Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, 2010
„Peter Kelly is a high school English teacher in Hamilton, who is well liked by pupils and staff alike“, says wikipedia about the man behind Beerjacket, often compared with Elliott Smith. Sure, this might not be a neutral, encyclopedia-style remark, but from the half hour we spent with him in Glasgow we can definitely confirm his utter likeableness. We meet Peter at the Glasgow Film Theatre, only to find out that they wouldn’t let us in. So we head on, turn round the corner and walk along the busy Sauchiehall Street, until Peter spots a telephone booth and a barber just next to each other. He grabs his guitar, squats down and starts fingerpicking “House Of Toys” in the phone booth. While he is singing dark lyrics in a beautiful vocal melody, people, cars and buses pass by. Inside the barber’s Peter goes for “Island” and gets a deserved applause from the shop owners. “I will never feel at home with my guitar now outside of a barbers or a phone booth”, he finally writes in our guestbook.
Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
Report of West of Scotland Handloom Weavers’ Commission, 1839: «I have seen human degradation in some of its worst phases, both in England and abroad, but I can advisedly say that I did not believe until I visited the wynds of Glasgow that so large and amount of filth, crime, misery and disease existed in one spot in any civilized country.” Many things have changed for the good since then, but still Glasgow has a way rougher image than the picturesque and wealthy Edinburgh or the lovely fisher men’s Anstruther. The edginess comes from a working men and football culture, tensions from sports and religion, less historic flair (yet Glasgow has an impressive art nouveau-heritage with traces from Charles Rennie Mackintosh everywhere), less wealth and less tourists. But the city that is not so much bigger (considering the amounts of inhabitants) than the Scottish capital feels much more alive. Especially for music lovers, people who want to go out clubbing and anyone who is more into pop(ular) culture than high culture – this is the right place. There are always shows on in this vibrant city with its numerous venues and with some of the greatest indie bands (that hardly ever come to Austria) playing there. Only during the one week we’ve spent there, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Vampire Weekend and Spoon a.o. were favouring the live music capital that is said to have one of the, if not the most outgoing audience in UK. Unsurprisingly it was then, that we have met – besides the many Scottish bands – two international acts for filming. Despite or because of some overall roughness, Glaswegians (not the rowdy ones!) are noticeable frank and cordial. At this point we want to thank the friendly music bloggers Jason from The Popcop and Kowalskiy for catching up with us, the helpful couchsurfer Neil for hosting us and all the fun and cooperative local bands that were jumping on our short notice call. The filming with Beerjacket took place at Sauchiehall Street, one of the main shopping and business streets in the city centre.