This week, stroppy Eric Clapton has the blues at the Hydro, cracking lobster at The Finnieston and why it's more about blokes than birds at The Raven.
Last weekend, I was presenting at the Royal Highland Show, but on Saturday I dashed back, jumped in the shower (to rid myself of smelling a bit farmyardy!) and headed out to the Eric Clapton gig, for a different kind of country.
I like a bit of double denim, but Clapton isn't really my cuppa when it comes to music. It was the boy's choice, but all things being equal, I had, I suppose, dragged him along to the McBusted gig! Eric might not be for me, but he is an incredibly skilled musician and I was keen to see him play for his guitar riffs alone.
Despite his skill - or perhaps because of it - the night started out fairly subdued. He strummed easily through the greats, like Tears in Heaven and Layla. His band were so tight that their performance lacked that tingly feeling of a live gig, which shouldn't be a criticism, but it is. It all felt a wee bit snoozy.
That is, until he put down his guitar and stropped off stage during Cocaine. Suddenly I sat up, was this a ploy to get everyone on their feet? Haha, very good. You can come back now. He did, briefly. Returning for a short song, before disappearing backstage again. The man obviously had the blues, but it would have been nice for him to explain why - at 69 and a consummate performer - he was behaving like a teenager. We might not have known, but the crew had certainly been prepped, the set was almost entirely de-rigged before we realised he wasn't coming back and the first boo's echoed around the arena.
There were a few tears in the Hydro that night, but for the large part people didn't seem that bothered. Perhaps because, Eric, you were simply not wonderful tonight.
This summer, the best place to catch a fishy supper on a Tuesday is The Finnieston. Last year, the restaurant's 'Lobster Tuesdays' were such a success, they've brought them back, making fancy food fiends of the lot of us! The deal is simple, half a grilled Scottish Lobster (they're set on only using the finest pincers from our seas), lemon butter, fries and a glass of fizz, all for a bargain £15.
The Finnieston was one of the first new places to open it's doors when the area was becoming the thinking Glaswegian's West End. Set up by man-aboot-toon Graham Suttie, it's a bar and restaurant firmly anchored with a taste of the sea; even the cocktails are occasionally a bit fishy, like the Seafarer made with seaweed-infused fino sherry.
My friends and I popped in on Tuesday - because they're all lobster crackers! - and proclaimed the crustaceans (and the deal) to be incredible. I'm a little bit more squeamish when it comes to clawing at claw meat, so I oped for a straight up Fish and Chips. Likewise, I think it was probably one of the best fish suppers I've had in a while (although Old Salty's across the road is on par for a take-away).
The place is cosy, has a great vibe and our waitress was lovely and disarmingly honest (she showed us a picture of her blokes holiday sunburn so we decided she must be telling the truth about everything!). They also have a hidden wee outside area, which will be lovely once the sun finds it's way back to us. Lobster and sunshine? Ooh, now wouldn't that be a treat!
New bar - The Raven - flew into the city this week, opening it's doors on Renfield Street on Wednesday for the first time. It's been tempting us with 'coming soon' signs and promises of good food cooked slow for a wee while, so I was delighted to finally get to see what they were Raven on about!
First and foremost it's a pub, like the other Maclay Inns, there's a focus on craft beers and cask ales. But it's also more than your average beer den, not only does it have an extensive list of brews, but the menu is a hot pot of delicious southern-style home-cooking, from pulled pork to burritos and sliders.
So, with a crafty mix of beers, a meaty menu and sport on the telly, it probably won't surprise you that this place has 'bloke' written all over it. That said, this (wee) bird really liked it, and whilst some might be sad The Raven has swooped in and taken the place of the old Bay Horse it's a great new addition to the city centre bar scene.
Wee Bird Recommends
Glasgow's biggest community fun fest - The West End Festival - ends this Sunday, and Wee Recommend checking out the final 'All Dayer' at Oran Mor. It's also the venue's 10th birthday, so they're throwing out all the stops (and the shapes) with a huge musical line-up: 14 acts - including Admiral Fallow and The Vaselines - across three different stages. Advance tickets are £18, £20 on the day.