Brian’s Glasgow

Introduction: „If Edinburgh is beautiful, Glasgow is handsome.“ That was the first thing Brian said when he told us about his hometown. While the sun was setting and casting a beautiful glow, we stood outside The Willow Tree in Linlithgow, taking a short break after our first set. He and Paul struck up a conversation with us, asking about our tour and origins and sharing stories of their lives in Scotland. Since we had so much fun chatting with these guys, the break turned out to be twice as long as planned. Luckily, this cozy pub heating up quickly made the audience happy, keeping the doors open a little longer.

After the show, we carried our equipment to the van and returned to the bar to mingle. It was a great mix of generations and characters, and we got to know so many tales, exchanged stories with fellow musicians, and ended up sitting down with Brian and Paul until the bar closed. They had so many nice things to say about our lyrics, and they liked the mix of melancholic and uplifting songs. That was so heartwarming. We bonded over so much laughter and funny stories. Just to mention one, Paul is originally from Liverpool, and his Mom was a dancer at the iconic Cavern Club. At some point, she hooked up with Ringo Starr. To this day, Paul, whenever his family meets, he asks his dad how he likes the Beatles. We were cracking up. These guys made our whole weekend. We stayed in touch with both during our time in Scotland, exchanging texts with Brian about the day we could meet him in Glasgow.

From Inverurie to Glasgow: A few weeks later, we woke up in a room above the pub where we played in Inverurie. Having only slept for a couple of hours, trying to wake up with a shower and headed to Glasgow to meet Brian at midday. Arriving at the outskirts of Glasgow, we were getting slightly nervous when we noticed signs for a clean air zone. Luckily, thanks to the internet, we learned it was only in effect from July. Our beloved diesel-powered van, unfortunately, doesn’t fulfill these standards. Getting to the stunning Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, we were so happy to find a parking spot and used all the coins from the tip jar the night before to pay for the parking. Spending the small change from the tip char was always a challenge. The reasonable rate and the possibility of staying overnight, combined with a stunning view, made it the perfect place. While getting ready, for the first time, it felt like summer, and we had to open all the windows in the van. We have been waiting for that for so long.

Time Traveling: While texting with Brian, he kindly offered to pick us up from the museum. It was lovely to see him again and the first time we visited friends we made during the tour. He took us inside the museum, where we met his friend Mina. She was visiting from France for her birthday trip and had lived in Glasgow during the 80s and 90s and they had some incredible stories to share about these decades. It was like something straight out of the TV show Friends, especially when they talked about hanging out on the roof and visiting friends in adjacent apartments. The attic was empty at the time, so Brian used to have people stay there and throw parties. Mina now lives in Paris and travels to Germany often, mainly to Ludwigshafen, which is close to where we grew up. She even speaks a German dialect that sounds familiar to us, which is really cool. After exploring the museum, we walked to the beautiful University of Glasgow. Brian had majored in the History of Arts there, and the view from the top was simply breathtaking.

All About Kelvin: Heading over to the Botanic Gardens, with a significant section of impressive carnivorous plants, we had some ice cream Brian already had as a kid, and we enjoyed tales from his childhood and the city and were inspired and impressed by his passion for his hometown and blown away by its beauty. After crossing Humpback Bridge, we strolled through Kelvin Park and enjoyed the beautiful weather. A mysterious Glasgow artist has been adding penguin figures in the stonewall on Kelvin Walkway to put a smile on people’s faces walking by. They have been spotted participating in various activities, including rock climbing, reading, etc. The sculptor, who prefers to remain anonymous, noticed the popular path lacked some liveliness and decided to take matters into their own hands. Also, we were delighted to learn that wild salmon had returned to the Kelvin River since good news regarding the planet are, unfortunately, rare.

Cultural Delights: Walking down Ashton Lane, Brian took us to the „Ubiquitous Chip.“ Within the restaurant, you can find the work of Alasdair Gray in three distinct locations. One of the most beloved pieces is a mural on the staircase that connects The Wee Pub and The Brasserie. The mural showcases characters from the West End engaging in everyday activities. Numerous individuals featured in the mural are staff members and acquaintances, such as Ronnie Clydesdale, the founding owner. When the restaurant opened, these paintings were created approximately forty years ago, and Gray agreed to paint them in exchange for food and beverages. Stepping into the brasserie felt like entering an interior design magazine, each room providing a unique experience. It was one of the most beautiful places we had seen on our trip. We also checked out some unique Victorian „Wally“ closes and old churches converted into bars like the „Òran Mór.“ Time flew by as we explored these artistic treasures.

Stories and Songwriting: During dinner, we exchanged countless stories and were asked about our songwriting process and sources of inspiration. It made us reflect on this as we live in the moment without analyzing it. There is no specific method for us when it comes to writing songs. Sometimes, a melody or riff recorded on a cell phone years ago suddenly fits perfectly with lyrics written just yesterday. Other times, words written on a piece of paper come to life as a melody when we experience a similar feeling. Sometimes, a single line in our head can quickly become a full song within 20 minutes of picking up an instrument. We were grateful for the two showing so much interest in our music and creative process. It brought us joy as we realized that we had finally left our old lives behind and had become full-time musicians, happily starting to identify with our new path.

Glasgows Warm Goodbye: Dear Mina and Brian, thank you for a beautiful day filled with laughter and insights as we ventured off the beaten path through handsome Glasgow. As the Hawaiian saying goes, „A hui hou“ – until we meet again. We cherish these memories and look forward to the next time our paths cross, whether in Scotland, Germany, or beyond. Glasgow’s beauty and your warmth have etched a special place in our hearts.

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