August 26, 2009

This weekend I travelled to Glasgow, in anticipation of my friends’ gig.  Having been born and partially raised in Glasgow, JJ and Martin were like homecoming heroes. I was like a man. This did nothing to hamper my enjoyment, however.


Drinking establishments in Glasgow are one of three things – Celtic, Rangers or ‘no football colours’. Woe betide the sap that stumbles into the wrong one*. End up in the right one, and it’s like being welcomed into a loving fraternity, akin to the singalong scene in that Stonecutters episode of The Simpsons. 

*(Walking to Parkhead later in the day, we take a wrong turn and find ourselves perilously close to a Rangers part of town, clad in the red rags of green and white hoops. A passing shopkeeper warns us to zip our jackets up lest we be pummelled.)

The Brazen Head was one such pub. The walls were festooned with Celtic memorabilia, as if someone had filled a blunderbuss with the contents of the club shop and fired at will. With the walls so saturated, the collection of obscure continental football shirts had to line the ceiling instead.


This was the ideal preamble to  watching Celtic play at Parkhead. Behold Celtic Park in its 8 mega-pixel glory:


Our seats were close to the small enclave of St. Johnstone fans, who made an impressive noise despite being outnumbered by about 60,000.  Being so close to the away end exposed us to some amusingly animated gesticulating, with Saints consolation goals being received with more enthusiasm than the 5-2 scoreline would imply. Several fans were ejected for jabbering provocatively at non-plussed home supporters.  We were far more concerned by the hot dogs, which were made from human limbs, as evidenced below:


 The special ‘sideways stand’ was a gravity-defying architectural treat. The view of the pitch isn’t great, mind. 




 The gig was at the 13th Note, and the following graffitto found in the men’s room encapsulated the idling air of jocular menace synonymous with the City…


This was accompanied by the helpful, if unnecessary caption ‘look in the mirror’, as if you wouldn’t be able to work out what this says otherwise. What is a bum stab?


Irn-Bru flows freely as one might expect, with some houses having special taps plumbed in.  Despite its ubiquity, I didn’t expect to discover the closely-guarded family recipe that has beguiled Scottish folk (and plagued Scottish dentists) for years. Turns out they just print the secret ingredient on the label…