Last night was the launch of Glasgow PodcART’s “Eclectic Peel” exhibition, celebrating the life and influence of John Peel. The independent artistic collective asked twenty artists of all disciplines – including musicians, photographers, animators, illustrators, a sculptor, dancers and even a fashion designer – to come up with an original piece of work in pairs. As part of an incredible lineup it’s an incredible honour to see my own name listed: I’m pretty sure I just showed up, while He Who Makes Me Look Good did all the hard work.
PodcART cite Peel as one of their biggest influences, and in the courtyard last night surrounded by so many people I love who struggle against the forces of time, energy and money to do the things that they love even although it doesn’t pay the bills I couldn’t help thinking what a good fit the event was for them. We have a fantastic network of incredibly talented people in this city: recording and producing music, releasing it, writing it, creating photographs and sculpture and works of art. It may be pushing it a bit to count myself as one of them these days, but I’m very proud to call them my friends.
The night kicked off with a performance from Blochestra, a 24-piece orchestra/choir including members of big-name bands such as Admiral Fallow and Union of Knives. Their set consisted of covers of what can only be described as “Peel standards” including songs by Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Mogwai and of course The Undertones. In front of the festive backdrop of a giant Christmas tree I was transported back to Christmas carol concerts of my youth, violin in hand, where I’m sure I too would rather have been playing the tracks I heard on the Festive Forty.
Louise McVey’s smoky voice was next up to battle the increasing chill in the courtyard, sounding like Turkish delight and cigars and none better than when a bit of technical difficulty left her in spine-tingling a capella. Esperi’s eclectic loops and toyshop charm rounded out the night against a special 3D visual backdrop.
It was a very special night, and the exhibition itself will be on all week. Hopefully you’ll get the chance to pop along.
Eclectic Peel runs until 11th December at New Barras Courtyard, Briggait, Glasgow. Listen to a preview as part of this weeks’ Glasgow PodcART here.