Monthly Archives: November 2012

Eat, drink and be merry – even if it’s not quite Christmas

If the High Street twinkling back at me from every shop window is anything to go on, the festive party season is already upon us.  Shiny frocks aside, it’s also the time of year I attempt to catch up with pals of all varieties.

If, like me, you have an assortment of special friends of varying and sometimes competing tastes, then here’s a few recommendations that will hopefully keep you going and in their good books.

Comfy chitchat

Malmaison cocktail - gingerbread manIf it’s a good natter you’re after without the toil of yelling over booming music in an overcrowded dingy space, then look no further than the elegant Malmaison .

Tucked away down the spiral staircase, the Malbar on West George Street is an oasis of calm – and has a rather impressive collection of cool cocktails like the irresistible Gingerbread Man. Dessert in a glass.

North Street merriment

For the more fun-loving, the Berkley Suite’s cosy red-hued upstairs bar is a nod to the era of art deco and their anything-goes downstairs is an interesting mix of music, ages and eccentricities.

And since you’re already in the neighbourhood – North Street’s Chinaski’s  and the Black Sparrow are great places to people watch and have tipple or two. They also serve food.  And if by some stroke of luck it’s not raining or happens to be warm winter night, pop round the back for a little outdoor stargazing and general banter in their gardens.

All-in-one fun

If you’re looking for the perfect combo of dinner, drinks and dancing, then the Brunswick Hotel’s Brutti Ma Buoni  is a must.  Fantastic staff, social crowd and you can eat, drink  and then conveniently go down stairs for a bit more celebrating and dancing.

Wherever you find yourself – be festive fabulous and enjoy!

– T

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Silent Sunday – 11 November

Glasgow Green made for Sunday strolling

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Girls – unmissable and inspirational

Glasgow Girls photo c. citizens theatreThe crowd is buzzing with excitement in the jam-packed foyer of the Citizens Theatre.  We’re all eagerly waiting to see the Glasgow Girls, a new musical by award-winning director Cora Bissett.

And just who are these Glasgow Girls?

Seven inspirational teen activists from Drumchapel High School who in 2005 fervently campaigned against the dawn raids wrenching asylum-seeking families out of their homes into a detention centre to be deported.

But what drives a bunch of teen girls to hound politicians, take on the authorities like the Home Office and even challenge the Scottish Government?  Friendship.  Their friend Agnesa, originally from Kosovo, was one of the children facing deportation with her family.

Stand up for what’s right – spirit of Glasgow

It’s hard to imagine taking a hard-hitting issue like asylum and putting it into song but it’s pure (dead brilliant) gallus Glasgow.

And as I watch this sometimes harrowing, often inspiring story unfold, I see a microcosm of what makes Glasgow so special.  Not a shiny, glossy version but a gritty real representation of the spirit of Glasgow – a community galvanised into action to do right and protect its own, regardless of where people come from.

As I leave the show, swelling with pride, the anthem We are the Glasgow Girls fills my head.  Who wouldn’t want to be a Glasgow Girl?  Fighting for what you believe in and  driven to change people’s minds to make the world a better place.

‘We are all Glasgow Girls’

So go on, find out what the Glasgow Girls are about.  And you will probably discover that regardless of your age or gender, you are indeed a Glasgow Girl.  The show is on at the Citz until 17 November – but don’t delay, snap up your tickets, be inspired and have a fantastically good time.

-B

Magical Musical Mondays at Bloc

Blochestra at Bar Bloc in GlasgowIf you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to sit among Arcade Fire as they jam in their living room or questioned whether you could ever truly appreciate a banjo, you need to get yourself to Bloc to witness the wonder that is the Blochestra.

Every Monday something completely magical happens when a collection of musicians of all skills and all instruments unite to create the most wonderful fusion of sound.  Quite literally right in the middle of the bar.

Ukes, flutes, a banjo – oh my

It’s completely laid back where a keyboard and ukuleles are nestled comfortably between pizza, gin and beer.

The variety of instruments and singers is impressive.  Of course there’s the usual suspects like guitars,  drums – and an extensive brass and woodwind section that includes flutes, a trombone and sax, to name only a few.  Then there’s the more unexpected like a xylophone, a recorder and yes, even a mighty banjo – which incidentally sounds absolutely brilliant in their rendition of Feist’s 1234.

And just when you thought they couldn’t possibly fit another person or instrument, in walks a double bass.

Old favs and charming new discoveries

It’s an eclectic mix of well-loved tunes like the Cure’s Close to Me and lesser known but equally as mesmerising songs like Chicago by Sufjan Stevens – admittedly a new discovery for me.  Just how did I ever survive without this song in my life?

It’s an energising, inspiring experience.  And it’s completely free and completely open to anyone to bring along there instrument of choice and join in.   Or, like me, sit in the midst of it all silently but happily absorbing it all.

But enough of me waxing lyrical – I’ll simply let the music speak for itself.

– T

Silent Sunday – 4 October

Glasgow institution and East End shopping adventure…

The Barras outdoor shopping market in Glasgow