INSIDE... Chris Millington Tommy Zong Vintage Glasgow The CCA Glasgow International Craft Beer Vigo Thieves Buckfast korma Tchai Ovna The Flying Duck Bullet Beard
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THE MAN WHO WOMEN WEAR ON THeir NAILS By Megan Mitchell
common they’re going to be on the catwalk but the less common they are on the street the more common they are on the catwalk. Being different is what works in fashion and that’s why the beard trend came around. I got it right before it started which was pretty lucky on my part but it is what it is. It’s going to fade, that’s why I’m moving to New York because the UK’s going to slow down a wee bit for a while and then it’ll just explode again but whereas in America they’re always about two years behind us in fashion” The fame hasn’t gone to his head though: “ I was always quite chill, I’m still chill now, in fact I’ve probably got less confident in myself now than I did when I started doing this and like that’s not a beard thing I feel more comfortable with the way that I look but I don’t feel anymore attractive than I ever did despite what a 150 thousand people on Instagram might think,it doesn't matter. The whole beard thing is what it is I just grew a beard because I always wanted to have one and no one else had one in my town,I thought right ‘screw it I’m just going to do it’. I got slagged for it,I got laughed at , I got told to shave it off, but I didn’t and I guess all this happened and I’ve been really lucky.
Chris Millington’s life has been transformed over the past 12 months, from managing a mobile phone shop to being the face of major high street and online fashion brands and international recognised by fashionistas, creatives and teenage girls alike. Only by chance was he scouted in London, his on trend facial hair propelling him to top of the fashion radar and becoming his trademark.
For all the attention his facial hair draws Chris has stayed true to his own character: “I often wonder what would happen if I shaved it off, would people just forget that I ever existed or have they now invested their time into the person rather than just that look. I dont know,I geneually don’t know. I haven't crossed that bridge yet but I guess on social media I’ve tried to portray little pieces of my character to people and maybe that’s why I’ve been so lucky to have so much work and so many good opportunities. A little bit of my character has come across,maybe people have taken to that,maybe some people haven’t,it’s just a personal preference. I’ve been really lucky I just wonder what will happen on the day that I shave it off.”
“I’m anything but famous I’ve just been very fortunate at opportune times, although the beard certainly did help. The beard thing, the media are twisting it towards fashion and saying that bearded models are now going to go off trend and that’s in fact not the case because the more popular beards are on the street the less
The beard doesn't account for all of his success in the modelling world, and it's undeniable he's a good looking chap regardless: “ I guess I’ve been fortunate in my life, I’ve never smoked, I’ve never ever been drunk before, I’ve never done drugs, I’ve kept myself very
healthy from a young age, always tried to eat healthy so I’ve kept myself in decent shape. I’ve got really long legs which sounds a bit weird but that’s really important in modeling apparently, I’ve always had fairly clean skin, I've got thick hair, I guess I’ve got good charistics for it but I just never really thought about it and I’ve just mean extremely fortunate genetically that I fit this strange idea of ‘ideal’. I don't really think there is anything more attractive than anything else it’s just what you;re programmed to believe over the course of your life because the media,and television and all these things make you believe that’s what it is. I’ve just been really fortunate, maybe it is just the beard, maybe it’s just because I’ve got a nasty looking face. I seem quite friendly in person then someone takes a photo of me and I look as if I’m getting thrown into prison.” His key feature isn't all fun and games though: “The beards a bit annoying, like this,drinking a hot chocolate and I can’t actually drink it,I need to spoon it because it
just goes everywhere. I had a milkshake yesterday and it just went all over my face,I just can’t do it. So that’s a bit annoying, I can’t eat pizza with my hands,can’t eat a cheeseburger with my hands - I have to cut it up into squares, it makes me look a bit of a pansy.” The UK has served Chris well but he feels it’s time for a wee adventure to take him further a field on a more long term basis, and with exciting projects on the horizon maybe a fresh start will be beneficial. “ I’ve been given sponsorship for a permanent US visa if I seek that. I’m also starting a fashion blog so that’s going to be my primary focus from here on out. I’m just going to focus on menswear style, I’ve found that there’s so many fashion blogs out there for guys but all they do is wear a different coloured suit every day or a different coloured pocket square and that’s not accessible to everyone,I don’t know any guys that dress like that. It’s cool to look at, it’s interesting, but is it realistic? Is it something the public are going to relate to? Probably not. I mean I’m wearing a shirt from h&m thats like two years old and I’m wearing a pair of high waisted jeans that aren’t meant to be high waisted. I just throw stuff together for cheap, and why not? I’m going to try and bridge that gap between fashion and accessibility because I’ve just found that so many fashion blogs are about an expensive lifestyle than actually reality.” Its obvious Chris doesn't conform to the stereotypical model type but theres a lot more going on between his sideburns than you might think: “I imagine people think ‘male model, airhead, total doofus’ when infact I’m actually really quite deep. Like I’ve got my own conditions that I’ve got, a thing called arithmomania, like if you say a word to me right now,‘Pterodactyl’, Pterodactyl has 11 letters. And I can do that straight away, Bagel factory across the road has 12 letters in it or like ‘all our products’ has 14 letters in it and that’s just constant, all the time. I discovered I had that when I was a wee boy and I’d sit in my bed at night, do my homework and then finish it and then look at my homework book again and start looking at all the words and breaking them all down and then stress myself out because I maybe got one wrong so it got to the point where I’d do nothing but think all the time, all the time. When I was about 10 years old I was thinking about starting my
own business, thinking about how to micro manage the problems in my family and all this madness, and all my friends are out playing football. The modeling game is not an easy one to play, and Chris has faced his fair share of negativity, yet he still continues to rise in notoriety with high profile campaigns, bigger and better personal projects and just his general charm. “People have always been negative about whatever I’ve done for whatever reason that may be and it’s a shame the mentality of people is that we like to see people do well but we never like to see them do any better than us and I don’t like that. I’m here to sup-
port everyone, if I see someone from Scotland doing well I’ll champion them. I just to try and not involve myself in any negativity, people write nasty things about me I just ignore it. If I hear something nasty I just ignore it because you know what, it’s not going to get me anywhere by biting back, it’s not going to get me anywhere by rising to what they’re doing. I just look at things thinking ‘how would my granddad deal with it?’ He was my like my idol, how would he deal with it, he’d nod his head and carry on, that’s it, he wouldn’t do a thing. And I guess I’ve just tried to be like him.”
