The Mela, Glasgow, Scotland – Last Weekend

Once again, or at least for the first time since 2019, the Mela was on, that celebrates south Asian culture here in Scotland, and it was packed!

Fabric / Clothes shops at the Mela

We were only there for about 90 minutes, but as usual, there was a good vibe and multiple music tents – I believe there was even a ceilidh going on, as well as live music. I happened to see an experimental jazz, Asian fusion brigade. The leader, even said hello to his Ma and Da there!

Music Bandstand

There were even charities and self-help groups, complete in their stalls, handing out information and soliciting donations. One, the Vision Again Foundation, looked at the vital need for eye operations in the 3rd World, that can be done for as little as £20 in order to restore sight; I’ve already donated.

More shots of the Mela

Well worth a visit again, in the oncoming year.

As I left, there were more stalls, and even a “wall”, where one could write opinions on a variety of current affairs.

CB

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Elvis Costello, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow – Tuesday, 7 June

Costello

I was gifted this, due to Costello’s fascinating, recent guest star role on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen a few months ago. Watch it! I didn’t know that a post-punker, etc, could have such a comprehensive knowledge of food and veggies; though it’s probably due to his upbringing, as his father was a green grocer.

He was unbelievably down-to-earth, with not a hint of pretentiousness.

The boy named if

So why not go to his new tour, and after his recent, very rocky new album, The Boy Named If, which happened to hit Number 1 here in Scotland; I thought it was required!

Elvis Rocking

He was outstanding, with just under two hours of playing all the hits, some album cuts, and as he stated, three Nick Lowe songs. The best being Heart of the City, one of my all time faves from the post-punk era.

Yes, there was the usual left-wing banter, in front of the SNP / Anti-Royal crowd, though how this is ever relevant to my musical taste is unknown to me. Though he did get the best (quite easily) of one complainer, who simply shut up, after Costello asked him if he was then going to run for office, if he thought things were that bad!

There were the usual hidden surprises for me, one highlight was Green Shirt, the first Costello song (along with Accidents will Happen – cool video for so long ago), that I ever heard. After this gig, I actually found out that there was a demo version – that is quicker and probably more my taste.

The place was almost, and I say almost, full – perhaps 80%, with the 50+ crowd coming to its feet towards the end, with a powerhouse version of (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding,

Naturally, in this out of kilter, woke world, he did not play Oliver’s Army, which of course I vehemently disagree with, though hey it’s his show.

The one thing or two things, that were off-putting, are both the sound system and the lack of available bogs at the end of the show – the queues were huge! The sound once again suffered from a ridiculous sound level, with multi-tracks, that bordered on the deafening.

With his songs, he should really have played completely live – Elvis, just show up, plug into some Marshalls, and give it a go.

4/5

CB