There are more than 285 competitive bagpipe bands in the United States, made up of thousands of pipers and drummers. Bands are divided into grades based on skill: Grade 5 is the lowest, akin to Little League; Grade 1 is the majors. In May 2014, the Massachusetts-based Stuart Highland Pipe Band was promoted to Grade 1, and next month they'll be facing off against other top-level bands in Glasgow at the annual World Pipe Band Championships. But first, the Stewies made their North American debut at the premier level at a competition in Ontario: Blowhards: On the road, down the bottle, and across the border with Boston’s greatest competitive bagpipe band. [more inside]
Your next favorite band is probably from Glasgow. Sure, we know Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian (previously and very previously), Frightened Rabbit (previously), The Twilight Sad, Glasvegas, and Chvrches (previously). Step inside for some of Glasgow’s current talent explosion. [more inside]
The Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and recently voted Britain's favorite building of the past 175 years, has been devastated by fire. While the stone exterior of Mackintosh's greatest architectural masterpiece may survive, Mackintosh's interiors are presumed lost.
The Red Road flats have been a feature of the Glasgow skyline for 50 years and inspired an award winning film. They will make their final contribution to posterity on 23 July when they will be blown-up as part of the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The first thing you notice about Glasgow trio Sparrow & The Workshop is how unGlaswegian they sound. That's mostly down to lead singer Jill O'Sullivan, [Belfast-born, Chicago-raised] with a Joni Mitchell-via-Nashville voice, a stunning instrument that often justifies the price of admission on its own. When she sings about the devil, darkness and violence, fever, rapture and fear, it's the old American west she evokes, not Glasgow's West End. Behind the voice is a rhythm section that's not afraid to step forward: baritone harmony vocals; pounding drums, clicks and whips; pained, plaintive and passionate folk-rock melodies. That's from the Clash Music review of Crystals Fall (Grooveshark stream), the debut from the trio. [more inside]
1973 news report on the training of Glasgow bouncers, This Week: Documentary about 1960s Glasgow Gangs
So the infamous deep fried mars bar has reignited debates about Glasgow as the unhealthiest city in the UK. The Economist has also weighed in with their view on life expectancy in Glasgow, touching on the city's industrial history. The issue of Glasgow as the unhealthiest and most dangerous city seems to be at odds with Glasgow as a friendly city, and despite continued efforts to improve its reputation, Glasgow still seems to be afflicted by negative evaluations.
Q: What's the connection between heroin in Glasgow and a dead goat in Turkey? A: Anthrax.
Vidz was a late-night video review show from the late 90s, presented by Nigel Buckland and Stef Gardner and shown on Channel 4 in the UK. It concentrated mostly on reviewing low-budget, cult and foreign films. Most of the episodes can be found on this youtube channel and there's an episode by episode guide here). After a break of 12 years or so, they're back, this time in podcast form.
Grierson believed strongly that the filmmaker had a social responsibility, and that film could help a society realize democratic ideals. His absolute faith in the value of capturing the drama of everyday life was to influence generations of filmmakers all over the world. In fact, he coined the term "documentary film." [more inside]
Scottish trade unionist, journalist and broadcaster Jimmy Reid has died aged 78. Often described as the best MP Scotland never had, Reid was the instigator of the 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders famous work-in, where rather than striking, workers demonstrated the viability of the shipyards by working to fill the orders on the books, drawing national and international support (including a fat cheque from John Lennon). The year after, he was elected as rector of the University of Glasgow, where he delivered a speech (behind a paywall, sadly) that the New York Times (which saw fit to print it in full) called one of the finest since the Gettysburg Address [more inside]
Glasgow's Mitchell Library, designed by William B. Whitie, is the largest reference library in Western Europe. Over the past decade, it has been digitising its collection of photographs, which has resulted in the Virtual Mitchell, an unrivalled collection of photographs of Glasgow which covers the last 150-odd years of the city's history. The photographs can be searched by area, street or subject, all of which provide a fascinating insight into life in Glasgow over the past century and a half. Some examples: Charing Cross, 1950s; 1975; The Mitchell Library, 1910; Meadowside Shipyard, circa 1930; New Astoria Cinema, Possilpark; Royal Exchange Square, 1868; Alexander "Greek" Thompson's church on Caledonia Road; East End children in class in 1916
Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God Save the King! [more inside]
A less glamorous anniversary passed with little fanfare yesterday: 50 years since the opening of the first stretch of the humble British motorway, the 8-mile two-lane Preston Bypass, which now forms part of the M6. The occasion was celebrated by the official opening of an 5.8 mile M6 extension, closing the "Cumberland Gap", allowing commuters to make the entire 400 mile journey between Glasgow and London by motorway. The total length of motorways in the UK totals around 2200 miles.
The Scots voice of the Spanish revolution [Embedded DivX video 1hr15m; also downloadable] Ethel MacDonald was a young working class Scots woman who hitch-hiked to Barcelona to do her part in the war. There she became the English-language voice of the anarchist movement as a radio station announcer. Newspapers at home dubbed her the "Scottish Scarlet Pimpernel" for her role in helping comrades escape the crackdown that followed the May Days. Her remarkable story is told in this recent drama-documentary.