TOMMY ZHONG By Chloe Thompson
A rail of clothing sits behind Mr. Zhong’s desk filled with unfinished pieces of women’s clothing. There’s something incredibly organic and raw about this collection: little strands of fabric hang delicately from the garments like icicles from a tree, the hems are finer than a surgeon’s scalpel and although unfinished, they look ready to be strutted down any catwalk by a gorgeous model. This isn’t your everyday midi skirt or skater dress, this is inspired. As sleek as silk, yet bold as brass. This is the work of graduate student, Tommy Zhong. This, is high fashion. Tommy, 23, begun his degree in his home country of China, he studied at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing before moving to Glasgow to complete his degree at Glasgow School of Art. Unlike many fashion designers, Mr. Zhong isn’t trying to make a statement of himself; he’s sat wearing a simply grey t-shirt with black skinny jeans. When asked how he would describe his style, he said: “I’d say it’s very simple, clean and a little bit sporty.” As I’m speaking to him, he couldn’t be any more enthusiastic about what he does and his love of art. His desk is a collage of incredible photographs of edgy designs and various sketches he has done, incredibly well, might I say. Although he’s now on his way to becoming a great designer, fashion wasn’t always Mr. Zhong’s first choice, he said: “In the beginning I wanted to be a painter or a sculpting artist, but after I met some friends in the fashion industry and we got together, I thought fashion suited me.” He elaborates: “Every day when I wake up I want to do that. I have a passion to do fashion. My design style usually quite androgynous, I also like working with simple shapes, and building up a lot of layers on the garment to add richness to the garment”
The layers of fabric add an incredibly ethnic edge to the collection, as do the mysterious veils. It’s not something you would see every day, yet it is incredibly intriguing. The unprocessed, unfinished style of the collection couldn’t have been planned better, there’s no need for fussy designs or bright patterns, the pieces speak for themselves. Simple, yet so incredibly far from boring, I’ve never seen anything like it. This collection was inspired by the work of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, famous for their extravagant environmental works of art, as well as photog-
“I really liked high quality fabric but, the thing I believe in is the beauty after disjunction” rapher Jackie Nickerson, who photographs various working people in less fortunate countries in order to change peoples perceptions and highlight these people as empowered and modern. He also took inspiration from the mystery surrounding the ‘Hidden Mothers’ portraits dating back to the 19th century, in which the mother in many family portraits had her face and body completely covered. Speaking of his inspiration, he said: “I am obsessed with various unfinished elements of destruction and wrapping techniques in clothing.” Mr. Zhong has used a variety of calico, canvas and alternatively, horsehair in his designs. He said: “Before this collection, I really liked really high quality fabric but, the thing I believe in is the beauty after
disjunction. I concentrate on the beauty of fabric and like to take cheap fabric to make some high end designs.” As well as taking inspiration from famous photographers, Mr. Zhong gets a lot of ideas from everyday life and loves art galleries. He explains: “My life always inspires me a lot, especially, what I see and how I feel.” I also go to a lot of galleries in Chelsea and London. I absolutely love the Saatchi Gallery.” “Sometimes, I see some interesting patterns, colours or some symbols in the street and I will use my phone's camera to record it, and, those images may be effective to me in the next collection.”
He goes on to explain how he favours the artistic style of designer Raf Simmons, who has done collections for various brands including Fred Perry and Dior, he said: “He always collaborates with artists and looks beyond the garment itself.” Mr. Zhong explains that in the future he would love to own his very own fashion house with a built in studio, and hopes to go on to collaborate with artists to make some amazing designs. Either way, it’s easy to see he’s well on his way to becoming a very successful designer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his unique designs making their mark on the fashion world in the very near future. He’s definitely one to watch.
