As I’m sure everyone has noticed the 2014 Commonwealth Games have kicked off here in Glasgow this week for ten days of running, jumping and grunting. Regardless of whether there is any place in contemporary society for what is really a celebration of Empire, or whether Westminster and Holyrood are using the games to pump voters up ahead of September’s referendum on Scottish Independence, the reality is that it’s all kicked off in the best possible way – 30c temperatures and endless blue skies; weird, slightly See-you-Jimmy opening ceremony and the Scotland team kicking ass in a quiet and unassuming way.
To say that Glasgow has got behind the games is to put it mildly. It might be a cliché but no less true to say that Glasgow loves a party. Any excuse to get jaked is leapt upon with a wild-eyed hunger that cannot be put down to a simple love of the booze. It has probably something to do with the city’s history being so thick with industry. The Exhaustion of backbreaking work (mostly in the shipyards here) is lessened by a good bender of a Friday and Saturday night. And although the shipyards and the rest of the industry are all but gone now, the need for your average Glaswegian to go off on one is still very much alive.
I think it’s this that partly explains Glasgow’s love of House and Techno, and the deeper, groovier elements of both. it’s also good to remember that it’s a hard, working class city but it is also a city of music, of art and of literature. These influences are echoed in the clubs, from Club 69 way out in Paisley (not Glasgow as the natives there will tell you,) to Optimo to whatever is happening at the art school tonight and tomorrow. It’s in the labels too. Numbers may well be as much of London now, but it’s DNA was encoded in Glasgow and Paisley and the vibe of the city is writ large in everything they do as it is with others like All Caps and Clan Destine.
I’ve chosen tonight’s tunes because its seems to sum up Glasgow for me in a myriad of ways. This would have been equally true if I chose something by Underground Resistance or E-Dancer or one of a thousand other tunes from the two big US cities that had such a profound influence on Glasgows music.
I’ve always loved Party Time. I love the whole EP, in fact. It’s Glenn Underground at his best and even though its is now almost twenty years old it still burns with a fierce passion and energy that comes from the pounding tom heavy rhythm and the downward mood of the chords which gives the feel of smiling through tears. It’s tight and potent, as Glasgow a tune as I can think of, and my unofficial theme for the blue skies, the dreadful attire and the games themselves.
PS. I’m going away camping next week, and swimming in the Atlantic, so there probably won’t be any updates. Kind of difficult to get a Wi-Fi signal from the edge of nowhere.