Death Grips, a band which had eluded me on more than one occasion, finally upheld their promise to Glasgow and played a gig at the versatile SWG3. My first attempt to see Mr. Stefan Burnett- aka MC Ride- and co. was thwarted when they dropped out last minute from 2012’s ATP festival in London, to the great distress of their then label Epic Records, in order to focus on their second album The Money Store.The experimental, aggressive, more than hip-hop sound of Death Grips would have come as an interesting break from the doom and drone dominated ATP, but dropping out of a festival headlined by metal legends Slayer, not to mention cancelling their entire tour, was a ballsy and some might say foolish move.
Nevertheless the Sacremento based trio have been kicking up quite a storm since their 2010 formation, utilising the web to leak several new tracks and whispers of a lawsuit against them, the hype is far from diminished and their sound has continued to develop in interesting and extreme directions. With remixes of Bjork and the Prodigy their punk-drenched sound is shifting in the most contemporary ways, blending genres the way an infuriated Pollock mixes paint. In the heat of exams, I was keen to see what they were made of live.
With Chambre 69’s out-of-the-blue closure a void was left to be filled in the Glasgow club scene. GUM caught up with Ahsan and Cheesy, one time Chambre booking manager and all round tech wizz respectively, who took it upon themselves to launch a new pop-up club appropriately named Make Do. Meeting at the new Hope street venue on the evening before their 19th January launch (opposite the seldom noticed grandeur of Central Station), GUM descended into an empty space stacked with monitors and cables that was soon to be morphed into a venue christened by the likes of Offbeat, Cottam, Axel Boman. “We created Make Do because chambre closed and we had lots of exciting promoters looking for a space of that size” Ahsan clarified “Glasgows pretty lacking in medium sized venues that can cater to people being able to come in and be encouraged to come up with creative uses of the space.” The pop-up aims to continue what Chambre was made famous for, namely the diversity of the space that allows promoters to come in and transform it to fit the needs of each individual night. “One of the main benefits that Chambre had was that you could really make your own night” they explain, “to come in and change it up, and put in whatever production you wanted, flip it around and design it the way you liked. We wanted to offer the same thing with the Make Do space and build upon the Chambre ethos in that sense.” Flexibility of this nature in a club is often hard to come by, and requires a solid team with enough expertise in their fields to avoid any glitches. “Cheesy is quite renowned for creating really great production in clubs, whether it be light features or visual installations” Ahsan chips in. For those of you who made it to the launch you might have noticed the stack of TV’s playing loops of old film clips next to the speakers, a Cheesy signature. “Having him on board means that promoters know the high level of technical know-how that he brings to the table.” he continues, "which is definitely a key point".
GUM was delighted to be invited to Chillies West End, an exciting Indian located on Woodlands Road, to promote the new student deal they have just launched. The invitation coincided nicely with our new food and drink section, which seeks to promote affordable dining for all us broke foodies out there. The deal sees students walk out with 10% off all sit-in meals from Sunday to Thursday, and 10% off take-away throughout the week. A valid student card must be shown on order.
[caption id="attachment_3031" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] from left: Ahsan, Colin, Tanner[/caption] This past Friday saw Chambre 69 opening its doors to Glasgow clubbers for the last time at its current location at 69 Nelson Mandela Place. The shock closure, announced over Facebook, sent ripples of confusion and a general melancholy over the demise of what has been, for the last 18 months, one of Glasgow’s finest venues. The Chambre team wrote in their announcement that “this has come totally out of the blue for us and we are not in a position to negotiate staying in the venue any longer.” The shady nature of the closure and the last minute pull-together of the acts gives anyone who wants to put on a packed-out club night a bit of hope. But then we have to remember that these are the Chambre guys, and we could only be so lucky as to have such a hint of scandal to propel a club night into the stratosphere. Originally billed as Chicago vs. Detroit, the line-up was changed to reflect the times, beginning with Glasgow based collective and electronic label All Caps, to aliOOFT, Void and Tanner. Seasoned regulars mixed with the scene kids for one last night at the soon-to-be notorious venue. That is to say, if it wasn’t before, the half mile queue down Buchanan street certainly made it so. Shaun Murphy of Vitamins, was quoted as saying “It's a genuine loss to the club scene, hopefully whatever fills the void has a similar open, risk taking and supportive ethos.” Luckily for us Cheesy (Chambre Tech) and Ahsan (Deadly Rhythm / Former Chambre booking manager) will be launching a pop-up venue appropriately named Make Do, which will have it's opening night this Saturday.
