With the Commonwealth Games en route and the Radio 1 Big Weekend not long finished I thought I’d take my monthly round-up slot in the direction of great bands from Glasgow. It goes without saying that the city has had a reputation for being the beating heart of music in Scotland, potentially even the UK for many, many years. We have it all – great venues, great bands and the most passionate fans on earth. It’s where you can go out and see a band every night of the week, every day of the year, where bands demand to play on tours, where Oasis were signed, home of one of the biggest festivals in the world and thanks to the SSE Hydro now a place pulling in the biggest stars in the world on a seemingly monthly basis.
I wanted to make sure this piece was around bands explicitly from Glasgow and not just Glasgow-based which meant a few great bands would be missing, but I’m sure they won’t mind too much. With that in mind, here is a run-down of my personal favourite Glasgow bands and artistes that have helped put us on the map over the years.
Bridgeton-born Frankie is an absolute master of soul and R&B. A beautiful, warm voice has brought accolades from all over the music world with Rod Stewart stating Miller was “…the only white singer to have brought a tear to my eye”. He carved his career out during the late 60’s and early 70’s where he went from pubs in Glasgow to releasing tracks over in America. His biggest chart hit at home was 1992’s ‘Caledonia’ but everything this man done was brilliant. Please give him a listen, you’ll adore it.
Although as time went on his gags took over more of his set than his music, some of Billy Connolly’s material just can’t be ignored. He had some absolutely brilliant tracks with my favourites being ‘Why Don’t They Come Back To Dunoon?’, ‘Everybody Knows That’ and ‘Open Up The Door’ – just glorious examples of grass-roots folk music. Pretty much everything he done with Gerry Rafferty as The Humblebums is glorious. Go and check it out immediately.
I remember hearing ‘Chelsea Dagger’ in a club one night and the place totally kicked off with people jumping up and down, pints flying everywhere and everyone singing along to it. It was a while later when I realised who it was that was playing that night and I immediately bought their debut album Costello Music. Hearty, cheeky, boisterous and the ability to have a crowd bouncing from start to finish, The Fratellis are an awesome Glasgow band that I’m so glad to have back.
Completely different to my usual music tastes, this is a band that are out doing their own thing and in the space of a few years went from playing intimate Glasgow venues to playing at Coachella which says it all really. Along with superb gigs in Glasgow’s O2 and The Barrowland in the past year the local crowd love these guys and you will too. The Bones Of What You Believe is an incredible debut littered with brilliant synth-pop and anthemic choruses.
Founded by Bobby Gillespie and Jim Beattie, ‘The Scream’ as they are affectionately known have been powering through the music world since the early 80’s sailing through their original musical incarnation of joyous indie-pop into psychedelic, garage rock and dance overtones. Arguably it was Screamadelica which finally pulled them through to the masses but everything they have done has been peerless. They have a loyal, rabid fan base across the world and it’s easy to see why with 10 albums filled to the brim with brilliantly crafted examples of work.
Made up of musicians from other Glasgow bands, Twin Atlantic started in early 2007 and released their debut EP A Guidance From Colour a year later. It never really slowed down after that with attention from Kerrang! helping them secure support slots with bands like Biffy Clyro and Smashing Pumpkins. With an incredibly loyal fan base the band have sold out every venue in Glasgow with ease and have taken their alt-rock sound around the world to great acclaim. The band also have an extra feather in their cap thanks to their single ‘Free’ being selected to be the theme track to Felix Baumgartner’s leap from the edge of space! They are an amazing live band and one that you absolutely must go and see the next time they are near you.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Simple Minds and although they aren’t my usual choice of music, they have some outstanding tracks, great musicianship and are the sole reason we can all go and worship at The Barrowland Ballroom. Although formed in the 70’s they really made a mark on the music scene in the 80’s and 17 albums later, still do to this day. From pubs in Glasgow to sold out arena tours, Simple Minds have mastered their craft over the years and with huge tracks like ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’, ‘Alive and Kicking’ and ‘Waterfront’ (written about the Glasgow Clyde) it’s no wonder they are still held in such high regard.