Glasgow’s Merchant City Festival – Soul Casino

by Katie on August 12, 2013

glasgowjuly2013 137A couple of weeks ago I attended Glasgow’s Vintage Festival which seemed to be hot on partying if a little astray on the vintage. Yes, there was a vintage street market but the stalls seemed more bric-a-brac is style with only a few stalls selling vintage garms – much of which was ‘70s & ‘80s related and hell, lots of what was being worn I didn’t choose to wear first time around. My dreams of ‘30s bias dress finds were rocked on the spot. And that’s a shame as Glasgow does have some excellent vintage dealers even if my old haunts are now defunct and I’ve had to source in the student stores of the West End’s Byres Road.


image (1)The past couple of years, the vintage element has been added (by Wayne Hemmingway Design et al) to give Glasgow’s Merchant City Festival another dimension. And largely, in terms of social events, its been a good addition. The Merchant City Festival is held in the middle of Glasgow’s Merchant City area with food stalls, street entertainment and lots of music and dancing. Celebrating its 12th year, the Merchant City Festival is one of Glasgow’s biggest cultural events and renowned for its programme of street theatre, visual arts, design, film, dance, music, comedy, theatre and food & drink. I await to see if next year’s is even bigger and better with Glasgow staging the Commonwealth Games.

vivthespivwithmeThe themed party element was by far the strongest and most successful element of the Merchant City Festival though it could have been even better with more people attending dressing authentically. ‘The Charleston Brunch’ had cocktails, cabaret and dance teachers while the ‘Let It Rock’ party had ‘50s Rock & Roll and Rockabilly. I missed the Torch Club and would have loved to attended and caught up with my old mate, Viv-the-Spiv (pictured with me above at the last Chap Ball).

glasgowjuly2013 140glasgowjuly2013 121glasgowjuly2013-143_thumb.jpgAs it was, I attended the brilliant Soul Casino. The Old Fruitmarket (a massive venue) was rocking to ‘60s Northern Soul & Motown while upstairs, the ‘other DJ’ as he was referred to, was none other than Wayne Hemmingway playing his favourite classic Northern Soul. The upstairs crowd were a little reticent to dance until yours truly slid on the dance floor and let it rip. Heading back to the massive Fruitmarket dance floor, my friend and I stopped on the upstairs balcony that surrounds the dance floor to gaze at hundreds of people Northern Soul dancing with jelly legs and quick moves. Not to be forgotten.

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glasgowjuly2013 146Soul Casino was a trip out of the ordinary with its frenetic dance styles, its unbelievable energy and the sweat & grins that most people were sporting towards the end of the night. Would I go again? Darn’ tootin’.

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