Vintage Glasgow By Lewis McKenzie Vintage: Of high quality and lasting value, especially from the past. A dictionary definition. It could not be truer. In Glasgow these days and especially the West end region of the city, it is almost impossible not to run across a vintage store. A browse of the clothes on offer show they really are long lasting and high in quality. Perhaps before there was a time when the place to go for cutprice clothing would be a charity shop, where the “choice” really was only a matter of grabbing what you could find and overlooking the quality. However now, it is the time of the vintage store. The quality is high and your money is well spent, with clothes carefully chosen by fashion experts with the inside knowledge of the most current trends and styles. At the Kilo Store, on Great Western Road, Greg Milne discusses; “I’ve been doing vintage for five years this summer. I studied journalism and while I was
at university I realised that it was quite hard to make money from writing. I knew I had to do something alongside the more creative aspects.” The demand in the market saw great opportunities for the beginning of many vintage stores, and for fashion-keen entrepreneurs such as Greg, it was an opportunity well worth taking, “We had our first store at Charing Cross. Then our second was on Byres road, where there was a vintage coffee shop and a vintage opticians. But the overheads were just far too high. For a period we went strictly online for ASOS and for our own website. We then opened a store in town, just off George Square, which was a pop-up for a year while we were launching our online. Now we have this opportunity in a different company. We started off with a £10 thrift store and then we became a “by-weight”, The Kilo store. Our previous company was ‘We love to boogie’ which was high end designer vintage. So we just thought we’d try a different
angle. Now we have the two stores in Glasgow and are about to launch online again.” The range available in the store is vast. And with such incredible variety, it is intriguing to wonder where it all comes from, “We have two or three wholesalers based throughout the UK and one of them imports from Europe. Another imports from a huge vintage plant in Canada. The processor goes over, buys it, buys a shipping container load and processes it all at the warehouse. He sells to people like Urban Outfitters, other high street ones alongside us. He sells to big vintage stores in Amsterdam and Paris as well.” In an increasingly consumerist society, with many shops on the high street selling their clothes to the masses, vintage shops offer an alternative. The chance to wear what no one else is. To stand out and be different, without it costing the earth. “I think that the high street is kind of dying a sense ….the shops that are there are doing very well but there have been so many companies that have went out of business that the choices are becoming smaller and smaller,” explains Greg, “So you have Topshop, Primark, New Look – for ladies anyway – and there’s not much else really for young, student types and apart from Primark, Topshop is definitely getting quite expensive now. If you go to Primark, you’ve got the same stuff as pretty much everybody else throughout the whole country. But you can come to a vintage shop and get something that no one else has. There just aren’t as many choices on the high street now. Also, if anyone’s clever about shopping vintage, they should know that you can buy it and take it to an alterations place and have it changed to be something really unique to you which will fit you perfectly. So these are aspects which make it more interesting to buy vintage and I think a lot of people are into that. I think a lot of the stigma from buying vintage clothes is gone now because it’s so slightly endorsed, that all major celebrities and people in fashion do it. So it’s seen as okay now.” Vintage and the idea of wearing vintage clothing has seemingly become ever more popular in recent years, with more and more people regularly frequenting them to update their wardrobes, “There’s definitely been a huge upsurge in popularity for vintage clothing. Especially with high street stores like Topshop, Urban Outfitters, even New Look for a while, had vintage sections. So that just shows you how much they realised they
“The stigma from buying vintage clothes is gone now... all major celebrities and poeple in fashion do it”
wanted a piece of that market. The problem is it is maybe a little saturated, so I’ve seen a lot of vintage shops go out of business in the past couple of years. Even people that have been in business for a long time. Which is a shame to see. But I suppose there are other big companies which will just last longer.”
Finnieston is the new up and coming area. It’s maybe not that busy now but I reckon that in a year’s time it will be busier. We’ve come off the online market for six months and so now, we’re really keen to get back there, with a whole new look website. It’s a good buzz to sell internationally.”
The one drawback of so many vintage stores is perhaps their sometimes temporary nature. Unlike the large companies who have chains of stores all over, the more original and independent vintage retailers can sometimes have trouble competing.
For the Kilo store, individuality has been a key to their success. They made the decision to have items paid for by weight, an idea that has seen success overseas already,
“We have a store down in Finnieston and we’re about to re-launch online. I think this store, on Great Western Road, is a temporary lease. So we take it at a few months at a time. But they will eventually get someone to take this long term. We know that this has an expiry date on it. We probably won’t open another shop in Glasgow now because we think
“It’s a concept that was really popular in places like Berlin and San Francisco. So we just thought we’d give it a go here. It’s good to always try and be the first to try stuff. That’s what you always aim to do.” Just like their name, there is every belief that vintage shops too will indeed be long lasting.
The cca By Andreea Cocoana When you have some free time, you may be thinking of a good café or restaurant to visit. Why not try The Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA)? This is definitely one of the places worth visiting. Just round the corner from the Glasgow School of Arts, this chic venue offers vegetarian lunches and a gallery with changing exhibitions. CCA is a stylish venue and a good location for seeing an art exhibition, a film or enjoying literature and music.
home-baked bread and delicious cakes. You can also try high quality beer, ciders, wines and juices, whatever your preference, all in a relaxed atmosphere. If the weather is sunny you can enjoy all this from the outdoor terrace in the heart of Glasgow city center. Whether you come to let yourself be inspired by art, or whether you come to have a vegetarian lunch or a coffee, the CCA is an inviting place.
The Center for Contemporary Arts was opened in 1992. At the beginning it presented the work of Scottish artists, although now also presents new work by international artists. The CCA presents to the public many types of art forms and it is considered to be a forum for ideas, art and cultural events. In 2001 the newly renovated CCA opened to the public and now houses a spectrum of cultural tenants as well as a café/restaurant, bar and cinema. Saramago Café Bar is a great place to head for food, additionally offering vegan options. You can savor fresh and tasty food, with
Lorraine Hamilton, a member of the front of house staff spoke about the importance of CCA for people with cultural interests. “ It is an art institution, which has been in Glasgow for twenty years. CCA is a kind of cultural hub and a big support network for students at the Glasgow School of Art. CCA's purpose is to bring in Glasgow based contemporary art and passionate artists.” But is not just art students who like the CCA, is everyone who enjoys visual art. The front of house staff confirmed it.“ There is a big mix of people who come here. You get to talk to a lot of different people, you get to know a lot of people who had never been to this
“this place is unique... our food is excellent and served with a smile”
place before and just want to pop in, who want to know what we are doing here and want to see the artists and musicians. I have been working here for one year. I am still learning and listening to people who want to have a chat about visual art.”
