9 recent moments when Glasgow’s status as one of the world’s coolest music cities was put in jeopardy

Off the back of the hugely successful BBC 6 Music Festival which took over the city, Glasgow is currently showcasing as clean a bill of health as it has ever had musically speaking.

And with a seemingly never ending conveyor belt of talent coming out of the city, it’s position at the forefront of the Scottish music scene allows it to stand head and shoulders above most other cities in the UK, perhaps even London.

However, like any success story, there has been the odd patch of choppy water to upset the smooth, plain sailing.

Here’s 9 music related moments in Glasgow that have caused a mixture of outrage, disappointment and desire to vomit your dinner up, and which have placed Glasgow’s claim to be one of the most musically minded and loyal cities on the planet under temporary verbal restriction.

When people mourned the death of George Bowie instead of David Bowie

The date was the 10th January 2016. One that could be remembered as the ‘day the music died’ after David Bowie’s untimely, tragic death. And tragic too, for another reason. In perhaps the most painful case of death notice confusion the world has ever seen, fans of the pied-piper for the ‘Young Teams’ of the city, George Bowie (who fronts his own GBX experience show on Clyde) mistook The Thin White Duke’s passing with that of their own Happy Hardcore spinning hero. Meanwhile the rest of Glasgow had their heads down the pan as their collective stomachs couldn’t cope with such a colossal act of mis-identity as folk tweeted their heartfelt RIPs for GBX, wondering how they would cope without their staple Saturday show before they headed up the town.


A few of the tweets in question


When the axe fell on The Arches, Captain’s Rest and The Halt Bar

Without question three of the Glasgow’s best places for live music, none more so than the 2,400 capacity venue under Central Station – which regularly found itself among the best clubbing space in the world lists. Sorely missed by those who frequented the unique space even with SWG3 filling the void admirably, missed as both the Rest (which shut in 2012) and Halt Bar (2014) in Woodlands are – the latter’s legendary open mic nights famous for providing a launch pad for the likes of Belle and Sebastian and Travis back in the day.


The old Captain’s Rest on Great Western Road

When Avicii played Bellahouston Park

A night which can only be described as a national embarrassment on a scale of a score draw with the Faroe Islands, the Swedish DJ appeared in the Southside park as part of Glasgow Summer Sessions in 2013. With papers the next day detailing how the gig quickly turned into “drink and drug fuelled bedlam”, residents in nearby Mosspark Boulevard looked out on their windows in horror as, post gig, the crowd turned their front gardens into something resembling a cross between The Walking Dead and a bevvie-fueled low budget porn movie.


Staff cleaning up at Bellahouston after the Avicii gig (photo credit: Daily Record)


When they pulled the plug on Triptych Festival

An understated gem of a festival to take place in Glasgow, Triptych was billed as one which ‘restored faith in music as an art form’ and represented one of the most eclectic events on the city music calendar, in conjunction with Aberdeen and Edinburgh. On the go every April over an 8 year period from 2000-2008, it brought an amazing diversity of acts to venues in Glasgow such as The Arches, The Art School, Tramway and The Classic Grand over a three day period. A big loss for the city.


Idlewild at Tramway (Triptych, 2007)


When some tube threw a shoe at Jack White at a White Stripes gig

Back in January 2004 on the first of a two night stint at the SECC for the rock duo from Detroit, someone took the pint throwing tradition to a new level by chucking their shoe at White, hitting him square in the face. But it didn’t stop the frontman from continuing the show, and from telling the audience the next night at their second gig inside the Big Shed that Glasgow audiences were the best in the world.


Meg and Jack back in the day


When King Tuts forgot to check their own gig history

Since they first started formed back in 2002, Franz Ferdinand have played just about every venue in Glasgow, from abandoned jails and warehouse spaces to the SECC, The Barras and The Sub Club. Yet they never played King Tuts Wah Wah Hut. Funny enough, the Franz boys received a request from Tuts to ‘return’ to play the venue as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations in 2010 along with many other established acts. Honest mistake? Or perhaps a slight bit of arrogance from the Tuts team, guilty of assuming that, being a Glasgow band, Franz must have took to their stage.


the famous Tuts staircase

When the massive Pink Floyd graffiti in Milton disappeared

As much an unofficial symbol of Glasgow’s love with music as there ever was one, the massive white letters PINK FLOYD were painted onto the grass hill next to the football pitches at St Augustine’s secondary in Milton in the north of the city. A symbol of the area for years, it confused and educated a generation of young Glaswegians in equal measure as they kicked a ball about the site’s many pitches until it disappeared from the hill not too long ago, youngsters who would go home and ask their parents what animal a ‘Floyd’ was. The same youngsters who now stick Dark Side Of The Moon on repeat at 4 in the morning to annoy their neighbours.

The football pitches at St Augustine’s School in Milton


When another tube threw a bottle at Serge Pizzorno at a Kasabian gig

Keeping with the stuff getting thrown at gigs theme, rarely in living memory has there ever been a gig with an atmosphere as crazy as that of Kasabian’s visit to Glasgow’s Academy venue on a Friday night in April 2005. The place felt ready to burst as the band tore through material from their debut album, before the gig was cut short by some idiot hitting Serge with a bottle square on the head, leading him to require six stitches. He recovered to play the next night, not before saying that up until the incident the gig had been the band’s best show of the year. Perhaps now though they deserve it on their return to Glasgow for being utter, utter crap, I mean, when’s the last time they made a decent record?


Serge Pizzorno in action with Kasabian


When they pulled the plug on Indian Summer festival

Another stellar addition to the Glasgow music scene, the boutique Indian Summer festival carved out a niche for itself within the crowded festival calendar. Taking place in September of 2006 and July of 2007 in leafy Victoria Park in the west end of the city, it attracted a diverse mix of acts like Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Yo La Tengo. Another name consigned to the graveyard of Glasgow festivals, of which there are many and which make the current few that take place or soon will in the city unfit to wear even the name tag ‘festival’.


Indian Summer festival in Victoria Park (2007)



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