Squiggly Bridge, Glasgow, 2010
While Hot Chip (http://hotchip.co.uk/) might have slept first-class, their UK-tour support Casiokids is travelling and lodging a little more modest. We meet them the morning after their opening for Hot Chip at Glasgow’s O2 Academy at their hotel next to a very busy flyover. It is somewhat noisy, so the five Norwegians grab their instruments and flee from the heavily trafficked area to the waterfront. At the landmark Squiggly bridge the Bergen-based band performs “Gront Lys I Alle Ledd” and “Verdens Største Land” on old-school keyboard, electric guitar, tambourine, some red percussion thingy and a carrot shaker. Clutching his banana and swaying to the music, their tour manager has temporarily slipped into the monkey-role. It’s fascinating how Casiokids transfer their brilliant pop songs from their enormously danceable, bass- and beat-soaked stage performance with funky disco feeling to a fragile and reduced outdoor set that is still completely winsome. No wonder that this band succeeded in the historic release of the first ever Norwegian language pop single in the UK in 2008. Most of their worldwide fan crowd might not have the slightest idea about what Ketil and Fredrik are singing in high voices and still get the message.
Squiggly Bridge, Glasgow
Report of West of Scotland Handloom Weavers’ Commission, 1839: «I have seen human degradation in some of its worst phases, both in England and abroad, but I can advisedly say that I did not believe until I visited the wynds of Glasgow that so large and amount of filth, crime, misery and disease existed in one spot in any civilized country.” Many things have changed for the good since then, but still Glasgow has a way rougher image than the picturesque and wealthy Edinburgh or the lovely fisher men’s Anstruther. The edginess comes from a working men and football culture, tensions from sports and religion, less historic flair (yet Glasgow has an impressive art nouveau-heritage with traces from Charles Rennie Mackintosh everywhere), less wealth and less tourists. But the city that is not so much bigger (considering the amounts of inhabitants) than the Scottish capital feels much more alive. Especially for music lovers, people who want to go out clubbing and anyone who is more into pop(ular) culture than high culture – this is the right place. There are always shows on in this vibrant city with its numerous venues and with some of the greatest indie bands (that hardly ever come to Austria) playing there. Only during the one week we’ve spent there, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Vampire Weekend and Spoon a.o. were favouring the live music capital that is said to have one of the, if not the most outgoing audience in UK. Unsurprisingly it was then, that we have met – besides the many Scottish bands – two international acts for filming. Despite or because of some overall roughness, Glaswegians (not the rowdy ones!) are noticeable frank and cordial. At this point we want to thank the friendly music bloggers Jason from The Popcop and Kowalskiy for catching up with us, the helpful couchsurfer Neil for hosting us and all the fun and cooperative local bands that were jumping on our short notice call. The first filming took place at Squiggly Bridge – officially called Tradestone Bridge – that leads across the river Clyde. The pedestrian and cyclists bridge that was constructed by the Danish architectural firm Dissling+Weitling in 2009 is a perfect-in-form landmark.