this place we call home: the monthly pop!south column;

It’s the Pop!South gang again. Hopefully we’ve tempted you to our corner of the city for a show or two over these past eight weeks. We’re taking September off to catch our breath.

We’re really excited about the one gig we already have lined up for next month, the return of 80’s indie-pop darlings The Flatmates. As a wee exclusive, here’s the first look at the final poster for the gig! They’ll be showing up around town over the next couple of weeks. So keep your eyes peeled.

Pop!South Flatmates poster

We thought this break would give us a great opportunity to highlight some of the people, places and things that make us love our respective neighborhoods and want to bring everyone down to see the south side of the city.

Firstly, we couldn’t be doing these great gigs without The Glad Cafe. Since they opened just over a year ago, they’ve done a massive amount to bring new people, experiences, and culture into the community. Obviously, they put on gigs and provide a space for music, but they also run programs like ‘Write It’ where script writers can have their work performed; ‘The Glad Academy’, monthly talks on all sorts of issues; host screenings as part of the South Side Film Festival; run open mic nights and a music quiz; and live folk music on Thursdays! And did we mention their yummy menu as well as good coffee and more adult beverages? The cafe space is lovely and relaxed. The walls nearest the venue entrance also serve as an exhibition space for a variety of local artists. Most of the folk you’ll run into at Glad are volunteers, although there’s a core team of friendly employees as well, but I think it’s a great testament to the place that so many folk want to be involved and help out.

Just next door is a Last Year’s Girl favourite, the Little Cake Parlour. Their cupcakes are exquisite, and you know there’s a high standard to be met for cakes to be LYG approved. Many of us in Pop!South have gluten and wheat intolerances though, which makes cake appreciation a bit harder. Thankfully, there’s a southside bakery that caters to the GF crowd! We heard about Wild Flours when they had their launch in Glad earlier this year. They supply the GF cakes to the cafe, and also do special orders. You really wouldn’t know the difference between their baked goods and ones with gluten in, they’re that good. They’ll be making the cupcakes and wedding cake for two of team Pop!South next month in fact.

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We also wouldn’t been here without our favourite local pub, Samuel Dow’s on Nithsdale Rd. It doesn’t have a website, and it’s terribly unassuming, but it’s a great place to have a pint and a chat with good pals. They have seasonal cask ales, as well as your standard beers, ciders and spirits. We hatched the plan to put gigs on there, and are determined to put a show on in their back room yet!

Just down the road is the Bungo, which is much more upmarket. To be completely honest, a few of us were a bit put off by their prices when they first opened, but at least one Pop!Souther swore by the place, so the doubters took a pal out for her birthday there recently, and the staff were so incredibly lovely, and the food so tasty, we have been converted. It’s run by the same folks who do The Left Bank and The Two Figs, so it makes sense it is a lovely place.

Speaking of beautiful food, Roma Mia serves good traditional Italian with a local feel. If you’re looking for something greasier to aid your weekend hangover, Brooklyn Cafe is good for big piles of unhealthy but tasty scran.

Go Slow is another group favourite, serving the tastiest food in an incredibly friendly atmosphere. When my mum visits from the US, she makes a point of us having lunch here at least once a week, she loves it so much. Everything is made fresh by the owner/cook/all-around-awesome-lady. While this is an amazing feat, it does mean that the cafe was closed for a wee while earlier in the year, so if you hadn’t checked in recently, the cafe is back to being open full-time and well worth a stop.

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Gusto and Relish helped fuel one Pop!Souther through her PhD, providing a good atmosphere and plenty of coffee for writing. If you’re looking for “the best coffee in Glasgow by a country mile” according to the Herald, although we also concur, Tapanext door does some good roasts and their own bread to boot. I’m now spoiled and only buy my ground coffee there.

But it’s not all just food and drink that we love about our side of the city. There’s great culture that should tempt you over as well. The Tramway has been providing a space for artists since the late 1980s. It hosts performances, art exhibitions, screenings, as well as being home to the Hidden Gardens and having a lovely cafe/bar. In July they did a really great piece of community engagement centered around their location on Albert Drive: “A large-scale creative project exploring the idea of neighbour and what it means to live alongside each other from the perspective of one street in Glasgow”. I particularly liked the suppers they put on where people in the area could come and meet each other. This coincided with the opening of the gorgeous new Sikh temple next door. Last, but certainly not least, the Citizen’s Theatre is constantly putting on boundary-pushing shows, as well as running classes and engaging in community work. I know the project about asylum seekers living in Glasgow, Here We Stay, was very moving and received really good community response.

Hopefully there are a few places here that you may not have heard of or weren’t sure about before. We all love our communities in the south side and want to support local folk doing local things and hope you do too. See you next month when we’re back to shilling our own gigs!

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