The Acoustic Affair: music nights at Websters Theatre

Wednesday June 18, 2014

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Websters Theatre

Websters is home to four musicians this week as part of the WEF regular - The Acoustic Affair. Take a look at what's on and don't forget to use #WEF2014 when talking about events online. Enjoy!


Rab Noakes: from Nashville to Muirend, Stripped

Wedneday 18 June, 7.30pm, £16

An evening of great songs drawn from an eventful 40+ year long career in the music business working with some of the great legends including Gerry Rafferty. He will be joined by a fantastic backing band formed for the evening which includes well known musicians Emma and Jill. 

“It was an excellent show from one of this country's finest songsmiths” The Herald Jan 2014.


Calum Ingram

Thursday 19 June, 7.30pm, £12

A classically trained cellist and songwriter from Paisley, he studied at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC and, although based in UK, he frequently tours North America.

In 2011, he opened for Jack Bruce at the Queens Hall (Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival) and recent live appearances include O2 ABC Glasgow, CCA, The Spree festival and he has also featured on Paul Jones on BBC Radio 2 and a live session the Culture Show on BBC Scotland.


Jimmie MacGregor

Friday 20 June, 7.30pm, £16

PM music image 2 

John Muir was an American hero, born in Scotland. He was to become known as the father of the American conservation and the founder of their wonderful national park system. As a long time admirer, Jimmie leapt at the opportunity of a recording trip to San Francisco, the Napa valley, Muir’s home at Martinez, Yosemite national park and the Sierra Nevada.

Come along to hear Jimmie’s stories and see some great images all presented in a relaxed and humorous style; truly one of our Westend treasures !


Dick Gaughan

Saturday 21 June, 7.30pm, £16

Brought up immersed in the musical traditions and culture of the Gaels, both Scots and Irish, Dick Gaughan has been a professional musician and singer since January 1970, and made his first solo album in 1971, No More Forever. He was an early member of the Boys of the Lough and the now legendary Scottish folk-rock band, Five Hand Reel.

In December 2009, Dick was honoured by being inducted into the Scots Trad Music Hall of Fame and he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Radio 2’s annual Folk Awards ceremony.



Celebrate 'Greek' Thomson & The Sixty Steps

Monday June 16, 2014

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Glasgow has some secret spots, but few are so enchanting as the Sixty Steps. Tucked away off Queen Margaret Drive, the only public structure by the great Victorian architect Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson invites discovery.

On Sunday 15 June, as part of the 2014 West End Festival, the Greek Thomson Sixty Steps Preservation Trust was once again welcoming visitors. New signs and a viewing bench were unveiled, exciting restoration plans discussed, and young Scottish actor Patrick Wallace performed a specially-written one-man show, ‘Intimations of Mortality’.

 Greek Thomson one man performance

Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson was an architectural genius who left his mark on Glasgow. Inspired by the ancients, he created breathtaking monuments such as the St Vincent Street church. His Sixty Steps, by contrast, is something of a folly.

Commissioned by an enterprising property developer who wanted to draw house-hunters to land he had bought in North Kelvinside, the Sixty Steps was completed in the early 1870s.

Comprising a sweeping staircase bounded by a wall bearing traces of windows and doors, and crowned by a romantic ‘bellevue’ looking  out across the river Kelvin, the structure originally stood amid rolling fields.  

Gradually, the tenements and villas that surround it now were built and over time Thomson’s flight of fancy fell into disrepair: during World War II the cast iron lamps that Thomson designed to flank the steps were removed, and the stonework started to crumble.

 Greek Thomson steps

Now, thanks to Glasgow City Council and the efforts of the Greek Thomson Sixty Steps Preservation Trust there is a determination to restore the structure to its former glory.


Like your events burger themed? Ketchup has some for you

Monday June 16, 2014

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To celebrate the West End Festival, Ketchup’s getting FEASTive all month long!

To kick off, we’re asking all Ketchup kiddies to get creative and design their very own Dream Burger - best entry will be a fixture on our menu with comps running every Sunday from 12pm. But there’s more!

We’ve also moved our buns outside every Saturday. Come down to Ashton Lane where we’ll be grilling all your favourite burgers on the KBBQ and soaking up that (rare) Glaswegian sun.

Hungry for more? This year we bring you… the bun... the only… the 2014 Ketchup World Cup! How many burgers can you eat - or stomach someone else eating?

The Ketchup World Cup finals are Thursday 19 June at 8pm where the winners from Round One - which kicked off earlier this week - will battle it out to win the cup!

Come catch up at Ketchup this West End FEASTival!

Remember, when sharing online, tag your festival pics and posts #WEF2014



HMS Pinafore on The Tall Ship

Thursday June 12, 2014

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The actors have been hard at work rehearsing today as Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS PINAFORE weighs anchor for the first of three performances tonight in Glasgow. They are taking place in the Glenlee, Glasgow's own Tall Ship moored on the River Clyde next to the Transport Museum – one of the most unusual festival venues

Presented in the round by Walter Paul Productions for three nights only on 13th, 14th, & 15th June at 7.30pm, we are delighted that this brand new production of the nautical opera is already proving a massive hit with Festival goers - before a single note has been sung!



