Only a few days to go until our Merchant City Festival tours begin, and we are very excited.
Starting off at the Old Fruitmarket, the four tours are a two-hour swing through the musical past and present of the Merchant City and East End.
From the dung-flinging audiences of the Panopticon to the Barrowland’s more romantic stories, the tours bring some of Glasgow’s most famous venues to life. The first tour is on Sunday 26th July. Tickets are £5 (£3) and you can buy them from here.
Each Merchant City Festival tour will finish around 4pm at Mono, with a free gig from an up and coming Glasgow band. Beginning with…
This Sunday Glasgow Music City Tours & Mono present: MIRACLE STRIP
Photograph by Mark Scott
Miracle Strip are a duo comprising brothers Fergus Christie Jack (vocals, synths, lyrics —formerly of meteoric noise-pop trio Dirty Summer— and Malcolm Bruce Jack (guitars, synths, programming).
Their debut album Magic Milk —described by Clash Magazine as “fragrant, tropical,woozy,otherworldly pop music…deliriously fun”— is out now on cassette/ digital download and is available here.
Glasgow Music City Tours asked Malcolm to tell us what inspires him about Glasgow as a music city.
How long have you lived/played in Glasgow?
I’ve lived here on and off since 2007 and been making music with various different bands/projects for about as long.
What makes Glasgow special/unique as a music city?
Music is such a common pastime for people in Glasgow – whether it’s making music or helping to make music happen, or just going along to gigs. With all that interest comes this huge and varied infrastructure in terms of venues, promoters, rehearsal spaces, social spaces, music shops etc. The whole thing is like a feedback loop, helping to create and establish new bands, who in turn encourage more people to come out to shows and participate. There are few other cities in the world where you can find a good gig to go to practically any night of the week, almost any week of the year.
Favourite venue in the city?
I’ll have to go for the obvious answer and say the Barrowland. Not just because of its legend and dusty majesty, but also because it’s just such a staggeringly good venue in technical terms – size, dimensions, sound quality, sightlines etc (maybe not the beer mind you, or the toilets). The Barrowland can flatter even a rubbish band. When you see a band you love there… live music doesn’t really get any better.
What’s the best gig you’ve seen in Glasgow?
Easy: Belle & Sebastian at the Botanic Gardens, 12th June 2004. The day after my last university exam. One of my favourite bands of all time. The perfect location. The hottest weather I’ve ever experienced in Glasgow. Great supports (Camera Obscura, Mother and the Addicts, James Orr Complex among others). Great atmosphere. Unusually relaxed policing (it was effectively BYOB). And it was all free entry. Sometimes I wonder if I just imagined the whole thing.
What’s the most memorable show you’ve played in Glasgow?
We’ve done a couple of launch parties – for our debut 7” single in 2013 and our debut album in 2015 – at The Old Hairdresser’s, which were both lots of fun. It’s a great little DIY venue, cheap to hire and they just leave you to get on with it and make your show what you want it to be.
What other Glasgow artists would you recommend (and why)?
I enjoy many of the artists involved with the Save As Collective – Jonnie Common, Carbs, Glamour Muscle (AKA Gavin Thomson who produced our album). Lots of weird, wobbly electronic music, and as a collective they’re a good example of how artists can pool their resources. I’ve also enjoyed what I’ve heard so far from Martha Ffion – lovely songs, lovely voice.
Sum up the Glasgow music scene in five words…
“One more tune, one more…