The Saramago Cafe is a popular venue in Glasgow. Manager Paul Smith explained the reason so many customers choose to spend some of their free time here while reading a book, having a chat and enjoying food full of taste.
It’s not only the customers who enjoy CCA, but it’s also the staff. Lorraine Hamilton is one of them. She described her pleasant experience of working at CCA. “I think the most interesting thing is talking with people, especially with persons who cross the street and simply want to know what is happening here.” CCA hosts different types of exhibitions and it reserves space according to the art event grandeur. “I think this is probably the biggest exhibition so far for me, because it is part of Glasgow International, and it takes place in all three rooms.”
“I think Saramago café has something special. It appeals to a wide variety of people and it is based on certain beliefs. We cook only vegetarian food. I guess we do that because we are interested in having an ethical business in a variety of ways. It has to do with the environment, but we also think that the food industry and the supplies for it are messed up. We try to show people that eating food is still good even if there is no meat in it
Asked how she would describe CCA in a few words, Lorraine said, “This is quite difficult, maybe “a cultural necessity. There are a lot of art places in Glasgow, but this is different because it is more established and is a well-known place for its art credibility.”
“I prefer to say that our food is “animal free”, because I don't like using the term “vegan food. It is true there is no meat in our food. People started eating huge quantities of meat fifty years ago. Before that most people couldn't afford it, so I think that our food is the one type that people can always eat. I would say that 80 or 90% of people who come here are not vegetarians or vegan, they just like our food.”
Housed within the Center of Contemporary Arts, Saramago Cafe is the kind of place you can come alone and read a book, do some work or chill with a group of friends. It is a nice place to relax while enjoying delicious and spicy vegan food.
“I can see a lot of people here enjoying themselves, because this place is unique, independent and different and for us different means good I could say that our food is excellent and served with a smile.”
Glasgow International 2014
Aleksandra Domanovic- GoMA
The GoMA is normally not necessarily the most interesting gallery in Glasgow,they steadily deliver okay exhibitions but not many transform the space as captivatingly as Aleksandra Domanovic, the building has really shown its full potential. Highlighting the gender issues within sci-fi with specific reference to animation, the stunning exhibition of anime characters and futuristic machines hanging on cellulose strips the height of the main gallery contrast with the traditional interria and transforms the space into a really special event.
Le Swimming- Fleming House Underground Car Park
Le Swimming feature works by Alys Owen, Sukaina Kubba, Beth Shapeero, Philippe Murphy, Jenny Lewis and Nadege Druzkowski as they reimagine a swimming pool for an alternative past. The enchanting environment the Underground Car Park offers the work is worth the visit alone, with the exhibition itself exploring this idea of transformation of spaces, serving as a comment on the lack of non-commercial public spaces in Glasgow. Along with a series of accompanying live performances Le Swimming showcased how this exciting new arts venue can bring work that would otherwise find a lesser home.
BEER BEER BEER Craft Beer has become something of a buzzword in bars and pubs around the country lately. But what is the fuss about? Why is a bottle of something which sounds like an obscure band name now the most desirable bev?
By Megan Mitchell
One of the most popular craft beer bars in Glasgow also happens to be one of the most popular craft brewers, BrewDog. From only two guys, a dog and some homebrew to an international renowned brewery with bars worldwide supported and loved by more than 14,000 ‘punk’ investors, Brewdog is certainly no longer a puppy. James Watt and Martin Dickie set out to share their love of beer, Tennents super brew had no home in their fridge, they wanted to bring brewing back to life. An unconventional start had lent to an unconventional nature, taxidermies rodents filled with beer and tabloid attacks have all added to the punk ideologies of the Brewdog aren’t the only
aley pals to set up shop in Glasgow and preach beer passion, Derek Hoy and Alec Knox set up the cities first specialty beer shop, Hippo Beers, in 2012 to cater to the growing gang of beer geeks occupying the city. A beer caps throw away from Glasgow uni digs, Hippo Beers sits unassumingly on Queen Margaret Drive and stocks an amazing selection of craft beers and real ales, from our own sunny shores of Scotland to Down Under and back. Whilst manning the shop on an oddly sunny day in Scotland’s bleak Spring (which can only mean one things in the West End, taps aff in KG). He spoke about how the shop came about: “We started the shop about a year and a half ago largely because there wasn’t much happening in Glasgow in terms of good beer being available
“American influence on the craft beer scene here was just kicking up at that time and you could just tell it was having a bit of a scene about it.”
so it was a bit of frustration at that and a bit of wanting to do a job that was a lot more fun than what we were already doing. We had no previous experience of the drinks industry at all so we just kind of fumbled our way about for two years then finally managed to open a shop. We just thought there was so many good beers out there that we just couldn’t find in Glasgow and we just wanted to do something about that. We could see the change coming on the horizon, we could see that there was more breweries appearing almost on a weekly basis and the kind of American influence on the craft beer scene here was just kicking up at that time and you could just tell it was having a bit of a scene about it.” Although the scene is definitely gaining momentum it is still in it’s infancy: “Some customers know exactly what they’re looking for, beer geeks. But we still get a lot of people who are very new to it and are just wanting to try something different. They’ve maybe had a pint of something - maybe they’ve tried a Punk IP or a Joker or something like that and they just want to try something else. I think people are getting a bit more knowledgeable but it’s still a niche market so it’s probably still a minority. But it is growing all the time. “ Home brewing is also slowly growing in popularity in the city, with the Brewdog bar hosting a Monday night brewing club and Glasgow University’s homebrew society having over 200 likes on facebook.