Tickets are sold out, and the unique venue has proved itself a winner with West End Festival audiences. 

The Music Director is David Mackie, who was the Assistant Music Director of the original D'Oyly Carte Opera Company until its demise in 1982, and the production is in the hands of G & S expert Walter Paul.

He has gathered together a talented cast of local performers including Chriss Mills, J.Campbell Kerr, Ross Nicol, and David Blackwood, and the leading soprano is played by Brianna Robertson-Kirkland, making her debut with WPP.

 Dance rehearsal

This G & S classic, with Gilbert's witty barbs about the class system, and Sullivan's sparkling music, we hope everyone who got tickets has a fantastic night!



Play me, I'm yours

Monday June 9, 2014

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The main installation is planned to coincide with the XX Commonwealth Games in July, though the West End Festival kicks off a summer of Streetpianos with a wee taster at the Gibson Street Gala . . . with more to follow. 


A decorated streetpiano is a rolling permission to have a wee breather from our busyness and pause in the midst of life to play . . . freely and listen to others too. We've named our pianos too!


If you want to see more of the internationally touring artwork by British artist Luke Jerram visit: for some great videos from all over the world. You may even find some inspiration for your own outdoor performance!


Dogs & Pianos




An Clachan Cafe will host a piano until the16th after Indian Truck Art inspired decoration in the Glasgow Mela.  


A bit further west is 'Nemo' at Riverside, who has been decorated by Robert Smillie Memorial Primary school. He will be making appearances out on the museum floor. 


Moving east of woodlands you can also play the first PMIY Glasgow Piano 'Calisia' in the foyer of the Royal Concert Hall and now 'Mac' at the Project Cafe on Renfrew St. ( beside Mandoors ) He was decorated in Garnethill Park on June 14th as part of GSofA degree show week. 


'NikNak' is currently in the Art Village in Shawlands Arcade after having a life in the Southside Festival Fringe office and 'Eric' is already quite at home in the foyer of Govanhill Baths. 


'Wee Mary' or 'Masala Queen' will also be out on the balcony at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for you to play during the Scottish International Piano competition, June 11th-22nd.


There will be much more during the Games including pianos at the Burrell Collection, GoMA, Scotland Street School and the main public stages as well as pop-up pianos around the city and outside the Wellington Street Church . . . if we can get one up the steps !


Share your videos & photos on the Glasgow Piano City Facebook page and visit for more info on our plans and details of how to support the project with a donation . . . a piano ( or a stool ) and if you would like to volunteer on the project. For all enquiries contact the Project Manager Tom Binns by email at: or tel: 01418828825 / 07940224365 


Guest blog post by Tom Binns



Scotland's Mardi Gras pleases thousands on Byres Road

Monday June 9, 2014

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Parade day has left all of us here in the mardi gras spirit!

Not only did the 500 plus performers and entertainers put on a great show, but we got some much anticipated sunshine to top the day off. 

Thousands of people took to the street and joined us watching and cheering as the parade passed.

Parade passing Oran Mor

This year’s parade theme, ‘Identity’, was interpreted by community groups and organisations from around Glasgow, in their costume designs which they made and wore for the vibrant parade procession.

The scene took over Byres Road and the surrounding streets and finished off on the steps of the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. 

Living statue outside Curlers

Before the parade began it was great to see so many people wandering up and down Byres Road and around the market in the Ashton Road car park – taking advantage of all the free entertainment and supporting local businesses by stopping for a bite to eat.

Even if the afternoon was a little damp...

BBQ at the butchers

And until next year, a massive thank you to everyone who came along, and to everyone involved! Check out lots of submitted images on our facebook and twitter.

Parade day


Attention-seeking, flamboyant & decadent persons saught

Wednesday June 4, 2014

Scotland's largest 1920s themed cabaret and club night returns as part of the West End Festival to host an evening of music hall variety, cabaret acts, live band and 1920s nightclub. 


The ‘Bright Young Things’ was a nickname given by the tabloid press to a group of bohemian young aristocrats and socialites in 1920s London. They were frequently chased by the paparazzi who were fascinated by their outrageous behaviour, subsequently starting the modern cult of celebrity. They attended elaborate fancy dress parties, went on wild treasure hunts, drank heavily, and threw themselves into the nonstop pursuit of fun in the aftermath of World War I — all of which was enthusiastically covered by journalists, and documented by writers and poets alike.



Think glitzy flapper dresses, top hats and spats, expensive jewels, black or white tie, champagne and pearls. Dress to impress but please no jeans or trainers. We reserve the right to turn you away.




The centerpiece of the evening's entertainment! You will be dazzled by bright lights, lavish surroundings and a beautiful stage which plays host to our fabulous show. Settle down at one of our candle-lit tables with a bottle of champagne and prepare for the show to begin! Enjoy a line-up of music hall variety, cabaret acts, burlesque performers, dancers, comedy, singers and more. After the show get your dancing shoes on, your Charleston moves at the ready and dance along to our live band.





