‘TUT’S HAS EVERYTHING A LIVE VENUE NEEDS’ Hitlist THE BEST ROCK, POP, JAZZ & FOLK*
✽✽ NME Awards Tour Surf-pop, indie scuzz and wistful rock share a bill when The Big Pink, The Maccabees (above), Bombay Bicycle Club and The Drums all roll into town on the shiny Shockwaves NME tour bus. See preview, page 62. Barrowland, Glasgow, Fri 5 Feb. (Rock & Pop) ✽✽ Hot Chip Their new album’s a banger (more sentimental, yes, but still very good to dance to) and the support for these gigs looks magic too: Casiokids and Greco-Roman’s one man electronic troubadour, Rob Smoughton, aka Grosvenor. O2 Academy, Glasgow, Fri 12 Feb; Picture House, Edinburgh, Sat 13 Feb. (Rock & Pop) ✽✽ Divorce Escape the candles and lovehearts brigade, if that’s the mood you’re in. Divorce are the Optimo-signed noisy metallers who deserve the hype, but probably won’t be doing much stuff you can slow dance to. Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sun 14 Feb. (Rock & Pop) ✽✽ King Tut’s 20th birthday See preview, left. King Tut’s, Glasgow, various dates, February (Rock & Pop) ✽✽ Spoon and White Rabbits Austin’s indie-rockers Spoon are supported here by New York’s White Rabbits, whose itchy punk album It’s Frightening was produced by Britt Daniel from Spoon. The comparisons with The Specials aren’t far off the mark either. King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sun 14 Feb. (Rock & Pop) ✽✽ Fife Jazz Festival Scotland’s first lady of jazz, Carol Kidd; the clarinet virtuoso Acker Bilk; and Billie Holiday-inspired chanteuse Niki King (see page 18) are just some of the highlights of this Kingdom-based weekend of jazz gigs. Various venues, Fife, Thu 4–Sun 7 Feb. (Jazz) 4–18 Feb 2010 THE LIST 61
King of clubs
This month marks the 20th birthday of one of Glasgow’s most legendary music venues. David Pollock looks back at two decades of gigs definitely not to be tutted at
I f there’s one thing that probably every music fan around the nation knows about Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, it’s that Creation Records’ boss Alan McGee (a Glaswegian himself) first saw Oasis play live there in 1993 and decided to sign them before their set had even finished. And so Tut’s, twenty years old this month, claimed a pretty sizeable footnote in British rock history all to itself.
‘It’s not a bad landmark to be recognised for,’ says DF Concerts’ Dave McGeachan, ‘18 Wheeler – a Creation band – were headlining that night, and Oasis drove up from Manchester and asked to be on the bill. It’s not the last time Alan McGee helped out a band he saw at Tut’s. Three years ago he brought Carl Barat [The Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things] up from London to see Glasvegas play their last Tut’s headline show. Carl was blown away, and helped them out a lot with their career.’
Of all those involved in King Tut’s over the years, McGeachan has perhaps built up the closest association. As a young promoter in his native Gourock in the early 90s he would regularly travel to Tut’s, later becoming the venue’s manager and promoter, before graduating onto handling [Tut’s owner] DF’s wider operation around the country. However, he still books most of the venue’s shows. ‘Tut’s used to be called Saints & Sinners,’ says McGeachan, ‘until it was taken over and renamed by DF founder Stuart Clumpas, who had spotted a gap in the market for a 300-capacity venue in Glasgow. I didn’t realise at the time, but some of my very first gigs at Tut’s were also some of its first ever. I saw
bands like Slowdive, Pale Saints and The Charlatans in the first few weeks it was open, then the Manic Street Preachers in March ‘91, and Blur about the same time. Radiohead, too.’ Although McGeachan speaks proudly of then unknown bands like Coldplay and Kasabian doing support dates during his tenure, he also points out the number of established, big name bands who have played intimate sets over the last few years, including Primal Scream, Razorlight, Bloc Party, Texas and The Stone Roses’ John Squire. Among the year-long celebrations for this anniversary will be many more intimate sets, from acts more used to packing stadiums than broom cupboards, including gigs by Manic Street Preachers and Paolo Nutini this fortnight.
‘I remember somebody once telling me they thought Tut’s had everything a live venue needs,’ says McGeachan. ‘You can get a bite to eat downstairs before, the gig space upstairs is really intimate, there aren’t massive queues at the bar at the side. I like to think the place’s reputation isn’t just based on fans enjoying what we do and telling all their friends, but on bands telling other bands how much they love it too.’
Manic Street Preachers, Paolo Nutini, Enter Shikari, Brett Anderson and more play intimate gigs at King Tut’s, Glasgow, this fortnight. See listings for full details. See page 67 for details on how to win free tickets for King Tut’s birthday gigs.