30th June 2016 was the best night to be in Glasgow. That’s when my all time favourite artist Buddy Guy was in town, performing his first UK gig of his ‘Born to Play Guitar’ world tour.
|Buddy Guy live in Glasgow June 2016|
Seventeen year old blues prodigy Quinn Sullivan played support, plus a few numbers alongside Buddy Guy, who has been his mentor since Quinn was discovered to have guitar skills akin to some of the best known bluesmen at the very young age of eight.
Buddy says. ‘I’m hoping Quinn can step into the shoes of B.B. King and myself and wake up the damn blues again . . .’
Well, he’s sure doin’ that. See them play together HERE
Buddy calmly arrived centre stage sporting his trademark polka-dots and armed with his Fender stratocaster, opening his act with a superb and powerful rendition of my all time favourite, ‘Damn Right, I’ve got the Blues’. Hearing those iconic opening bars was music to my ears, as I’d kinda given up hope of ever seeing him perform it live. And my – he might be an octogenarian but Buddy Guy can’t half belt ‘em out.
Way back in 2008 I saw him play in Liverpool. I couldn’t believe it when Buddy passed within two metres of me when he wandered off stage and mingled with his audience. After that, hugging Buddy became a prominent entry on my bucket list, and if ever there was a next time I wouldn’t be allowing him to get away without taking a moment to feel my touch. This time when he stepped down to mingle with his Glasgow fans, I quickly made my way to the end of the row, where I had the honour of stroking the hand of my guitar hero. That made me feel real good.
John had taken his camera and sought permission to take photos of the show, with some fabulous results.
The next day Buddy was off to delight a Birmingham audience with his wild showmanship, but we hung around for a few days to check out the highlights of downtown Glasgow.
The weather in Glasgow was wet enough to give anyone the blues, but I had packed my waterproofs and could enjoy stepping out in my shiny mackintosh in a city where the Mackintosh name is very famous.
|Me on a Charles Rennie Mackintosh chair|
I quite fancied sitting myself down on an authentic Mackintosh chair, so we set off on a venture to seek out his famous furniture and interiors, beginning at ’The Lighthouse’, Mackintosh’s first commission building.
To our surprise, we found out that If you make your way to the very top of The Lighthouse tower you get panoramic views of Glasgow, along with entertaining musical accompaniment thrown in for good measure, as there is guy perched up there bashing out tunes on a honky tonk piano. Meanwhile, downstairs in the Rennie Mackintosh exhibition I managed to have my photograph taken seated on one of the striking exhibits.
As you can imagine, our search for all things Mackintosh took us to a lot of Glasgows museums and galleries, with a mix of delight and disappointment. The Mackintosh House was my favourite; an authentic reconstruction of the home that Mackintosh and his artistically talented wife, Margaret MacDonald had furnished in their distinctive art nouveau style. There was fine furniture to inspect that showed off the exaggerated forms and flowing lines that Mackintosh liked to use, many decorated with symbols from the natural world and the geometric shapes he’s renowned for, all with exquisite attention to detail. Sadly our Mackintosh trail was completed all too quickly, as more of the masterpieces that we’d hoped to see were tucked away inside buildings displaying the sign ‘Closed for Restoration’, which left us feeling a little blue.
I have to admit being surprised by Glasgow, I could happily live there amongst those stylish red sandstone buildings. The city centre had a quiet relaxed atmosphere and all the people we spoke with were really lovely, displaying a common air of contentment. The Glasgow patter I had been expecting was not evident, the only example of a strong Glaswegian accent I received was from a gentlemen who helped me with directions.
‘Excuse me. Can you tell me where the Gallery of Modern Art is please’.
‘Ah am nae sure. Och och aye, ah hink ah ken it. Hae ye seen a statue wi' a traffic cain oan his heed? Ah hink 'at is whaur it is. Ye cannae miss it’, he kindly replied.
Indeed, we had seen the statue he mentioned and were soon at our destination.
|Lounging in my latex outfit at CitizenM|
We’d booked a room at CitizenM, a boutique hotel in city centre. The hotel had some really interesting spaces for its guests to socialise in and we made the most of the luxury surroundings. There’s nothing like slipping into a sexy latex outfit for evening drinks and entertainment, whilst being able to take advantage of the alternative setting for a photo opportunity.
John managed to capture my latex outfit really well.
I have created a Flickr album called ‘Glasgow Mackintosh City’, with a selection of my latex and shiny mac shots taken during our stay in Glasgow. You can view it HERE
For additional entertainment there was no shortage of music bars. Asking for a good place for a blues lover to hang out found us heading down Sauchiehall Street to a place named after one of Buddy Guys’ blues heroes; Howlin’ Wolf. We made some friends there and were not disappointed. I’m pretty sure that Buddy would approve of The Howlin’ Wolf basement bar, which, just like his own club back in Chicago serves food, drinks, live music and the sweet blues sound until the early hours of the morning.
I was able to sample some local craft beers and taste a delectable tipple from their cocktail menu. I'd never invisaged sipping on a glass of 'Pinetop Perkins', but it's either that or another bluesman when all the cocktails on the menu are named after blues legends. Our glasses were raised, we couldn’t possibly leave Glasgow without a toast to my guitar hero. Thank you for coming to Glasgow Mr Buddy Guy.