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The greatest venue in Glasgow

Posted: April 14th, 2005, by Marceline Smith

We went to see Joanna Newsom last night, partly because I like her album lots, partly because it was free (ahem) but mostly because it was at Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry which I have been trying to go to for years. As Glasgow’s premier Western themed venue I had heard tales of unbelievable decoration including abundant cacti and cowboys. So you can bet I jumped at the chance to go there without having to endure the weekly line dance night (or whatever they do there normally). It turned out to be much smaller than I expected but that made it even cuter, like a mini-Barras. We were immediately overwhelmed by the padded, neon lit saloon bar and stars and stripes bunting but soon became aware of the enormous wall murals of, yes!, cowboys and cacti! Even greater was the 3D cacti and cowboy boots stuck to the walls. Joanna Newsom was rather overwhelmed by it all. Maybe she thought it had all been decorated in her honour.

Anyway, decor aside, there was bands to see. I missed most of the first guy but White Denim seemed pretty cool although sadly we used them as background music as we were too tired to stand up and there were comfy seats and people I had not seen for ages. Joanna was great though. Coming onstage like a kid in a school play, simultaneously shy and delighted by the attention, she just started singing unaccompanied and it was lovely. Then we got pretty much all of her recent album and a few other songs, some just with the harp and some with a flautist. You can forgive her anything, even the lyrics about wizards and fairies, for her harp playing. Such a playful instrument, it suits her childlike vocals perfectly. And she’s no wispy pixie girl once you see her supergluing her fingers up so she can keep playing. She finishes up with an exuberant Inflammatory Writ on the piano and disappears off the cloud painted stage, grinning like a loon.

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


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