My first experience of The East End Social was a secret gig at The Bowlers Bar in Bridgeton and what a night it was. We were warmly welcomed with a drink (mine’s a dark and stormy, ta), courtesy of The East End Social and I felt immensely proud of the east end, as I looked at the posters around the room and chatted to Chemikal Underground‘s Stewart Henderson, who spoke of the project with such heart and hope.
RM Hubbert was first up with an impressive and engaging performance, combining flamenco guitar techniques with those of the most melodic harpist. I was engrossed in and enjoying his performance so much that I shouted ‘WOOOOO’ at an abrupt song pause, thinking the song had finished. ‘Hubby’ himself had a chuckle at this when I told him afterwards and was the loveliest, most modest man, who confirmed that he will play at any venue he is invited to, whether it’s a pub, gig or your very own living room (as long as you feed him).
Next up was Conquering Animal Sound with an intoxicating blend of dreamy, ethereal, electronic arrangements, with deliciously dark and bassy undertones. I don’t think some of the locals had ever heard anything like it, but they were engrossed and amazed and I overheard a few say they thought it was ‘actually quite good’ and that’s what The East End Social is all about – bringing Glasgow’s amazing music to the corners of the city which it otherwise would not have reached and opening the eyes and ears of those who ordinarily would not have sought it out.
The last band on stage was Paws, with their impressive, exciting and ear-bashing brand of boisterous-indie-rock, which put a smile on my face and had punters up dancing and flinging themselves around.
The end of the evening felt like a surreal movie ending of the best kind, soundtracked by the weird and wonderful Andy Wake. Everyone from lively locals to merry musos got up for a dance and exchanged knowing smiles, having shared this amazing experience of being brought together by music and knowing that this was just the beginning. Keep an eye on the east, because big things are coming.