WEF wins an award!

Friday April 13, 2018

Main Image

On 28th March, the West End Festival won a funding award!

The Commonweal Fund was given to the West End Festival to support the Children & Arts Programme. 

Jack Cameron (pictured) is in Primary 4 at Hillhead Primary.  Jack's school is a regular attender of all the festival book events and have been over the past 20 years.   

This is the first time the West End Festival has been awarded funding from The Commonwealth Fund of The Trades House of Glasgow. 

With special thanks to Teresa Lowe who produces the West End Festival literary events programme on our behalf. 

Hillhead Primary classes are looking forward to meeting the former Children & Young People's Laureate, Chris Riddell, on Thursday 7th June at The Kelvin Gallery, University of Glasgow, as well as other authors & illustrators. 

Pictured left to right: WEF's Michael Dale, Jack Cameron,  Dr Alistair Dorward (Deacon Convenor who presented the award and certificate), and WEF's Chairman, Liz Scobie.

Liz Scobie said: "Thanks to the wonderful support of The Trades House of Glasgow - children and young people are able to meet one of the UK’s finest illustrators in two highlight events. We also look forward to Glasgow children enjoying some of the most inspiring authors and illustrator talent working today."



Coming up this weekend 22-25 June

Thursday June 22, 2017

Main Image

Here are some recommendations for you for this coming (and closing) WEF weekend! For full listings of all events click here.

Remember and tag us in posts and use #WEF2017 at the events so we can share!


Thursday, 22 June

Bard in the Botanics: Timon of Athens 

The Weekend Shows at Stand Comedy Club

Carol Luala at Oran Mor


Friday, 23 June

Bud Neill's Lobey Dosser in 'Whit a Carry on in La La Land'at Scotstoun Community Centre

Big Vern and the Shootahs at Oran Mor

Absolute Improv at Siempre Bicycle Cafe


Saturday, 24 June

Summer Family Market at The Coach House

Voice at the Bandstand

Holyrood Pleasure Gardens Summer Fete


A celebration of women's Gaelic song

Tuesday June 20, 2017

Main Image

The West End Festival will this week play host to a special event celebrating women’s Gaelic song.

“Binneas nam Ban” will feature some of Scotland’s finest singers performing songs by female bards: renowned Lewis singer Margaret Stewart, South Uist treasure Kathleen MacInnes and new group ‘Sian’, combining the fantastic talents of young singers Eilidh Cormack, Ellen MacDonald and Ceitlin Smith. The singers will be joined by expert musicians Jenn Butterworth and Ingrid Henderson.

The event, organised by Glasgow’s Gaelic Arts development organisation An Lòchran, will shine a light on the rich tapestry of Gaelic songs written by women, from working songs and lullabies, to laments and commentary on issues including war to land struggles. This concert gives a rare chance to hear the work of a range of important bards.

An Lòchran’s Arts & Culture Development Officer, Shona Masson, said: “An Lòchran are delighted to work with the West End Festival again this year to bring a range of Gaelic events to the festival. We have events for all ages and are particularly excited for this special concert of Gaelic song, Binneas nam Ban which will celebrate the songs of women bards with a stellar cast of singers and musicians.”

The concert takes place in the stunning Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church on Thursday 22nd June 2017 at 7.30pm.

Click here for full details and tickets.


Where is La La Land?

Monday June 19, 2017

Main Image

Where is La La Land? Is it just a parallel universe away? Can it be found by the Ole Bud Neill Gang?  Talking of which, it is an amazing fact that this is the first time I, wee Ned, have played a real part in the Ole Bud Neill gang Show, usually the others get all the peach roles:  Sheriff Lobey Dosser, the half hearted anti hero, always pitted against the not so cunning as he thinks get rich schemes of Rank Bajin. Yet, the reluctant Sherriff always overcomes the dubious attractions of greed with cack-handed fairness. A right pair of flymen they are, like Francie & Josie, or Laurel and Hardy: ‘That’s another fine mess you’ve got me into’cleared  up. Ms Fairy Nuff is a constant puzzle to understand, as she speaks in rhyming couplets ungrammatical. Can anyone make sense of her appeal to be human: ‘ the tonic of gin, dream to taste, the drama of life come true, Nuff drink desires enuff’’.  Then, my Mother, Annie Jane The GI Bride, originally just a one line joke thumbing a lift back to ‘Pertick’ in the middle of the Arizona desert, why? In last year’s show Mother was a Mae West character ‘Come up and see me sometime’ and ‘ is that a gun in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me’ - this year she’s modelling herself on Marilyn Monroe, claiming that ‘A kiss on the hand may be quite continental but Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’.

