There Will Be Fireworks
West End, Glasgow, 2010
“On this night, with the concrete cracking from the bitter cold, my face grows old”, sing Gibran and Nicholas in “This Feels Like…”. And in the second song played, “Ash Wednesday”, Nicholas goes on with this poignant tone in the biting cold: “Cold from December still lingers in March, all of the people that stay in these houses are falling apart.” It is not yet March, but February when we catch up with the local band There Will Be Fireworks for an on-the-roof-filming. Up on a lordly residential building in Glasgow’s West End, Adam, Dave, Dobbie, Gibran and Nicholas (their sixth man was missing) establish a nice setting with various lamps from the apartment of the drummer’s girlfriend. And who would have thought how much more atmosphere this improvised stage could have without any spotlight? There Will Be Fireworks provide evidence that it does not need much mis-en-scène to completely indulge in impressive music and a glorious view. Even though their songs tend to be dark, the session turned out to be almost perfectly romantic; except for the bitter cold, of course. Yet it would not be Scotland, if they did not know about some tasty medicine to fight it. “Now let’s get drunk!” and “To the pub!” is the way how to let end a night like this.
West End, 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 filming with There Will Be Firekworks took place at West End, a bohemian district in the hinterland of Kelvingrove Park and the University of Glasgow. It’s a beautiful area to walk around, brimming with cafés, bars, boutiques, tea rooms, clubs, restaurants and hotels.