Glasgow # 1
We arrived in Glasgow Friday afternoon the 7th after a short flight from Dublin on the Legacy 500, the same type of jet we've used for the last couple of tours. We won't be doing as much flying on this jaunt with Bob, taking a couple of band buses instead. This is due to the relatively short distance between shows, seldom more than 2 or 3 hours, just enough time to have a few pints, listen to some music. By the time we arrive and check in, the night will have wound down.
I got out Friday afternoon for a walk, the unseasonably hot days in London are behind and autumn is upon us. I came across a thrift shop, a charity shop as they're called in the UK, and came away with a nice little stack of early '60s, 45 rpm British singles.... Cilla Black, Shirley Bassey, The Seekers, Acker Bilk and more. A lot of good music for 5 quid. It was an early dinner with the guys at a great Indian restaurant recommended by John McCusker called Mother India which got a thumbs up from us all, in equal part for the delicious food and the Kingfisher beer on draft. After, we stopped in a pub for a pint of local ale, didn't stay long. As you can imagine a Glasgow pub on a Friday night with football on the tele, was a real crush. Back to the hotel and an early night.
Up Saturday morning and as I was told that the hotel gym wasn't really up to snuff, I walked a couple of blocks to an establishment called Pure Gym, a three story chrome and glass torture chamber with a day rate. I walked in to find two computer terminal kiosks, a locked turnstile and no human. A customer arrived and began pecking at the key pad to enter and I asked if he would send somebody down that I could speak with. When that person arrived I was informed they did not accept cash and I would have to fill out an application on one of the computers which would then take my credit card. Of course I didn't bring my credit card, thinking cash would do. Back to the hotel to get my credit card and returned to Pure Gym. Now faced with a computer screen and roller ball mouse that didn't work too well, I proceeded to answer a 6 or 7 page interrogation that took about 15 minutes before finally being presented with a pin number consisting of 8 or 9 digits. How foolish of me not knowing to bring pen and paper to the gym! Right, so I memorised the pin number long enough to get from the kiosk to the touch pad at the turnstile and gained access to the castle. The very next order of business was to find somebody who worked there, borrow a pen and write the pin number down on a piece of paper so I wouldn't forget it as you also needed the number to get into the changing room as well as getting out of the gym itself. I found a young kid who worked there and made my request which put him out terribly. "You can get your pin number on your cell phone" he informs me. No asshole, I didn't bring a cell phone either. I followed him around for 10 minutes while he tried to find anything in the place to write with....nothing, not a pen, not a pencil, not a piece of paper. Nothing. Meantime, I'm mentally going over the pin number so I will not forget it when he at last finds a felt marker and tears a page from a magazine to scrawl it down. I'd also failed to bring a towel or my own water which I was informed were available for sale on the lower floor. All this to the soundtrack of the most idiotic hip hop and crap pop music piped through every level at high volume. I found the locker room, choosing locker number 100 so I wouldn't forget it, changed and started my work out which at best of times is not something I look forward to and was now unbearable. To it's credit, the facility had three floors of everything one could want but it was a miserable 90 minutes in there, hardly worth the trouble. I returned to the hotel and got on the phone to Glenn Worf who'd expressed some interest in going too. I gave him a rundown of what to expect as well as my pin number so he wouldn't spend a cent of his own money on the place. He told me later, in addition to the music already blaring through the gym, some ape with a blaster came in, set it up and proceeded to broadcast his own competing soundtrack. Unbelievable. What the fuck are people thinking about? If I had purchased more than a day, I would gladly post my pin number here for anyone to go in and experience it....on me. Unfortunately/fortunately, my time there has expired. If you decide to try it, here's a little check list of things to bring: credit card, cell phone, pencil or pen, paper, towel, water, lock for your locker and ear plugs. The chain is called Pure Gym. It's pure shit, don't go.
I spent the rest of the afternoon with a sandwich courtesy of Marks and Spencer, a cup of coffee courtesy of Costa and my nose buried in The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan.
We arrived for our show tonight at Braehead Arena, had a quick soundcheck, something from catering then on stage sharp at 7:30 for a smart and spirited set followed by a couple of glasses of wine back in the dressing room and a wander round the side of the stage for a few tune from Bob Dylan and Co.