The Next Big Thing: 40th Anniversary

Lindsay Hutton started his seminal fanzine The Next Big Thing as a punk Xerox sheet in 1977. He went on to found the world’s first ever Cramps fan club The Legion of the Cramped along with a certain Stephen Patrick Morrissey…We invited Lindsay to guest blog for us to celebrate the 40th anniversary issue. Thanks again Lindsay!


In April 1977, I kicked off a (badly) photocopied fanzine called THE NEXT BIG THING. An entity that exists to this day mainly as a blog however, for the first time in nudging 20 years, there’s an actual print edition to mark four decades of activity.

What on earth possessed me to do this? I’m not sure there’s a straight answer to that but I’m certainly way old enough to know better. It all just kind of came together. From the consideration of preparing something symbolic to it evolving into an actual issue of the fanzine in the format it was last seen. “It happened again” to paraphrase the Twin Peaks giant, tempered with a smidge of an urge to recycle some polythene bags.

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Guest Blog: Lindsay Hutton

A man who knows his onions, Lindsay Hutton started his seminal fanzine The Next Big Thing as a punk Xerox sheet in 1977. He went on to found the world’s first ever Cramps fan club The Legion of the Cramped along with a certain Stephen Patrick Morrissey…Lindsay keeps the garage flag flying at his splendid blog

He kindly agreed to pen something for us on his Glasgow gig memories…thanks Lindsay!


Photo by Ruth López-Diéguez

My first memory of visiting Glasgow was to attend “the shows” at the Kelvin Hall. The “shows” to anyone not from around these parts was a huge indoor funfair, 1963-ish when I was 5 going on 6. I remember traipsing up to and from Queen Street Station. Recall suggests that we were able to take a train directly from Grangemouth in them pre-Beeching cuts days what feels at this point, forever ago.

Orbit, the record store I worked in, ran buses to gigs because they acted like a ticket agency out in the boonies. I’ve always lived equi-distantly between Glasgow and Edinburgh, 26 miles from each. The fact that these places are just a smidge over 50 miles apart seems like a way bigger chasm.

The first show I ever attended in the great city was by Alice Cooper at Greens Playhouse on November 10th 1972. It was £1.20 admission. That was forever before the dreaded booking fee was devised. A month later, I saw Led Zeppelin at the same venue for the bargain price of £1.


Glasgow has always possessed a spirit that gives it an edge over almost anywhere else and it remains a vibrant, cultural hub. The place bubbles with an energy that has been cawed out of most major cities and one-time scenes. At this point, I’d say that it’s up there with Madrid and Berlin of places and there’s a somewhat unique non-cliqueiness about Glasgow.

I saw every act that I wanted to over the years and probably a few best forgotten. When Greens became the Apollo, this would usher in a special period that lasted all the way until the place closed. I was there once a week, sometimes three. Memories include nearly getting my heid kicked in by the notorious Apollo bouncers when I saw The Who. Jumping up and down on and breaking a seat when Thin Lizzy opened for Bachman Turner Overdrive, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first ever UK appearance in November 1974, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band Christmas shows (I had a piece of the polystyrene Vambo wall that Alex burst though for years) and however many Roxy Music residences.

One night in particular changed my direction altogether. The Cramps first show anywhere in Europe was at the Apollo on May 31st 1979 sandwiched between The Police and The Bobby Henry Band. I met Lux Interior and Poison Ivy on Union Street and from there ended up running their fan club (The Legion of the Cramped) between 1980 and 1983. A certain Stephen Patrick Morrissey was also involved at the beginning but then dropped out to take his own particular journey. My last contact with him was an invite to see his group play at Nite Moves on Sauchiehall Street. I declined because I didn’t rate his band’s debut single and never got another Christmas card.

Talking about Nite Moves, that’s where the Fleshtones played when they last visited this town in November 1983. They’re celebrating 40 years here in 2016 so I think that some aspect of that should involve a return bout. Plans are afoot for just such a wheeze.

Glasgow’s Grand Old Opry is my favourite venue in town but it’s severely underused, likely due to being located on the south side. The Dave Alvin and The Guilty Men (including the late, great Chris Gaffney) and Teenage Fanclub gigs there were something else. Laura Cantrell and Amy Allison played a blinder there too. The city has an ongoing, unfaltering buzz that is hard to beat. You can have a ball in Glasgow whatever your particular persuasion. The heart and soul of the place has always been founded on music. And please, don’t hold the fact that it’s often cited as the place a certain aberration from Manchester was discovered against it.



Kathryn Joseph wins SAY Award 2015

Kathryn Joseph's Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled

Kathryn Joseph’s Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled

Our congratulations to Kathryn Joseph, winner of the 2015 SAY award for her album, Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled.

Kathryn seemed quite overwhelmed by her win and was particularly delighted to receive her quilt: shortlisted nominees were presented with a beautifully designed quilt by Vanessa Hindshaw, a recent graduate of Glasgow School of Art. Continue reading

Guest Blogger Francis Macdonald: Part Two

Francis MacDonald

My Glasgow best venue? Well…

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