Had an absolute barnstormer of a night at the #LoveGlasgowHateRacism night last Sunday. The event was organised by Glasgow St Pauli to help raise funds for United Glasgow FC and Scottish Refugee Council.
It was my first ever gig in Scotland. Thirty one years on the road and I’d never had the pleasure. The Wakes asked me a couple of years back, but I’d already agreed to play an International Brigade Memorial Trust event in Hull that night and reluctantly had to say no, but this time nothing was going to get in the way.
It was a blinding night start to finish, with cracking sets from Mick Hargan and The Exiles kicking things off, before I got to shout and stamp a lot in that way of mine.
The night was still young though and The Wakes knew just what to do with it. On home turf they absolutely blew the roof off, with songs like ‘Within These Towns’, ‘Never Again’ and ‘These Hands’ finding a whole new resonance with an antifa crowd and the sorry state of our streets right now; but it was their thunderous version of ‘Bella Ciao’ which defined the night, and their reclaiming of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to finish, a genuinely poignant moment on a night of solidarity with refugees.
There was no-one to follow that. Well, not unless you count the incredible Los Fastidios whose genre-busting set brought us to the close in style. Not had the pleasure of seeing them before, but they were SUPERB and a nicer set of lads you could not hope to meet.
It was great to catch up with comrades from up and down the land and meet a whole new bunch of friends too. Far and away my favourite night of the year so far, and it will take some topping.
So a massive thank you to all at Glasgow St Pauli for asking me to play and making my year, and to the Glasgow crowd for raising their voices and singing me home. Hopefully it will be the first of many trips north of the border to support the cause and stand at their shoulder.