Just before Christmas the Rubix boys put on the fifth installment of what is becoming one of Glasgow’s staple nights. With past acts including South London Ordnance, Joonipah, Elphino, and staple Point To C; Rubix is the night for those who are particularly enamoured with the cutting edge of electronic music. Subclub was forcefully launched into the festive spirit with lashing of UV lights and rubix cubes hanging from the ceiling, the night proved to be the final assault against those pesky exam blues. GUM caught up with newcomer Dauwd at the afterparty to chat about music, his heritage, and his unwavering obsession with Dylan Thompson.Interviewing on a sunken sofa surrounded by party goers I begin by asking the inevitable first question; how does Glasgow compare to other cities he’s played in? Without hesitation he says “The Glasgow crowd is really good, they’re boss!”, a statement that reflects the pull the city has on similar musicians, such as James Rand who played at Rubix in May last year. With friendly rivalry in the air at the mention of Rand, Dauwd exclaims “he’s so shit, he’s just like Skrillex”. The musicians met when doing the rounds of the Liverpool club circuit, playing at institutions such as Chibuku Shake Shake, where Dauwd played a supporting act back in October. A relative newcomer on the electronic music scene Dauwd Al Hilali has taken it by storm, with roots in Iraq, a childhood in Wales, he now oscillates between London and Liverpool. His first EP ‘What’s There’ was released on Pictures Music in November 2011, while his reputation continues to be solidified by excellent live performances and a few strategic placements on compilations. One such compilation is Adult Swim’s ‘Unclassified’ which includes the likes of Kode9 and Lukid, as well as a recent mix he curated for 22 Tracks, where samples of Andy Stott are used to great success.
Experiencing a band who have retained their musical integrity over a thirty year period is not a daily pleasure; it’s a grand event. Swans’ appearance in Glasgow carried with it high expectations, and with support from Sir Richard Bishop it made for a promising line-up. Ticket price was reasonable for The Arches, and certainly merited by the band’s industrious career: exceeding thirty releases. The tour follows the release of one of 2012’s more interesting albums: The Seer. The artwork introduces the stark contrast heard in the music, and was in all manners a release concerned with every nuance of the sound. The title-track’s 32-minute duration and bagpipe/percussion introduction brings to mind Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s East Hastings, but soon ascends above and beyond in the moody excitement of Swans’ rich, rolling and diverse constructs. The track is largely representative of Swans live: in the course of a two-hour show we were subjected to only six songs, but each successive track sapped more sanity and drove the sheer weight of the sound into the audience. The crowd varied in age and well-represented the diverse appeal of Swans’ music. As support, Sir Richard Bishop’s music promised a fine and delicate contrast to the onslaught which followed. What he presented, however, was a dirtier, more convoluted sound. To watch his fingers it was clear that technically his playing was precise, even in its more chaotic motions, yet the sound was dense and reverberated angrily through the venue’s halls.
Sonica, a festival of sonic arts showcasing both British and International artists, had its world premier in Glasgow this November. The festival was produced by a company called Cryptic, whose goal is to nurture and develop the Scottish visual arts. Their intentions came to fruition in this two-week festival. Showcasing a wide variety of work from international artists (including our very own Luke Fowler) Sonica presented a range of interesting shows: including their children's program, presenting the darker side of 'Ecstatic Art', as well as putting on a generous amount of free exhibitions. [caption id="attachment_2958" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Robin Fox, photo by Lasse Marhaug[/caption] Sonica utilized a wide range of interesting spaces in Glasgow. This provided not only an artistic experience for the viewers but also an element of adventure, in which punters must discover the various locations of the shows. However, this may have been a touch too experimental at points- the “pop up festival hub” was a little too spontaneous and on another occasion, a miscommunication led to one of the exhibitions being cut short a day early without any warning. But, despite this, one must admire the artistic ingenuity of the organizers. The shows that were presented successfully, on location and on time, were triumphant. Robin Foxe’s Laser show, for instance, was a particular hit. Upon viewing the show, there was a separate installation as you entered into the performance space which gave you a feel for what you were about to experience. The piece played on the idea of our modern day conception of fun: in the liquid, musical and visual sense. It was an arrangement of glasses catching the light as they rotated on a disk turntable. A simple idea but one which captivates the viewer and could engage you for hours, as the light cut through the glasses in speckled flecks. The performance space was not a seated floor plan, but just people standing in an open space. There was an unusual element to the show in the sense that there was more than one area which required your attention. I anticipated that I would be concentrating solely in the direction of the light source, but then would entirely miss the actual projection of the light onto the back wall. In between these two displays were the strong beams of green light cutting through the room to create a performance with three spheres of entertainment.
