Sunday, September 11, 2016

Glasgow Proms and More

So we drove to Glasgow and checked into the most plastic hotel in the world, hose-down Ibis.
Luckily we were a mere cough away from one of Glasgow's most convivial and characterful restaurants, Sarti, where I've been before with a friend, a long time ago.
Malcolm McMaster, the legend of pedal steel guitar, and his lovely wife Roseleen, met us there for a coffee and handed over a real treat: two tickets for the Glasgow Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. This was a lovely surprise and gave us something to look forward to.
Before that we headed down to Mono Records for a vinyl record fair; on the way there we passed a large cafe with glass windows behind which sat a full jazz band: double bass, guitar, drums and brass, who were playing for a surprisingly glamorous mid-afternoon Sunday tea-dance, whose dancers looked as through they'd just stepped off a cruise ship. The cafe was packed, and so was the Russian Café a few doors down. A Sunday afternoon subculture, no less.
The record fair was packed too, and was being held in a brewery, but I browsed in the record store next door and couldn't resist some fresh reggae, and a Zombies CD to see me through the winter.
In the evening, we walked down to Glasgow Green and spread out our waterproofs on the grass amongst the foldy nylon chairs. As dusk began to fall and the moon played hide-and-seek with the dark blue clouds, the orchestra started tuning up and were soon powering through Shostakovich's Festive Overture.
Then lo and behold, K T Tunstall popped up and sand Suddenly I See and one of her new songs, backed by the orchestra; she was in fine voice, and held her own magnificently (that's her in the blue dress in the middle). I went to the chip van when Collabro were singing:they sounded just a little too sweet for me, although Offsprog One enjoyed them. Karen Cargill's opera section was fabulous.
Drunk on fresh air and music, we treated ourselves to a taxi back to the plastic palace and conked out to the mellifluous tones of Andy Williams on BBC 4, his fake tan glowing through the gloaming of the Ibis bedside lights.

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