By Rachel Cronin
The SWG3’s Yard Sit Down Sessions, brought by local record label Last Night from Glasgow hosted several outdoor live music events in October, prior to the newest restrictions.
Music was reintroduced into the city with two live performances from Glasgow’s own up-and-coming artists Lola in Slacks and Mark W. Georgsson, as well as 80’s favourites The Bluebells on 4 October. The event also featured techno artist Optimo Espacio earlier in the weekend- the first of many planned seated dance music events in the Yard.
Scotland’s first ever socially distanced gigs consisted of a crowd of 200 sat at picnic benches under a marquee, in SWG3’s Galvanisers Yard. Tables were made of up to six people from two households, with food and drink to be ordered through the SWG3 app.
The all-clear from Glasgow council was given only 10 days before the show, so due to the short notice, The Bluebells performed a fully acoustic set. This didn’t put the audience off hearing their first live music since March. Ken McCluskey, who does vocals and harmonica, describes the audience as being ‘’very generous’’ and likens the toned-down atmosphere to ‘’playing at a festival in the quiet tent’’. He also praised all organisers and staff of the event for making it happen despite the circumstances.
This glimpse of normality for both artists and audiences could be an indicator of what live music might look like from now on.
Ken said: ‘’I know a lot of artists that are struggling right now, and I hope this gig can be a light at the end of the tunnel.’’
Louise Reid, lead singer of Lola in Slacks, agreed:
‘’It’s more important than ever to support local activity in music. Live shows are about music uniting people, and I hope Sunday can be a blueprint for more shows moving forward.’’
Last Night from Glasgow don’t currently have any more shows in the works but are doing their part to support struggling artists in the area. Their Isolation Sessions album featured covers from local artists, with all proceeds going towards struggling venues and record shops in Glasgow. The Bluebells’ new album Sisters is out on 27 November, and Lola in Slacks’ debut album is set to be released in April next year.