The Glasgow fashion scene is bursting at the seams with creative talent, so it's no surprise that Italian-born designer Silvia Pellegrino decided to start up her own label here. Chouchou creates unique hoods with a couture feel which appeal to the city's fashion-forward, individual style. Unsurprisingly, Pellegrino's range of Hollyhoods have attracted quite the following, and GUM were lucky enough to feature one of her striking pieces in our latest issue. Flick to page 20 of our ‘Blackout’ feature to see the Hollyhood Rose in action. We caught up with the designer again to talk hoods, hoods, hoods! [caption id="attachment_2947" align="aligncenter" width="584"] photo by Chris Park[/caption] How did Chouchou get started? It started when I was an intern for a company called Kucoon in LA in 2007, that was one of the best experiences of my life, I met so many talented designers. I find in California there are a lot of inspirational people, so working for Kucoon was the best thing that could have happened at the time, and when the internship was over the designer Andrea Spratt asked me: “do you want to stay?” and I was really tempted to just say yes. At the time I was so determined to start something of my own so I went back to Italy and invested my savings into the creation of our first S/S collection, and this collection for one reason or another was going to be shown here in Glasgow. So, at some point I decided it would be a great idea to move to Scotland altogether because I always had great connections here. I moved here in 2009 and started the company here in 2010 and it just grew from there How did you come up with the name? What does the name Chouchou mean? The name came from another trip that I did in South Africa, passing through Paris. The word Chouchou came out and my French friend explained that it's a term used with a person you love. Chouchou means loved one. Once I was doing a market in Italy and this now famous photographer came up to me and said: “What’s your company name?”, and I said Chouchou and he said to me, “Wow that’s so much fun”, because in Naples when you see a hot girl on the street and you know her name you simply go: “sciu'sciu'!”. (read as Chouchou)
[caption id="attachment_2933" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] image by Olivia Vitzakova[/caption] This Tuesday, GUM attended a highly anticipated fashion show organised by online fashion boutique the Pokey Hat to celebrate the arrival of the Jeffrey Campbell shoe collection into the Pokey Hat stores. The fashion show was in trendy new club FabrIQ on Queen Street. After being seated in front of the catwalk, I looked through my goody bag, which featured candy jewellery – my favourite kind. The show started with a bang, dancers with black lace dresses twirling and whirling on the catwalk so close you could touch them. Then came the models wearing Pokey Hat clothes; a collection of both vintage and modern clothing by Scottish fashion designers. The models were wearing Jeffrey Campbell shoes with its characteristic wavy shapes and studs. It was difficult to know where to look as both the clothes and shoes were stunning. Our favourite piece was a woollen hat with spikes which is a must have this winter, making you feel warm and look cool at the same time. Who said fashion can’t be practical? There was also a raffle to win a pair of Jeffrey Campbell shoes, I bought a ticket but didn't win. I almost ended up crying in the corner, but the fact that my feet were already bleeding from a pair of ordinary heels almost made me grateful I didn't win.
If you like your fashion dark and sexy with a hint of crazy you've come to the right place. Nightwalk is more of an experience than just a fashion show, which is evident from its setting in The Arches, Glasgow’s most charismatic music and club venue. After this year's Autumn/Winter Nightwalk was rescheduled due to a blackout we were excited to finally witness what up-and-coming Scottish designers had to offer. From the neatly tailored shirts by the Swedish-born Jennie Lööf, or the entirely white collection of dresses entitled ‘White Noise’ by Betty Spoke, to playful latex creations by Betsabelle, each of the 14 designers had a unique vision. Womenswear clearly dominated the show however admirers of menswear (and male models!) were not disappointed by male design duo Nothing and several colourful designs by Brian Chan and a few other designers.
