Mogwai-approved Glasgow boutique festival, The Last Big Weekend, makes its debut in The Dear Green Place. Joe Whyte previews.
The East End Social, in partnership with Chemikal Underground Records have, this last half-year, been lending their collective muscle to a venture that has been bringing the city’s varied musical past, present and future to hitherto untouched areas of Glasgow. The East End has traditionally been the poor cousin (literally and culturally) to the executive, leafy West End and the Style Mile of the city centre; East End Social (and Chemikal Underground who base themselves there) have been making big moves to address this in this last few months, bringing a huge diversity of acts, workshops and events to some pretty unusual places.
A pop-up festival on one of the busiest shopping streets with bands playing in hairdressers,florists, churches, coffee bars and charity shops. A series of intimate gigs in a tiny boozer (incidentally about 100 yds from my front door) starring, including others, Joe Pernice, Norman Blake, Justin Currie and The Nectarine No. 9 (Fire Engine Davie Henderson’s band) at an archaic town hall were just part of the bigger events. Include in this a raft of youth and community happenings and one can clearly say that Chemikal Underground and EES (as well as a number of supporters in business and the arts) can declare mission accomplished.
The big send-off, in this year of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, is an ambitious festival in the previously underused Richmond Park. This area, about ten minutes walk from the city centre, is hosting some fairly substantial names over the weekend of August 30-31st. Mogwai, Fuck Buttons, James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), The Wedding Present, Swervedriver (remember them?) and a whole host of others will be hoping the weather holds out and Glasgow extends it’s usual friendly welcome.
It’s a diverse line-up, with the electronic stylings of Glasgow Sub Club faves Optimo on the decks meeting indie godfathers the Weddoes and Scottish Album Of The Year winners Young Fathers with their tripped-out hip hop playing probably their biggest gig, it’s shaping up to be a hell of a weekend. Add to that, Glasgow”s own quiet/loud blitzkreig leviathans Mogwai and it’s one for the purists as well as the curious.
The festival is at Richmond Park, it’s 18 and over and tickets are £38.50 per day, weekend £70.00 (Plus BF) and are restricted to 3,000 each day. It’s not a “bring a tent” job, so if you’re not a local, book a hotel. The festival kicks off at 1pm each day and the nearest train stations are Dalmarnock and Bridgeton which are easy walking distance.
All words by Joe Whyte. More from Joe can be found by visiting his Louder Than War Author Archive.