However, if she had a small cartoon role, I was tiny, a right wee Ned, but now I’ve grown into the part to be a wee big Ned.

 Aye its Big Ned’s High Noon. Do not forsake me o my darling on this my big night. I’m like Gary Cooper, the heroic Town Sheriff standing alone in a gunfight against revenge crazy gunslingers. Now it’s my chance to win the quickdraw, to triumph over despair with tasty pieces of humour. That is I will sandwich in some wisecracks about a La La land I know well.

The districts of Glasgow do have other-worldly mystique:  What do you think people can do when they are on holiday here? After some thoughtlessly careful research I have some questions: Do they go to Anniesland to see the Temple, or to Carncad to see the Bear in its den? Or Kirkliston to hear the sermon on the Mount Vernon? Can they visit the Auldhoose and have a Merrylee time?

Ho hum, I have overhead of many mysterious things happening in this city:  Mary-hill parked her Carstairs in the Woodlands of Broomhill.  Bellahouston took her Barrow-to-the-field or was it the Kings park, no Queens park, or was it possibly  Possill  Park , sure that would be impossill- ble. But the Tradeston man of  Scotstoun, has been seen in crossmyloof  eating lots of Oatlands and has a High Possill-ibility of getting a Knightswood for services to Toryglen . Though Jenny Lind thought it was all a joker, in Yoker. Eggsactly.

 Excuse me, I have something in my eyebrox.

Whom did these Arden-t tourists meet on their holidays? They met a beat-priest from Monklands in Drumchapel.  They met a Macgregor in Robroy-ston. Then they met a crowd of women with the same name in Anniesland . They had a meeting with a wild animal in Bearsden. They netted a herd of sheep in Lambhill. They found a home for eggs in easterhouse. Did some fancy dancing called the Auchen = shuggle. Got caught in a traffic jam reaching for Carmyles.  Climbed up to see a witch on Haghill. Drank lots of bouncy water in Springburn.  In Cowglen they had a lovely view of the Castle -o-milk….

Ho hum, I hope that I have Provan-hill to you all that that La la Land is an real imaginary state of mind. However it is now time for me to seek out a tasty snack in a parallel universe with the Ole Bud Neill Gang at the bar-lanark ,the Bar-mulloch and the Bar-rachnie. Hopefully I won’t end up in the Bar L.

Mighty fine.

Blog post by Duncan Comrie ahead of Lobey Dosser Day - 23 June. See info here


It's back! 'Cracked Tiles'

Monday June 19, 2017

Main Image

Who was he? Riccardo’s father was always strange and silent in life but in death, through Riccardo’s crumbling inheritance- a run-down Glasgow chippy- he seems ready to share a secret or two. Riccardo’s burning with curiosity but does he really want to know?

Ranked 'OUTSTANDING' by Fringe Review, described as 'powerful, moving and bitterly honest' by The Scotsman and recipient of a top monologue from Bouquets and Brickbats, this one man roller coaster will take your breath away.


Lions of Lisbon - this Sunday

Friday June 9, 2017

Main Image

It’s been the high-point of my working life to play a part in the revival of “The Lions of Lisbon” that comes to Oran Mor as part of this year’s West End Festival. Late last year when we met co-author Willy Maley together with Eileen Auld it was absolutely clear to us that this was a unique opportunity to honour the “Lions” and rekindle the spirit of fun and optimism that swept over much of Glasgow and further afield 50 years ago.