Although not all might have the success of Watt and Dickie, it is the passion for the craft which drives them all. Mark McNab, a Glasgow University homebrewer spoke about his new hobby: “I started drinking more and more craft beer. There’s more bars and pubs in Glasgow with better beer choices now and from that I just decided I would have a go. There are a few shops that specialise in the equipment you need and after a few Google searches it seemed quite easy. To start with, it wasn’t, but I don’t think I’m too bad. There’s support in Glasgow for brewing and there’s definitely a community feeling about it”. Derek Hoy also spoke about the homebrewing trend: “I think homebrewing’s a good thing, just because people home brew it doesn’t mean they stop drinking other beers because that’s how they get their inspiration and their ideas. A lot of homebrewers will do clones of particular beers as well. The more people brew the more they appreciate beer. Most homebrewers that I know don’t just brew for their own consumption, they brew it and share it out to other people who are brewing and their friends to see what people think. Probably quite a lot of them get aspirations of becoming proper commercial brewers so its probably a good thing.”
Vigo Thieves By Grant Perston -20-
The Glasgow band on the verge of making it big. -21-
Most people will not have heard of the Vigo Thieves; however that could change this year as the Wishaw five -piece are taking huge strides towards making the big time. After releasing two EP’s, Heart and Soul Parts 1 and 2 respectfully, the band have gone on to play gigs at the Arches and the world famous King Tuts. The latter of which became a career high for them as they became the very first unsigned band to sell out two nights at the venue. After that came the start of their UK tour at Glasgow’s O2 ABC, their biggest gig yet. The band has certainly arrived and the ex-manager of them, Murray Easton, thinks that they can go all the way. “ I think they are the best band around by a long shot, they work really hard, I think the singer Stevie Jukes has real star quality and they’ve got songs that are being sung back at them. The word of mouth has just developed so well that I think they really should be signed by now and it’s a shame that they’re not but I think that if they keep writing these big songs and growing their fan base then someone will pick them up at some point or they will end up just doing it themselves. The fact that the band has not been signed yet has amazed a lot of their fans, but Murray explains that they are waiting for the right offer that suits them best. “Well it’s not like they have been offered any great record deals, they have been offered some very small, independent record labels, but they are the kind of
band who if they get the right backing behind them could just explode. They’ve got the songs that are radio friendly and stadium or festival friendly and I think for that band to succeed, they need the right record label to take it as far as they can go and they don’t want a record deal unless they can go all the way.” Since they have waited this long and turned down so many offers, fans are starting to think that they may just set up their own label, which Murray believes could happen. “A lot will depend on what happens in the next six months. There are people interested in the band and it’s just a question of waiting and seeing what happens, keep working on the songs, keep working on the material and see how far we can take it. Whether they release it themselves or whether it comes out in another label we’ll probably know by the end of the year and the fans will know. But they’ve got the potential to be an absolutely huge band, they’ve got the songs and they just really do need someone to take a chance on them.” 2014 was said to be the biggest year in the bands history. Not only have they got a large UK tour lined up, there have been rumblings of their debut album being released this summer, however Murray is quick to clarify that it will only be released when the band are ready.
“The band are working on an album, again they’re not going to put an album out until they’re ready and until the albums ready.
and backing vocals, he’s really helped everyone, he’s very talented.”
They’ve got a growing collection of amazing songs, a growing level of interest in the band and there’s people that they need to speak to and they’re just going to take it as it comes. If they need to put an album out themselves then they will but only when it’s ready and they won’t rush it, but they want it to be the right album at the right time. They’re may be another single or EP released but they just want to keep progressing all the time and build up to the album but it’s got to come out at the right time, whether they do it themselves or it comes out on a label, but they will have something for the fans in the future definitely.” So it’s fair to say that the Vigo Thieves have come a long way since their early days, touring the small venues across Scotland, something that Murray has seen firsthand. “They’ve got more songs, they’ve really developed they’re sound live and in the studio. I first saw them before they really released anything at a tiny bar in Wishaw and then started getting involved with them from Heart and Soul part 1 EP when Heartbeats was out and then I’ve seen them go from playing like T in the Park and two nights at King Tuts and ABC and the Arches and support of the Fratellis and the View and the progressions been incredible, the confidence on stage and the confidence of the band has really grown. They are a really tight unit, they’re all good mates. The edition of Chris Gorman, he’s become a full time member of the band on keyboard and syncs
The Vigo Thieves sound is very different to what you usually hear today. Their songs are anthems that are tailor made for huge arenas and venues. And Murray feels that this difference in style could work in their favour for them becoming a huge band. “I mean obviously I’m a little bit biased but some of the stuff that gets played and signed these days you think oh my god. Vigo Thieves are making no bones about it, they are a commercial band and they want to be a big band. Songs like Heartbeats, Believe and Forever and This Love are just huge anthems and Stevie’s got a good few more of them up his sleeve that they’re working on just now. I really hope they smash it, they deserve to.” Vigo Thieves’ future looks extremely bright. They have developed a loyal fan base over the years that is only growing and this year looks as if it will be the one where the Vigo Thieves make it big. However that might not be all. In a recent interview, Stevie alluded to a surprise for the fans at the end of the year. Something Murray clearly new about but wouldn’t give any details away. “Nothing’s confirmed yet. I would just say that Vigo Thieves are a band who is always looking to do something big. Everything they do is geared towards engaging with fans, and making steps forward and progressing so I would just encourage people to keep an eye on their facebook and twitter feeds”.
