- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (12 Sept. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1780576501
- ISBN-13: 978-1780576503
- Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.8 x 22.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 536,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Barrowland: A Glasgow Experience Hardcover – 12 Sep 2013
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The rich history of Glasgow’s beloved Barrowland concert hall is explored
About the Author
Nuala Naughton is a multi-award-winning journalist, editor, lecturer and trainer. She has worked for national and international newspaper groups across the spectrum, from hard news, investigative and business to lifestyle and entertainment.
Top customer reviews
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It's surprising no-one has written about the venue previously in such detail.
So, let's be clear: I'm biased before I start to read. I LOVE this place. The greatest danger for the author (insofar as one review is a danger) was that I'd feel she didn't capture how much it means to me, to musicians, the audience, the city of Glasgow. No need for concern on that score- the passion felt, by all involved in the book, bursts from every page.
The format helps with this- rather than a dry chronological history of the venue, it's written as a conversation. Those involved, like members of a family or a gang, dip in & out of the chat, describing their experiences of this musical temple. From the devastating death of a concert-goer to the legendary strength & organisational skills of the venue's crew to in-numerous stories of hilarity & high jinks, all of life is there.
The author has included substantial sections listing the artists that have played the Barras & the dates they played, as well as an exhaustive list in date order of who headlined when & who supported, This is the food & drink of musical geekdom & the author had a team of such geeks able to supply & consume. A strength of the volume is the willingness to use possibly the best geek resource available: the audience. Not only did this allow dates & artists to be checked off against photos of tickets, booking diaries & musicians' records, it got the most important people involved- those who pay to visit that grubby old place & lose themselves in music for a couple of hours. Naughton made full use of social networks to elicit facts & memories from anyone willing to help; like the venue, the book is more than the sum of its parts.
The only disappointing aspect of the book, in my opinion, is the limited range of artists that have contributed their stories or views of the venue. That seems to be no fault of the author; despite the appearance of accessibility via Twitter & Facebook, many artists still enjoy the protection of numerous of their "people". I guess if there's no evidence that they'll sell more records as a result of contributing, there's no impetus to help. That's a shame but the passion from those who do participate (most notably, Shirley Manson of Garbage & the über-enthusiastic guys from the View)
If you know & love the venue, it's hard to imagine you won't enjoy this thoroughly enjoyable experience of a book.
If you've heard bands (or fans) talk about the venue, reading this will help you understand what all the fuss is about. However, be warned: you may find yourself browsing the listings & spending a lot of money on tickets!
it is also of little consequence to me that most of the events that i attended didn't get a mention (it wasn't written for me), but the one that was, the beastie boys in 1987, i felt put a different slant on what i remember, which was that the press were banned as a result of 'the sun' trying to throw them out of the country for allegedly making fun of wheelchair users, and not the pre-warning about spitting and beer throwing, which they didn't like, but participated in anyway, resulting in a blistering performance, hardly shuffling off into the distance. by the way, if an update were to appear, it could be included that the d.j./mixer davy d. was the main support, the 3rd on the bill being a scottish metal/rap outfit, whose name now eludes me.
i'm afraid that the attempt to better 'apollo memories' didn't really happen for me (and it's not a brilliant book either!). i have cherished memories of both of these venues from 1977 onwards, and to be honest would deem them about equal in such, but i think the definitive tome(s) are yet to be written.
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