For those that don’t know the “back-story” Willy co-wrote “The Lions of Lisbon” with the late Ian Auld, brother of Bertie and Eileen’s husband. Ian’s own story would be the basis of a great play and really is worth checking out. Ian and Willy wrote the original 25 years ago for that significant anniversary. It played to packed houses with audiences in excess of 15,000. Why wouldn’t we dust it off and give it a new lease of life?

You then add to the mix that 25 years ago a young Frank Gallagher was in the original production as was Martin McCardie.  A quarter of a century on both are delighted to add their talent and expertise to this extensively updated version. Whilst genius is an over-used term in football, football is rarely represented in theatre. Frank and Martin bring both… and then some. The younger members of the cast will cringe at being described as the theatre equivalent of “the quality street gang” but that’s exactly what they are.

The god-father of Scottish Stand-up, Bruce Morton joins the cast and fulfils the pantomime villain role, proving that he is one of the finest comedy actors. Woven through the performance are nine great Celtic songs and anthems with the house band composed of the peerless singer Maeve Mackinnon, the world’s greatest harmonica player Fraser Spiers, Stephen Wright on guitar and vocals with the theatre legend that is Dave Anderson. Dave of course co-wrote the “Celtic Story” to mark Celtic’s centenary year and very kindly lends us his great song “Hail the Lisbon Lions”.

The term “The Celtic Family” has on occasions been misused – not on this occasion – to see 300 people on their feet at the show really does create that feeling.

You might deduce from this that I have fondness for Celtic, indeed my 10th birthday fell three days before that “Glasgow District eleven” showed Europe how the game should be played – my birthdays have never been the same.

Blog post by Jim Lister. Jim is producing Willy Maley’s “The Lions of Lisbon” to mark 50th anniversary, originally written and performed in 1992 to mark 25th anniversary “The Lions of Lisbon” played to more than 15,000 with extended runs at the Tron and Pavilion. 

Event listing found here.


Coming up this weekend

Wednesday June 7, 2017

Main Image

Friday 9th - Sunday 11th June highlights


Friday 9th June

Pizza on the Patio at McPhabbs - free! 

Glasgow's own mobile woodfired pizza peddlers will be on site each day, serving artisan pizzas to order all weekend outside on the patio. (Also 10th and 11th)

Cool and the Gang by West End Fiesta at Kelvingrove Bandstand

Electric Honey Records Showcase at Oran Mor

Malt Whisky Masterclass at GUU

Absolute Improv at Siempre Bicycle Cafe - Improv comedy a la "Whose Line is it Anyway?"


Saturday 10th June

Partickhill Bowling Club "Rock & Bowl Gala Day"

Vinicombe Street Outdoor Ceilidh - missed last weekend's at Kelvingrove? Now's your chance to get involved!

Bag O'Nails Live at Partick

Chic featuring Nile Rodgers by West End Fiesta at Kelvingrove Bandstand (also 11th)

Glasgow Chamber Choir at Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church

Cheekyrrikis Flamenco Power at La Bodega


Sunday 11th June

Scottish Seafood BBQ at The Bothy

Free Meditation And Prayers For World Peace at Vajrayana Kadampa Buddhist Centre

The Big Sunday at Kelvingrove Park - FREE

Brews and Food - beer pairing at Innis and Gunn Kitchen

The Lismore Swing & Jazz Club

Lions of Lisbon at Oran Mor


As always, full listings on the WEF website via the 'Events' tab. Please contact the event organiser, venue or ticketing company directly with any cancellation or refund enquiries.


Oran Mor All Dayer

Wednesday June 7, 2017

Main Image

Now an annual event in the festival calendar, Oran Mor once again hosts its annual All Dayer on Sunday, 18 June.

Here's what's happening and how you can get your ticket...



Thursday May 18, 2017

Main Image

Submit a synopsis/abstract (200 words max) of what you intend to read plus a short (50 words max) bio note by 31 May.