buckin’ good curry A Buckfast korma? Our writer, Chloe Thompson, gave it a go.... From deep fried mars bars to pizza crunch and haggis, Scotland isn’t exactly hailed for its amazing, vibrant street food. But, the one thing we can all agree on is curry, everyone loves a good curry. One of the nation’s favourites has to be Korma. A combination of subtle spices in a, sweet, fragrant sauce, teamed with fluffy rice and naan bread makes for the perfect dish. But, a little place in Hamilton has taken it to another level by adding a very controversial ingredient, Buckfast. Yes, you read right, Buckfast. The sweet, almost medicinal tasting, fortified wine, which is normally associated with teenagers up and down the country, and often the fuel in a range of crimes, is the key ingredient in The House of Shah’s ‘Buckie’ korma. Sound awful? Well, it sells better than you might think.
I mixed a small amount of sauce with a larger amount of rice and placed it in my mouth. As I chewed away, I was just waiting for the sickly, awful taste of ‘wine’ to completely take over, but it didn’t happen. Instead, I got the familiar flavours of a good korma, coconut, cardamom and cream with a very subtle aftertaste of wine, and surprisingly, it wasn’t a bad aftertaste, very pleasant actually. Slowly. I begun to understand how this dish has made its way onto, and stayed, on the menu. I spoke to the manager, Jahan Shah, about the dish. When asked where the inspiration for the dish came from, Mr Shah explained: “My dad and owner of the takeaway, Mr. Shah, wanted to combine something that is loved in Scotland and loved in India. “With Buckfast being very popular in Scotland and curry being popular in India, he decided to combine the two to make something very unique and crazy.”
Hesitantly, I gave it a go. Upon plating my food, the korma was noticeably darker than normal; making me think there must have been a fair amount of the dreaded Buckfast incorporated. Personally, like the majority of the British population, I am not a fan of this drink.
Understandably, as soon as news spread of the dish, Mr. Shah was bombarded with offers for interviews with both local and national newspapers and radio stations. The dish also brought the takeaway a rather large amount of custom from all over Scotland, he explains: “The public response couldn't have been better as we had people from as far as
“With Buckfast being very popular in Scotland and curry being popular in India, he decided to combine the two to make something very unique and crazy.”
Edinburgh phoning asking for directions as they wanted to try out this curry. “We had queues of people in shop all wanting to try the dish. Some customers went as far as asking if we could make some batter with Buckfast mixed through it.” When speaking of the custom the korma brought to the takeaway, Jahan said: “Needless to say it was an amazing time and I would say its what got House of Shah recognized, it really gave it the publicity it needed.” Following the success of the dish, the takeaway has produced a number of other strange combinations. Mr. Shah explains: “We are always coming up
with new ideas like the nahaj, which is the curry pizza.” “We also have few ideas in store which I can't say at the moment but maybe in due time.” House of Shah is a family run business and we always work our best the give our customers the very best.” Hopefully the takeaway will be as successful in the future with their upcoming recipes. If they are given the same thought and consideration of the ‘Bucky’ korma, I don’t see why not. If you are interested in trying the korma, some haggis pakora, curry pizza, or anything else for that matter, the House of Shah is the place to go. A giraffe in a herd of elephants.
TCHAI OVNA Glasgow’s SECRET TEA ROOM By Lewis McKenzie There’s a familiar clink of tea cups and lively chatter. Warm drinks are enjoyed among friends. A scene which would be familiar to any tea room. However Tchai Ovna is not just a usual, standard tea room. It’s more than that. The meaning to it runs deep and has interesting historical significance. Co-owner, Kenneth Shand, sits down at one of the tables – the only one currently free amidst a filled room. The room itself is not much larger that an average sized living room, not looking too dissimilar to one either. Many guests, strangers to one another, often find it necessary to share a table with each other. However it feels far from cramped or overcrowded. It is warm and cosy and everyone is clearly enjoying themselves. Kenneth finishes off serving a fresh batch of exotic tea and explains; “We started it about 14 years ago. It was around the end of 1999 and the start of 2000. “My business partner, Mark, is half-Czech and so he really liked the tea houses in the Czech Republic. There is a tradition of Tchai-Ovna’s there. So the name of the place and the idea comes from the tea shops which started there in the 90’s, after the fall of communism. They were kind of seen as an idea of freedom.”
“Tchai Ovna is not simply just another place to go for an English breakfast and biscuits, like so many other tea venues”
Rarely is it that a tea shop demonstrates having such a key cultural significance. Tchai Ovna is not simply just another place to go for an English breakfast and biscuits, like so many other tea venues.
a place where you can stay out late and socialise without drinking.” The appeal to students is helped by the origins of the owners, themselves having both been students as well. This fact only adds to the genuine nature of the venue, highlighting how natural it all feels and how relaxed everyone can feel.
