This week, pop royalty, Pandora and a Big Weekend
Last week, I received an e-mail telling me to wear purple when I attended a gig. Och, who do they think they are, I thought, The Queen? Well, nearly. It was, of course, the artist who was formerly, formerly known as Prince. But the fact is, when the Purple One asks - whether it's put on your dodgiest purple shirt or go crazy - you do.
He is one of the most charismatic performers I have ever seen. His presence in the Hydro was tangible, with the audience hanging on his every word (perhaps because he kept telling us how much he loved us!) And, we were lucky to have him, Glasgow is one of only four UK cities included in his 2014 Hit and Run tour.
Prince is one of the first artists I remember listening to, fighting with my Dad for my tape to be played in the car. It's been a wee while since he reigned the charts (although he's not aged a wrinkle!) but if I was worried the classics would be lost in new material, I needn't have been. The set list was epic, including U Got the Look, Kiss, 1999 and, of course, Purple Rain, all seamlessly mixed with funk from his new album, Plectrum Electrum. As he confessed to us towards the end of his (was it 3rd?) encore 'Glasgow, do you know how many hits I have? We'll be here all night!'
I danced my purple socks off, and although the gig - as all good things - had to come to an end, I suspect this wee tour will cement Prince's status in history as pure pop royalty. I'm glad that both Glasgow - and me - were part of it.
In amongst the music madness this week, I managed to pop across the country for a wee VIP launch party for Pandora in Edinburgh. The box of delights that is Pandora (a jewellery store that is quickly expanding throughout Scotland) has linked up with top magpies in the fashion world - Jameela Jamil, Angela Scanlon and a select few top clobber bloggers - to create their new stacking ring collection.
Jameela was in Scotland for Big Weekend, but she too had scooted East to host the party for the night. I had a wee chat with her (we have a few friends in common) and she told me she loved Glasgow and couldn't wait to get her waterproofs on at the weekend. She also told me that she reckoned you could never enough rings. I quite agree, and stacking them Pandora-style is the ideal way to get even more sparkle at your fingertips!
The Big One
Then it was the weekend, and it was a BIG one. Radio 1's annual music festival set up camp on Glasgow Green, meaning we could enjoy the tunes without pitching a single tent. Now that's my kind of festival!
The event kicked off in George Square on Friday night with huge projections plastered across the City Chambers building. It was a stunt that said, we might have called ourselves the Big Weekend before, but this time we're going large! Things headed in the same (One) direction on Saturday, when the first acts hit the stages at the Green. It was probably the best line-up of any Big Weekend so far, with headliners rolling from Coldplay to Pharrell Williams, Kings of Leon to Katy Perry.
I had tickets for Sunday, so spent Friday night and Saturday itching to get my wellies on. Finally, Sunday arrived and the weather was looking typically Glaswegian: just a wee bit soggy. However, as the stars came out, so did the sunshine. First on the main stage were Kings of Leon. At the end of their set they were joined by Chris Martin - a conscious coupling perhaps? Although rumour has it he was originally going to sing, but didn't know the words, so strummed it out instead.
The day was jam packed, but highlights for me would have to include London Grammar and Kasabian on the New Music We Trust Stage. Both were sweaty, muddy and soulful: the perfect festival formula. On the main stage, Paolo Nutini was met with the loudest of cheers. I think we're all a wee bit in love with the Paisley boy.
In addition to great acts, though, Glasgow should be proud of its performance too. As festivals go, the crowd was one of the most lovely and warm (even when the weather wasn't) I've ever seen. The bands and the BBC might have got things going, but it was Glaswegians that made it. Shall we do it again next year?
Wee Bird Recommends
This Sunday, the West End Festival kicks off with the Gibson Street Gala. Wee honestly can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday, there will be live music, food stalls and plenty of fun and silliness for the kiddiewinks. You might need a brolly but it's unlikely to dampen spirits, Gibson Street Gala is a street party like no other.