Here is an incredibly detailed history of Glasgow in pictures. The site map is probably the best place to start. [more inside]
Empty Cathedrals. Tenement closes. Glasgow artist Frank McNab documents the communal entrances sans nostalgia or sentimentality. Gets it just so damn right! His 'Thoughts' and 'Projects' need a little more work however.
Bolt ya nugget. A send up of ned culture in Glasgow. [Single youtube link alert]
"John Smith, Youngest, of Crutherland, was given the honorary degree of LL.D in 1840. In 1842 he announced the bequest to the University [of Glasgow] of his runs of publications from learned societies, and his volumes of ephemeral items. These came to the library on Smith’s death in 1849." Some examples: Playbill, Theatre Royal, York Street. Broadsheet account of an attempted prison break. Radical Party election ballad. See also: Glasgow Broadside Ballads: cheap print and popular song culture in nineteenth-century Scotland and Glasgow Broadside Ballads: The Murray Collection
So you can sing along this evening. Happy New Year from Glasgow where our Hogmanay event has been cancelled due to storms.
A splash of urban colour! A dilapidated tower block in Glasgow was the setting for a riotous splash of colour this week as Sony followed up their previous Bravia tv campaign of the bouncing balls down the streets of San Francisco with a new advert using a disused towerblock in Glasgow. Some beautiful urban explosion pics here, here, here, here and here.
3,000 photographs of Glaswegians taken by Glaswegians, between 1989 and 1992.
The Kingston Bridge, a neglected urban bridge in Glasgow was recently resurrected as a public work of art by Leni Schwendinger. Lighting was added under the bridge to highlight the architecture but it also reacted to use. The more traffic flowing on the roads above, the more red is displayed, as the tide rises, blues dominate, resulting in some pretty cool, ever-changing public art on a grand scale.
The Subway Challenge! Can one man get off the Glasgow underground at one stop, race the train to the next and get back on the same train? Mebbes aye, mebbes naw. (What? Want more underground? Here are some great photographs from before and after its 1970s restoration)
Glasgow School of Arts Degree Show 2005, Gets into the ring with the Edinburgh Art College Degree Show 2005. Is this Tyson versus Bruno all over again ?
Best laid schemes? Back in 1945 the Bruce Plan [click on images for video footage] was a radical proposal to knock down, and then rebuild, the Victorian centre of the city of Glasgow. The city’s slums* would be cleared; new towns* would be established; Glasgow would rise again, triumphant, once again the second city of the Empire*. In 1971*, there were grand visions of the Glasgow of the future; the Glasgow of tomorrow would be a bright, shining new city, and the Clyde* would once again be something to be proud of. A fascinating film archive of the Glasgow of the 20th century. *All links contain embedded video goodness.
Ivor Cutler - poet, musician, Glaswegian. I first enjoyed Cutler's touching, funny, and often surreal performances on the John Peel Show; and so I was delighted to find a small group of Cutler fans dedicated to spreading the Word of Ivor online. There's some audio links here, including Questionnaire, Little Black Buzzer, and Good Morning How Are You Shut Up. For Ivor fans, there's much more over at Yahoo Group's ivor-list.
A Most Curious Murder - the Madeleine Smith Story. 'Thursday, 9th July 1857 - The atmosphere outside the High Court in Edinburgh was charged to fever pitch as the crowd awaited the verdict at the end of the most sensational trial of the century. Hanging in the balance was the life of Madeleine Smith, attractive 22 year old daughter of a prosperous Glasgow architect ... '
The site includes, amongst other things, this 1787 directory of Glasgow manufacturers and traders.
The site includes, amongst other things, this 1787 directory of Glasgow manufacturers and traders.
Hurl snowballs at windows in Glasgow Turn your speakers up for genuine ethnic responses
I was wandering around the internets looking for early twentieth century ephemera and look what I found. Digital Dada Library “This page provides links to some of the major Dada-era publications in the International Dada Archive. These books, pamphlets, and periodicals are housed in the Special Collections Department of the University of Iowa Libraries. …Each document has been scanned in its entirety.” EphemeraNow “is a family-friendly Web site dedicated to the commercial art of mid-century America.” The Ephemera Society “is a non-profit body concerned with the collection, preservation, study and educational uses of printed and handwritten ephemera.” and more! For those of you who have complained that this place is getting too “US politics-filter” I give you Glasgow Digital Library Collections which has all sorts of stuff including a great history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932
pure dead brilliant. Not as good as Edinburgh , probably more horrendous than goatse , my fellow metafilterians , i give you - Glasgow.
Glasgow University Library Exhibitions. Some nice online exhibits : nineteenth century views of Glasgow, sixteenth and seventeenth century anatomical illustration, British bookbindings, Glasgow Cathedral windows, rare Spanish books, music books, flower illustration, etc.
Come all ye lads of high renown, / That love to drink good ale that's brown and peruse a collection of Broadside Ballads from Glasgow. There are many other sites pertaining to broadside ballads, but none with such a wealth of scanned reproductions. Also includes the full text of Hawkie: The Autobiography of a Gangrel.
easyJet has introduced a £0 price as the standard lead-in fare for the majority of flights between Belfast International, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Any chance of a trans-atlantic service too...?
Celtic's Taliban?. Glasgow smeltic fans are a disgrace to Scotland