Burlesque starlet & innovative performance artiste:



Providing his unique blend of showtunes and filth, cabaret chanteaur:



Decadent dance performances from:



Hula Hoop Extraordinaire



Vaudevillian cabaret duo and comperes for the evening:



...with more to be announced!




Edinburgh 5 piece band reinventing classics of the prohibition speakeasies




Doors: 7:30pm (event runs until 2am)

Show/Live Band: 8:30pm-11:30pm

Nightclub: 11:30pm-2:00am

Tickets: £14 (full night) / £5 (nightclub only)

Table Reservations: Available to purchase online

Venue: Glasgow University Union (GUU)

Box Office:

**Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 18th April**



Physical Ticket Locations:


Vintage Shop: 'Just For You'



Upper floor, Decourcy's Arcade, 21 Cresswell Lane, Glasgow, G12 8AA

(Mon/Wed/Thurs 12-5pm Fri 12-6pm Sat 10-6pm Sun 12-5pm)


Brown Paper Tickets Edinburgh:

4 Miller Row, Edinburgh, EH4 3BQ (Mon-Fri 9-5pm)

Phone Number: 0800 411 8881



The little leftover mermaid - 8 & 9 June

Monday June 2, 2014

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Strident is the merman King of the Ocean:
Son of the almighty sea-god ,Poseidon .
Strident lived  happily with his daughter, Sirenetta ,
Whose voice charmed anyone who'd ever met her,
But Sirenetta was a restless adolesent 
With a personality most effervescent,
And she wanted to explore the world above water-
She fancied herself as a Royal globetrotter!
On her very first evening above the waves,
She saved a handsome prince from a watery grave ,
And with Prince Charmless she became enthralled.
Her father King Strident was quite appalled
And warned her against this unhealthy passion,
But Sirenetta ignored him in true teenage fashion !
She went to the seawitch, a distant relation,
Who was banished from Atlantis for eating crustaceans .
The seawitch, Jezibaba, prepared her a spell,
But Sirenetta had to give up her voice as well .
When Jezibaba sang with the mermaid's voice
Charmless made it clear Jezibaba was his choice .
Sirenetta couldn't stand by-she had to rebel
For if truth be told, she's a feisty mademoiselle,
And it all ended happily,what happened you say?
Well, you will have to come and see it on performance day!

Tickets from 0141-778-2145/
or at the door: The Tall Ship 8th/9th June  7.30.p.m.
£9/£7 concession 
Disabled access
Wheelchair access pre-bookable


Round up from yesterday's GSG

Monday June 2, 2014

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Photo 5 (1)We started up so small and so quietly too.


Even before the first Gibson Street Gala (in 2003 in fact) local residents held an event called “Bard in the Backcourt” snippets of Shakespeare were performed by actors promoting their show in the Botanic Gardens. This subsequently inspired the idea of holding an annual tenement fair -but it was just for neighbours and friends at that time.


In 2005, Michael, the West End Festival Director, arranged for Gibson Street to be closed for the gala day. That first event had only a few attractions but the sun shone and hundreds of people descended on the neighbourhood. Visitors appreciated the small steps we had taken to make this area better and we gained confidence. It was a wonderful community atmosphere and this is the magical element which has endured and grown as the Gibson Street Gala has become a regular loved local event each June.


Photo 2 (1)Every year planning begins in January when a group of local residents and businesses start the process of raising funds and planning attractions. Individuals and small groups take on different aspects of the Gala, developing events and activities which will be on offer. There is a co-operative community spirit and lots of hard graft to make it happen

The organisers are all volunteers and work hard over a number of months to raise funds in order to have a great Gala day.


These fundraising endeavours make it possible to offer free activities and free entertainment for children as from the start this has been what the community made the priority.


The trials and tribulations of health and safety rules and regulations have over the years led to great debates and at the time, tears & snotters, but we have risen to the challenge. The tumbling stilt walker, the parasols sailing down into the river, the local power cut... all are distant memories now.


Photo 3 (1)The pathway to holding a gala in the city streets is fraught with challenge. Last year we changed date when a national cycle race sped into town. So we now try for the first Sunday in June and hope in the future we are blessed by sunshine just as we were at the very first Gibson Street Gala.


Blog post by Jakki Fennessy and Eric Kay, GSG organisers



Final week before WEF 2014

Thursday May 29, 2014

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Organising a festival isn't easy you know! You have to have time, resources, contacts, ideas and a passion for the project. Our WEF team certainly has passion!

As the last week before the festival kicks off runs away before us, we're busy working on final arrangements for media, calling out for volunteers for the biggest date in our programme, parade day, and ensuring our participants, local businesses and of course you, the people who flock to the festival events, are fully up-to-speed with arrangements.

We were happy to see a waiting list start for stalls on parade day. Hopefully the sun will shine as it did last year!

We were doing a count and think we've got circa 500 people in the parade! More than last year and by the looks of the costumes and puppets, it's going to be every bit as colourful!

Be sure to keep an eye on the website for highlights and of course our Facebook and Twitter feeds for news and updates.