger than life blue puppet who will make his way through Glasgow’s city-centre on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 July.  And even though we’ve already met, I am looking forward to reuniting with my eight-metre high friend Big Man Walking.

He’s hard to miss – in fact; he’s unmissable so make sure you get out to see this impressive giant during the festivities.  We’ll certainly be enjoying this and many of the other events on offer – and of course hoping for some well-deserved sunshine.

– B

My last Big Man encounter in Bute in 2009 

Big Man Walking,  Bute Puppeteers

A few tiny puppeteers to get him to his feet

Big Man Walking's  Wardrobe, Bute

Big Man, big wardrobe – of course

Big Man Walking taller than buildings, Bute

The Big Man walking tall

Silent Sunday – 8 July

Parking.  We take it seriously in Glasgow….kind of…

No parking - hidden lanes in Glasgow

The only way to beat the heat is to get out of the kitchen

This humid, muggy weather makes facing a hot kitchen unbearable.   And so I head off to meet friends at Bar Soba. The minute we sit down my work day melts away in cool surroundings.

Thai Green Chicken Curry - Bar Soba, GlasgowDescribed as ‘Pan-Asian street food’, there’s a plethora of flavoursome choice – but admittedly I have firm favourites Salt and Pepper Crispy Fried baby Squid  (£4.95),  – the best in the city, and Thai Red Snapper for a main (£13.95).  But tonight we are trying the 5pm pre-theatre menu so I’m forced to experiment.  But at £13.95 for two courses and a glass of wine it’s too good to pass up.  I finally settle on Pad Thai Spring Rolls and Thai Green Chicken Curry.

Swift service and sensational food

Service is swift and the food is delish – beautiful spring rolls are delicately spiced and nutty served with an addictive dipping sauce.  And the generous serving of creamy Thai Green Curry has just the right amount of kick.  But the real Bar Soba speciality has to be their cocktails.

Cool off with the perfect drink

Their extensive and impressive cocktail menu includes everything from martinis to high balls (and more) – there’s the classics and more contemporary, really a drink for every mood with every ingredient imaginable.  I’m torn between a Shortbread Martini and an Orange Brule;  the martini wins in the end.

Expectations exceeded, these drinks revive and refresh – sadly no pictures because we couldn’t hold back.  And for all you cocktail connoisseurs – there’s cocktail master classes  on offer at Soba so you can perfect the art of the stand-out drink.

So get yourself to Mitchell Lane for a bit of refreshment – and for you West Enders check out their new addition on Byres Road.


– B