(Selected readers will be notified by 2 June.) Readings will be limited to 5 minutes each. Please email submissions to: westend.newwritingshowcase@gmail.com

Don’t fancy reading?

Come along and support brave writers and poets over a glass of wine in this summer’s amazing Hunterian Museum venue! 6 June 2017 * 7:00- 9:00pm Hunterian Museum * University of Glasgow


Stencilling - creativity unleashed

Thursday May 18, 2017

Main Image

Workshop routine and creativity or Sunday Lunch, why I like to run my art workshops around a large table !

 They all walk in the room looking around, feeling a bit uncertain, but soon, they meet the timid smile of others and they feel a little reassured that they are not the only one…

 Invited to, they sit around the large table ready to share ! ready to learn ! The Magic is about to begin ! A recent participant to one of my recent workshops said “I loved every minute of it”

 Ahead of them a full day of creativity, they are the participants of my stencilling classes. They are beginners, they cant draw and they are so concerned they will not “managed it!!!| “I have never been good at Art but I need to decorate my bathroom”, “I love Mackintosh… my daughter wants me to decorate her dining room” “My husband booked me on this course for my birthday” …. They all have different stories but they all want to learn the tricks of the trade, they want to know how to transfer a beautiful pattern onto their walls.

 Stencilling has this kind of magic associated to it. Its creative, its artistic, its beautiful, its been used by many great designers, by many artists, by many decorators, yet to stencil basic patterns you don't need to be able to draw, you don't need to know the magic, you just have to follow the basic rules of the “dry brush” to get a great result.

 For over 20 years now I have been teaching crafts classes to “non arty” participants. I could do it in my sleep… but I have to stay awake to see the Magic ! the very moment when my participants realise that they can great results without having ever gone to Art School or studied design. They can make beauty. They will obtain results on this very course. Their eyes lit up and the Magic starts.

 I very much like having people around the large table. Like at a big Sunday Lunch ! The conversation begins, we all laugh at each other’s first try ! We learn, we share, we talk, we create, we mess up !

 One of the participants of my last workshop said : ”For me working with other people at the same large table is like sharing a meal. It nourishes in more ways than just the things we are making.

 Your first stencilled design is a bit like a first pancake, it burns at the bottom of the pan but then you learn to turn the gas down (use less paint !) and the second one is just delicious… In the case of stencilling it might take a little longer. May be you will need to try again and again for a short while before you can understand that you only need very little paint on the brush. Making mistakes is the best way to learn from one another. If the atmosphere is relaxed enough we all laugh at each others attempts and time passes so quickly.

 Designing your own stencil can take some energy… and some practice ! So creativity and some daring… It takes a lot of daring to come up with a design and a bit like at school all my participants are hiding their first attempts, but then gradually they all come out and start cutting. Some like circles, some like lines but all find the knife quite hard to manoeuvre. With another few chocolate biscuits and a couple of more stories the designs emerge.

 By that time we are all tired, me from guiding, coaxing, teaching, making sure everyone is having a great time… the participants have now ran out of concentration, they are gradually burnt out and start making mistakes.

 However the excitement of a job well done is taking over, the amazement of their achievement, the satisfaction of having learned a new technique and made it through the day without disasters is making participants euphoric ! They almost embrace one another, the exchange details, leave an email address for class notes and thank me profusely… I have to congratulate them… they have done so well. 

 I have run many, many workshops over the years and have had much satisfaction to see participants discover their inner creative side. Its a great feeling and I am blessed to have the chance to be there when this happens. May be its the quality of my tuition that generates it but I prefer to believe it’s inner creativity released by a great day together around the large table doing arty things ! having fun!

 A lovely participants to my last month stencilling workshop wrote me a lovely email thanking me for his success in creating a great design but also said …”I appreciated yesterday how much I need the company of others to be artistically alive”

 May be that is why I teach crafts still… because I need the company of others to be artistically alive or may be because I like sitting around the large table for a burst of creativity.

Its like Sunday Lunch but in a creative way.

Blog post by Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw


More information about the workshop via this link

Mackintosh Church, Friday, 16 June.