Not having been out in Glasgow for absolutely ages--possibly not since I read at Tchai Ovna west end in 2006, unless you count the Mitchell event Helena Nelson and I did with the Scottish Poetry Library--I really enjoyed heading west to join the audience for the reading at Tchai Ovna southside on Friday night. I met up with AB Jackson and Rob A Mackenzie for a quick drink first. Just as well, because I hadn't clocked it was the Shawlands branch we were going to and would have gone to the wrong place otherwise. Rob had been at the Christian Aid book sale in Edinburgh and come away with a fine haul of books at knock-down, bowl-you-over, irresistible prices, including several doubles of books he already had, which he very generously gave to Andy Jackson and me.
As Rob says, Tchai Ovna southdie is a tottie wee place of a venue. It would be a fantastic place to meet someone for a tea (superb tea, it has to be said), but is was a bit too small for the 14 readers plus musicians and audience. The musicians, Wing and A Prayer, were excellent. The quality of the writing was, well, as you'd expect at an open mic session, variable. Rob and Alexander Hutchison were way the best, to my mind, even if the audience didn't seem to connect with what Rob read. Afterwards, Rob and I joined Sandy Hutchison and Cheryl Follon for a swift drink before we scooted back off to the train in my case and bus in Rob's. Pity we couldn't stay longer, but the last train is the last train. I'm hoping to get back through to Glasgow for a Les Murray reading in June, so it won't be quite as long before I'm back out in the city.