“I think the difference is, if you look at the tea shops here, it would be an idea for an older generation. Whereas the ones in the Czech Republic were for young people. So it was the youthful element which appealed to us. Obviously there is a tradition of tea shops in Glasgow but we identify more strongly with that kind of Czech tradition.”
“We started when we were both in second year of university. I guess at that time it was more of a hobby. We didn’t really think that it was going to be a big thing – we certainly didn’t think we’d still be here in 14 years. We both took time off for exams and we’ve both studied since – Martin is away at the moment studying jazz saxophone in the Czech Republic and I took a bit of time off when I was doing my masters. So it’s been quite a flexible job. It’s something that I like about it, the fact that we’re able to take time off.”
There are a variety of patrons to Tchai Ovna. A mix of accents circulate the room. However differing they each are, there is a unique sense that they are also very similar, almost united by their desire to be a part of something different. With just a short walk from Glasgow University, it remains a favourite with students. “I would say that we’re broadly appealing to a student market because we’re so near the university and that’s something that we got quite lucky with, because we were actually at university when we started this. So I guess we didn’t put a lot of imagination into where it was located, but that’s been very good for us over the years. A lot of folk from different parts of the world come here.” This sense of togetherness is apparent, with a truly welcoming, genuine atmosphere surrounding the place. It is this environment which has lent to an even greater social significance having developed. “We get the odd non-drinker or recovering alcoholic, which is something that I always really like because in a way that’s a sort of social function – that this can be
The modest charm and personality of Tchai Ovna is what sets it apart from other places. In a world ruled by big business, it is a rare treat these days to see an independently run business doing so well and keeping its values close to heart after so many years. “We did try expanding and having a second shop. But we certainly wouldn’t try and franchise it,” Kenneth says, “I think it’s not the sort of place you would franchise. I couldn’t imagine a warehouse somewhere with lots of little brass elephants that could be shipped out to different branches.” The tea menu is an intriguing read, with teas from around the world and names such as “fairy blood” on offer. For the laymen, it is remarkable that there could even be so many teas out there in the world, of so many different varieties, let alone start to understand how someone could even start to gain such a wide
and impressive knowledge of them. “Over the course of 14 years, there aren’t really that many (types of tea). We have different tea suppliers – we have one in London, one in Germany, a couple in the Czech Republic. So sometimes you just go through their catalogues and read about the different types of teas. But there are drinks that you learn about. One that I’d quite like to get is a Jamaican drink which is pure cocoa solids and cocoa butter, which you can’t get anywhere here. But it would be an amazing thing to get a hold of.” As well as the wide and wonderful selection of teas on offer, the venue also plays host to a number of events each week, regularly drawing good crowds – or at least as many as can fit. “Events have always been a big part of it. Martin plays saxophone so we’ve had a weekly jazz night since we
opened, although now it’s monthly. I write so I’ve always been keen to bring in writers – so we have some readings, plays, story-telling. So we always want to have it as a kind of cultural place. There’s a limit to events because you can get maybe a maximum of 30 people in here as an audience so there’s obviously gigs we can’t take. There are gigs that are too big for us. It doesn’t take very long for someone to get too big to play here.” In many ways, such modesty is a much greater strength than it is a weakness for Tchai Ovna. From such humble student beginnings, it has persevered and established itself amongst Glasgow’s West end. Tucked away down Otago Lane, near to the Glasgow Union, there is nothing brash or loud about it. No matter how many tea rooms that are out there, very few will ever be able to find the same uniqueness, charm and warmth to be found there.
THE FLYING DUCK By Andreea Cocoana
Glasgow offers amazing variety for those who love the nightlife. But for those who like something a little more unique, The Flying Duck club is best known for its unusual spaces and alternative events. Chris Amos, The Flying Duck manager told of all you need to know: “ I would say it's a good place to relax, to go out with your friends. It's a cozy bar in Glasgow City Center, with free WiFi and with a great selection of drinks, vegan food and board games.”
olives and dolmades. Sweet potatoes wedges with lime mayo, spicy bean burger and vanilla ice cream are very popular. We also have a great selection of beers, ciders and spirits and coffee.”
Most of the places in Glasgow have a target audience and people choose to frequent certain places which appeal to them.
The manager explained why you should go out and have fun at the club, “In The Flying Duck we do a lot of different things. Obviously we are a night club, so we need Friday and Saturday nights to organize.
“We have quite a large student base, just because of the location. But we don't necessarily target them specifically. We just go for people with similar interest, similar points of view and with an open mind.” The Flying Duck menu includes a good selection of vegan food, prepared with a lot of creativity. Students are very welcome, they even get a discount for the food they want. Chris Amos, described their menu and gave more details about student’s benefits for choosing to eat at The Flying Duck. “We’re serving delicious vegan food at reasonable price from 12pm-10pm every day. Students have a 10% discount on all the food – and 20% on a Thursday. Our customers can choose spicy bean burger and potato wedges, chili tacos with salsa and guacamole. They can also try chili tacos with humus, pita,
The Duck isn’t just about eating, there’s plenty of room for dancing too. There are plenty of alternatives for having a great night out with your friends. All you need is a good mood and the desire to feel great in your spare time.
