What a wonderful place The Glad Cafe is. Just 5 minutes walk from Betty HQ as well as being a great place to eat and drink, it hosts a panoply of arts-related events including some bold and imaginative music programming which many arts administrators would baulk at – “you can’t put that on, around here, on a Tuesday night in February…etc”
So the Glad Weekender this year looked pretty mouthwatering, expanding its remit to multiple local venues, including the “Tin Hut” (aka ex-serviceman’s club at Crossmyloof), the Shed (previous BM hang-out, in the bad old days) and Langside Parish Church, of which more later. Cannot thank the people of The Glad enough for trying to wake up the Southside, although not the only ones doing it, (respect due to Southside Festival and Fringe) and get people off their erses to see or do some real stuff…
BM was double-booked through Friday (Electric Honey at KG Pool) and Saturday (family and hamster stuff) but made it out on the Sunday. Sorry to have missed Jonnie Common but first up was RM Hubbert and Kathryn Joseph at The Glad, a great comedic and musical double-act that yielded some spellbinding moments. In a packed venue (at 4.30 in the pm!) they traded words, riffs and some mutual self-deprecation. Some unforgettable moments included Joseph’s ‘Bones you have thrown me…”‘ and Hubby’s Moffat co-write ‘Car Song’, about escaping the city, told in a poignant and hilarious manner… They clearly enjoy working with each other and the repartee is quite hilarious, bit potty-mouthed for a Sunday afternoon with kids present but hey that have to learn how to swear at some point, and Hubby is quite the master teacher…
Last song (one of his instrumentals) was prised out of him by Kathryn with her usual cackle, with RM referring to it being “about the moment you fall in love”, with his “current squeeze” (as they say!) in the audience. He fair sweated it, but was on the promise of a sushi meal out… Beautiful, inspirational and sound, respect due to both.
A bit of tea (in ma hoose) and a longish walk down to Langside Parish Church (in deepest Battlefield, near Weir Pumps, that bend in the river beyond the land of closed hospitals…) where something quite folky was stirring. Fair play to LPC to open themselves up to a bunch of unknowns (hippies, hipsters, you decide) for a cultural evening, and another inspired Glad choice – the redone Church hall (rebuilt in the 60s with more tweaks after a fire in 2009) was a great venue for Mr Roberts and band, who cooked up quite a storm at times, the skittering drums and solid bass supplementing twangy and acoustic from Mr R and his female vocalist foil, new and old songs. Some eldritch moments of tale-telling, a wee bit of history and a whole lot of talent, a very adaptable combo who can engage with the audience and play pretty much anywhere, the experience was immersive and glorious.
Last up was Ela Orleans, a Polish-born singer/songwriter/instrumentalist who has been noted as something special on BM’s radar for some time.
There was a conversation outside regarding what was and was not acceptable to say or do in a living church but the first few numbers performed did not get too theological, despite the large picture of the last supper (re-imagined as a group of tracksuited gentlemen, ok NEDS) hanging between the two screens on which EO projected her visuals.
Not to use a lazy comparison BM hopes, but EO can come across like the alternative Public Service Broadcasting, recasting old WW2 films mainly as meditations on modern life. Her treated vocals are sublime, the gear she had to generate the music is compact but hard to concentrate with, let alone build up some audience interaction but she did a very good job and is clearly very talented. Being a school-night BM Brexited after about 4 numbers, hope the latter half of the set was as good if not better.