It's November. Which can only mean one thing in the shopping world: sharpen your elbows, you're going to need them. Yes, Christmas fever is almost upon us. But what if we told you that this year there's no need to sweat it out on the high street, fighting over mass-produced items and spending hours in seemingly endless queus? Bold Souls Stardust has come to save us all. Bold Souls is a fashion Pop-Up, created two years ago by Glasgow-based designer Silvia Pellegrino and blogger Jonathan Pryce of Les Garçons de Glasgow and Another Garçon. Offering a unique shopping experience the event brings a plethora of local designers together under one roof, and give shoppers the chance to buy one-off items and personalised pieces. GUM spoke to organiser Silvia to find out how Bold Souls was conceived: "What we wanted to do was to promote local talent and expand the community, meet more people that we could work with, meet more customers. We wanted to have a very seamless, open and fresh place where people could go to find unique fashion instead of buying high street and mass made fashion, that we find a lot of the time doesn't really have spirit". It is this community aspect which gives Bold Souls it's buzzing atmosphere, uniting designers, creatives and customers alike over canapes and complimentary Kopparberg. One year on from the last Bold Souls, Stardust promises to be bigger, better - and yes - bolder than before. Thursday 22nd November 2012 will see Flat 0/1 and Lucky 7 packed out with more than 20 stalls, where you can pick up one-off pieces from a host of local designers, both up-and-coming and established. As Pellegrino explains: "We try to keep it colourful and diverse, everybody’s got their own style, we're trying to have different tastes; the taste of our customers." With such a variety of designers offering up everything from womenswear and menswear to accessories and jewellery, there really is something for everyone. Plus each item is beautifully crafted, high-quality and totally unique: this is a chance to see independent fashion at it's best.”
Yasmin Ali Event, 12th December, 4-9pm Silvia Pellegrino of Chouchou Couture heads up an entourage of talented Glasgow-based fashion and accessories designers for the second winter edition of Bold Souls hosted at GN Salons. The Christmas special pop-up featured fashion designers like retro re-styling from Jennie Loof; bold colourways from Rebecca Torres; fine knits and edgy detailing from Nicola Beedie; knitwear and fashion designer Stephen Tarnawski, and of course, Silvia's sportswear-luxe label Chouchou which showcased a brand new line of bespoke fabric earrings made with recycled material and 925 silver.
Sara Winchester [caption id="attachment_1040" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="INSTAL'10 identity: Image by Jez Burrows"][/caption] On a wintry weekend in mid-November, I headed down to Tramway to have my mind opened to a feast of new musical experiences. The Instal ‘10 festival was a three day weekend festival which aimed to show the radical side of music. Its tagline claims that Music is much more than music. The programme included performance artists, talks, experimental music and art installations from all over the world.
[caption id="attachment_1027" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Photo Credit: Niall Walker"]
Mountain views to rival the Alps, turquoise sea that can match the Mediterranean and fresh air that can clean out those cobwebs and make you feel brand spanking new again. Catriona Matheson invites you to explore Scotland’s stunning west coast.
Franck Martin has a chinwag with front man Andy ‘Falco’ Falkous from the delightfully abrasive, refreshingly anarchic alt rockers Future Of The Left.
Katy Dycus dusts down the clutter, delves into the psychology of collecting, and learns that there is a fine line between a casual hobby and the world of obsession.
Claire Strickett rediscovers the influence of Le Corbusier, the inspiration behind Glasgow’s post-war architectural renaissance.
[caption id="attachment_407" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Photo - Jim Wilson"][/caption] Cirque du Soleil, SECC Glasgow, 16th-19th April Thursday evening saw the return of Cirque du Soleil to Glasgow's SECC. Jim Wilson caught up with creative director, Sean McKeown and Cirque du Soleil's publicist, MJ Gagnon to discover more about the world-famous spectacle featuring gravity defying acrobats, aerialists, contortionists, rope-jumpers, a balancing duo and of course the acclaimed crazy clowns.
Founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, Spotify, the new online music service is now being downloaded by over ten thousand people a day across Europe. The sheer number of downloads is making Spotify a serious competitor in the battle of the music download providers and its popularity is growing by the minute. Jim Wilson welcomes the new iTunes rival into his life.
Y'all Is Fantasy Island’s latest album and third dollop of noise, 'No Ceremony' has been received as their most accomplished work yet. So why haven’t they been signed yet? Surely a band of such obvious worth cannot be beaten simply by the law of averages. With this in mind, Maitiu Corbett towed the treacherous trail out to Anniesland Cross to find out their views on the record industry, homicidal trees, and Jim, in a bath, naked.
GUM speaks with Nick Davies, award winning journalist and author of Flat Earth News, about why the news media isn’t doing its job.
Zoe Grams pays tribute to one of Glasgow's most talented artists and illustrators, Hannah Frank.