Monday, 26 January 2009

The Weimar Republic on the Clyde

Just back from Scotland on the Caledonian Sleeper, which is bit of misnomer. Sometimes you do sleep on the train but sometimes you just lurch your way through the night from Crewe to Euston. Anyway, I had a good time in Glasgow at Film 's Craic, a Gaelic tv mini-festival within Celtic Connections.

The late-night Celtic Connections Club, at its usual venue in the Central Hotel, was a surreal affair this year. The huge station hotel has been taken into administration, effectively it has shut down. But the ceilidh continues upstrairs in the cavernous Logie Baird hall, with some of the best bands at the festival doing a turn on stage to huge, appreciative audiences.

In the packed corridors, that look more than ever like a set from the Shining now that every second light bulb has been removed from the chandeliers, there are informal music sessions, flowing beer stands, arguments, greetings and the usual carousing.

There was no hot water, no heating and outside an economic hurricane was approaching but people were dancing and throwing money over the bar for pints of weak lager as if it were the last days of the Wiemar Republic. It was Bob Fosse's Cabaret meets Ceilidh, on the banks of the Clyde. Divine decadence, darling.

Speaking of decadent behaviour my Celtic cousin in the Press Gallery, Tomos Livingstone of the Western Mail, has spotted that RBS - that is we the taxpayers - have agreed to sponsor the Six Nations Rugby Tournament from the end of this upcoming tournament until 2013. The deal is worth £20 million over the next four years. With RBS some £28 million in red where is the money coming from, asks Tomos?

His blog, 07.25 to Paddington, is always worth a read.

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