Getting around: Barrowlands

So now writing the book isn’t all sitting on front of my keyboard. The other day I went on location to Glasgow to check out Barrowlands, where Tommy and Davie Mitchell go to the Iggy Pop gig. Tommy has his crazed epiphany as The Man looks straight at him and sings ‘Scatlin takes drugs in psychic defence.’ It’s scruffy round there, always was, that’s part of its charm. Complete with its retro frontage of neon lights, Barrowlands is widely reckoned to be the best small gig venue in Britain, greatly preferred among its aficionados to the much larger and sanitised Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. And the neighbourhood looks sad, with lots of vacant sites. Even the Saracen Head only opens on Friday and Saturday nights now – and presumably on gig nights as well. But it’s great to see the Irish presence is still vibrant and explicit, with more than one Tricolor flag flying high.