Glasgow Letter – week 31

Van Morrison playing live at Belladrum last Friday. He plays at the Kelvingrove Bandstand in Glasgow this week.

Want to read more?

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Problems logging in and require
technical support? Click here
Subscribe Now

Summer Nights at the Kelvingrove Bandstand are well under way with acts including Billy Bragg, Belinda Carlisle and Rufus Wainwright playing at the iconic venue over the last week or so.

As I write this column on Tuesday morning, the bandstand will be preparing for the arrival of Van Morrison who plays to a sell out crowd this evening (Thursday) following his Belladrum appearance last Friday night where the band on directly before him were a certain Tide Lines.

I am a big fan of Van Morrison’s music and find it incredible when a musician of his era still commands such huge audiences.

As time goes on, there are always grumbles such acts are ‘past it’ but I couldn’t disagree more. When that legendary generation are no longer on stage, the music industry will be a much poorer place for it.

Also on the Summer Nights line-up, playing this Friday evening, are another favourite of mine, The Waterboys.

I first heard them live at HebCelt in Stornoway years ago which, coincidentally, was the first place I heard Van Morrison in 2013.

To continue the theme of the Isle of Lewis, Peat and Diesel are playing the Bandstand on Tuesday August 9.

It is brilliant to see a name from the islands on the bill alongside the massive acts I have just mentioned. It is a testament to how well the west coast music scene is doing that the boys have sold out their 2,500 tickets.

When I played the Bandstand with Tide Lines last autumn, Peat and Diesel were playing two nights along the road in the Barrowlands. All three gigs were sold out which meant that, over the course of these two nights, more than 6,000 people in Glasgow were listening to two bands from the west coast which is quite a phenomenal number.

How many of that 6,000 piled into the Park Bar, Islay Inn, and Snaffle Bit after the shows remains unconfirmed but I bet at least 90 per cent tried.

The Kelvingrove Bandstand has to be one of the most beautiful venues in the country. I remember, when I was at university, walking along the Kelvinway, looking at the then derelict bandstand and wishing someone would restore it to its former glory.

Ten years on and there is a full schedule of fantastic gigs to attend throughout the summer. Details of the remaining gigs below. They will all be brilliant.

Summer Nights at the Kelvingrove Bandstand


Thursday August 4: Pixies

Friday August 5: The Waterboys

Saturday August 6: Richard Hawley

Tuesday August 9: Peat and Diesel

Wednesday August 10: Laura Mvula

Thursday August 11: King Creosote

Friday August 12: The Jesus and Mary Chain

Saturday August 13: Edwyn Collins and Altered Images

Also coming up in Glasgow: Wednesday August 17: Hannah Rarity with full band and string quartet live in Cottiers Theatre.