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MY period at the university seemed to coincide with an amazing run of gigs at the Queen Margaret Union…all for about ?3. The Kelvingrove Cafe has just recently been revived, and the message behind the bar is exactly that – reviving and reliving a Glasgow drinking culture which could easily be forgotten. This approach is captured perfectly by the low-key spot it occupies on the Finnieston end of Argyle Street. It’s the definition of a classic Glasgow pub, with the patter and the welcome to go with it. You can get tickets from the GFT, incidentally, but it got me to thinking about the first time I ever visited the cinema up the hill on Rose Street.
Next stop, at the end of Ashton Lane and up and around the wee windy staircase, is the Queen Margaret Union within the university campus itself.
Literally, everybody of a certain generation went to Destiny for their first night out in Glasgow.
It was way back in October 1984 – during my first term at university – when me, Basil Pieroni and Grahame Fagen saw a poster advertising a comedy rock movie and unwittingly found ourselves among the first people to see This Is Spinal Tap, a movie that is now, 30 years on, as beloved amongst my son and his friends as it was by us at the time.

Across George Square and along Queen Street took me past another intimidating temple of our youth: the Rock Garden. The dimly lit entrance lures you in from a street, and once inside there are bottles balancing on the gantry and a slightly obscure array of Mexican tequilas.
Down Sauchiehall Street and then a right and a left took me past what used to be Daddy Warbucks nightclub at 46 West George Street.
Again, I think in around November 1984, we saw a poster with Captain Scarlet on it saying “psychedelic punk rock happening”. It was in the Rock Garden that we saw The Clash play downstairs on their 1985 busking tour.
It sounded right up our street and this was how, for the next year or two, we ended up every Sunday night at Splash One, trying to dance to something like I Heard Her Call My Name by The Velvet Underground. Back up Sauchiehall Street towards Charing Cross takes us past The Kings Cafe on Elmbank Street, where we’d often refuel on their incomparable potato fritters in the early hours of the morning.
Bonkers, Hope StreetFamous in Glasgow, (or should that be infamous) for the place to go for a square go, management were constantly battling with the authorities who longed for the day Bonkers shut its doors for good.

Some of the (horror) stories emanating from Archaos were someone allegedly being stabbed in the street after an under 18’s night. The Sports Cafe, Sauchiehall StreetThe Sports Cafe on Sauchiehall Street gained the unfortunate fame of being the first club in Glasgow to be forcibly closed by the licensing board following a twelve man mass brawl. Frankenstein 1818, West George StreetA little pricey but an excellent place for bar staff to spend their well earned tips, 3am license, always packed, decent grub at lunchtime as well and their test tube shots were legendary. Karbon, Buchanan StThe ultimate VIP hangout for footballers wannabe wags and cardboard gangsters in Glasgow.
As with many popular haunts in Glasgow, Karbon soon drew squabbles, complaints and violence.

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  • 31.01.2015, admin

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