We’ve taken a very particular place in Glasgow’s music and club scene – we have pretty much everything and anything here. We’ve created a set of highly successful cult film based nights – Lebowski Fest, May The Fourth, and our Wes Anderson themed night, as well as our own monthly happenings – Houndin’ The Streets, Singles Night and Common People. Last Saturday we organized the Big Vegan Fete and we have also recently hosted a Roald Dahl night.” The Big Vegan Fete saw the Duck filled with hungry vegans and meat eaters alike enjoying the wide range of foods on offer. But not only the food was appreciated, the guests of the party enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and the selection of music as well. Also, the Vegan Fete was a good opportunity of raising money for an organisation fighting for ani-
“We tried to supply something that hasn’t been supplied in Glasgow yet.”
mal rights. “It was a successful event, a lot of people came in and the atmosphere was really enjoyable. We tried to supply something that hasn’t been supplied in Glasgow yet. Our menu is all vegan food and we thought that it would be a good idea to do something specifically based. We organised the event in collaboration with other vegan-type businesses such as Smashing Tarts, The Vegan Kind Monthly Subscription Box, Missy’s Vegan Cupcakes. Other guests to the vegan fete were Tocha’s World, Considerit Chocolate, Tree of Organics and Glasgow University Vegan Society. There was a raffle to raise money for Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue with prizes including a hamper from Green City and tastiest from The Vegan Kind and Smashing Tarts.” Even within the darkened surroundings, The Flying Duck offers a warm welcome to its customers. Chris Amos, explained that he cares about customers and tries to provide interesting alternative events every weekend.
“We are doing something a little bit special at Glue. I am sure there are a lot of people who grew up reading and watching the literary genius of Roald Dahl. Everyone enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach. Well for our next party we will be screening his movies in their full entirety – ranging from Matilda to the Twits to James and the Giant Peach. Our hosts Flying Duck will be split into different areas – with one area of booths featuring a Matilda theme with Miss Honey glasses and Mr. Wormwood moustaches. We’ll have carrots for reenacting the famous scene from the movie and scrolls from the book scattered everywhere as well as some illustrations. One section will be dedicated to James and the Giant Peach, similar to the Matilda shrines. We’ll have peaches scattered everywhere – along with scrolls from the book! It’s going to be glamorous as you rein act your childhood memories of growing up.”
Bullet Beard By Chloe Thompson
The writing’s on the wall for cotroversial street artist Ciaran Mach We were first introduced to Bullet Beard on BBC1 series ‘The Street’, which followed the lives of various people living and working on Sauchiehall Street. He could be seen creating and hanging various art works around Glasgow whilst making sure to remain as conspicuous as possible. Since filming for the show nearly two and a half years ago, Bullet Beard has some rather exciting clients and projects in the pipeline and has created a very promising future for himself.
cause I’m my own boss. Sometimes it’s a struggle to make money but at the end of the day I'm happier hustling and doing something I love.”
Mr. Mach, 29, from Glasgow, initially started as a graffiti artist and naturally progressed into street art. When asked what his street art was about, he said: “I think at the time it was a mix of something that was protest-y or it might have just been as simple as doing a big drawing or painting.”
Importantly, this work came through hard work alone, and is not a product of him being on the show, he explains: “I’ve been getting a lot of work in from clients I’ve already had in the past few years, bearing in mind, the show was filmed over two and a half years ago, so I’ve basically had two and a half years of anonymity where I was getting work off my own back.”
He continues: “A lot of the stuff didn’t have any political context to it. It’s just for fame basically, but it’s really benefitted me.” At the time he was doing street art, his main influences were a New York based due called FAILE whose work blurs the lines between ‘low’ and ‘high’ culture through colorful and alternative street art. Yet he explains now that he is more interested in the works of Andy Warhol and an Israeli based group called Broken Fingaz. When asked why he does what he does, he explained: “I enjoy what I do be-
In the past few years he has gained a pretty amazing client base. As well as having done various work for the University of Stirling and the University of Edinburgh, he and his partner, who run a studio together in Yorkhill, have just been given a number of trackside walls by Network Rail to make their mark on.
He continues: “The work I do for clients is hugely varied, it ranges from simple bar menu paintings to huge interior murals.” He has been getting various jobs doing sign writing as well as working as a designer for a small shop in Glasgow and painting murals. When asked if he considered himself an ‘artist’, he said: “It took me years and years to get my head around that one but I’d say yes. All three jobs together are what pay my bills so
yes, I’d say now I’m an artist.” Since being on the show, Mr. Mach has received conflicting views on him and his work. He explains: “I’ve bumped into a few people and generally they’re pretty friendly about it and I can stop and have a laugh with them.” He then goes on to explain how he didn’t receive the same treatment from people on Twitter: “The night after I had been on TV there was an awful bunch of comments about me.” Instead of hitting back at the negativity, Mr. Mach done something not many people would think to do, he explains: “I made a collage on Photoshop of all the negative comments. It’s quite funny.”
Although he no longer practices street art, he explains how he hopes to get back into it what with 2014 being such an important year for Scotland. He Explains: ”With the Commonwealth Games and the Independence debate coming to Glasgow, I’m thinking of thing to put up for that.” He continues: “It’s obviously a great opportunity to have your work seen by people all over the world. I wont be as committed as I was previously but I’ll be doing it for fun in the next few months.” From his growing client base to his upcoming big plans, it’s clear that Bullet Beard has a very promising future and hopefully, we will be seeing some of his amazing art around Glasgow very soon.
ALT Our team: Lewis Mckenzie Grant Perston Chloe Thompson Megan Mitchell Andrea Cocoana