Area guide to the Glasgow Film Festival
The point of this strand is to take viewers beyond the stereotypical Bollywood movie experience, so a good starting point is Awaz FM, the radio station catering to Glasgow’s Asian population: while most of the daily-changing roster of DJs are well up on the latest Bollywood hits, there’s loads of deeper, home-grown bhangra stuff creeping into the evening schedules, and some great debate sessions which may reflect issues in the programme.
Right. Food. No plasticky tikka masalas for you. There’s loads of authentic Indian cuisine to be found around the GFT and CCA: good bets are Assam’s (51 West Regent Street, www.assams.co.uk) for fine dining, or over on Charing Cross Café Salma (523 Sauchiehall Street) offers a slightly less formal, late night experience. Obviously not Indian, although still an interesting place to go for alternative views on the subcontinent, The Pakistani Café (607 Pollokshaws Road) is a ramshackle place for discussion, excellent fair trade food, and bhangra/Indian classical music (mixed randomly at will with cheesy 80s dance and, say, Tom Waits). Finally, although they’re not playing any nights during the festival, Glasgow bhangra-Dhol-beat box-hip hop supergroup GTown Desi are always worth checking out, for a real idea of where Glasgow-Asian music is going.
Superheroes in Glasgow
Not wanting to stereotype, but we’re now talking to you in the vintage Flash Gordon logo tee, clutching the Alan Moore-signed first edition of The Killing Joke. You’re here for Mark Millar, obviously, but should you want to expand your collection, we recommend Futureshock Comics (200 Woodlands Road) a dusty Aladdin’s Cave for proper geeks only, or the rather lighter, slightly more toy/collector orientated indie A1 Comics (31-35 Parnie Street, Merchant City). Of course, there’s ol’ faithful Forbidden Planet (168 Buchanan St) in the City Centre, too.
If you’re in town for ComicCamp11, and want to go out of the CCA for a quick sandwich, we reckon you’ll find a new home from home at Where The Monkey Sleeps (182 West Regent Street, www.monkeysleeps.com), a basement lunch-stop/local institution with pop-culture scrawled across its very soul. The menu features such Thor-worthy sarnies as ‘Meathammer’ and ‘Iron Monger’; there’s something called the Overlord, which seems to involve fish fingers, as well as the Dr Manhattan-pleasing Nuclear Beans, and the daily changing special is called The Kurgan (because there can be only one, obviously). After hours, we reckon the spooky fishtank glow of the Variety Bar (401 Sauchiehall Street) is exactly the spot you’d find an off-duty superhero nursing a vodka in. Great jukebox, too.
Ceol’s Craic: Gaelic Film Festival
This strand is just one day long: if you’re planning a longer Gaelic-themed trip to Glasgow (home to 10% of the world’s native Gaelic speakers, fact fans), you’re always best checking in with An Lochran, Glasgow’s Gaelic Cultural Centre: their website has regularly updated information about ceilidhs and Gaelic music events across the city. If you prefer to be more spontaneous, there are a few places around the Merchant City you can just wander in to and probably find traditional Scottish music most nights: Laurie’s Acoustic Music Bar (34-36 King Street) and St Andrews in the Square (1 St Andrew’s Square) are the most regular, but a serendipitous encounter with a bodhran player is also always a possibility at old Glasgow favourite Babbity Bowster (16-18 Blackfriars Street), with its great selection of malt whiskies, stovies and cullen skink available at the bar, and six clean, basic hotel rooms upstairs should you have too many drams. Over in the West End, the Lios Mor (206 Dumbarton Road) gives great trad and just as great malt; stop in on your way to An Lochan (340 Crow Road, not to be confused with An Lochran), the traditional Scottish restaurant recently taken over by Gaelic foodie team Blas, for fine dining on locally-sourced ingredients.
Fashion in Film
Glasgow, basically, is fashion. Ok, doll? Get a feel for the beat of ‘Wegian style on the street-fashion blogs Style Scanner and Les Garcons Des Glasgow; both of whom have the best information about pop up boutiques and one-often fashion events happening across the city. Now, shopping. While Ingram Street likes to market itself as the designer destination (Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green being the biggest new opening), true Glasgow fashion can be found in much more interesting locations. If you’re over at Grosvenor Cinema, we particularly recommend new West End opening La La Land (De Courcy’s Arcade, Cresswell Lane), which features emergent Scottish design talent heavily amongst its racks of gorgeosity. Nearby the supercool We Love To Boogie (100 Byres Road) hawks well-selected vintage and new designers; another great West End bet is Granny Would Be Proud (Hillhead Book Club, look for their latest on Facebook), pretty much established as the chicest of Glasgow’s many monthly design markets. Finally, if you’d like to see Glasgow style in action, the late night fash pack drink at Brutti Ma Buoni (Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Street, brunswickhotel.co.uk) then flock to Death Disco at the Arches (next one Sat 19th Feb, with Renaissance Man, deathdisco.info) or stay for the much smaller Supa’ Max (next one Sat 26 Feb, Brunswick Hotel Basement). Mwah.