Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Buzzcut: Secondary Comments

Having got the generic yabber out of the way, I descend to discern the atmosphere of Glasgow Buzzcut.

For various reasons, mostly involving nicotine dependency and  stomach disorders, I managed to spend most of the first three days loitering in the bar and the street outside the Old Hairdressers. I am not entirely convinced by its suitability as a multi-event venue: the Mezzanine level is comfortable enough for  Thom Scullion's Playstation Iteration and a library of videos, but the main bar gets pretty hectic between the main performances in the "studio" space (previously the gallery, or the concert hall, depending on who has set up shop upstairs). Then again, I am a miserable sod, and have equally frustrating memories of The National Review of Live Art at The Arches (too many queues) and Arika's Episode 1 at the CCA (after show discussions immediately after the show).

I would probably find equal reasons to complain about The Glue Factory, site of the final day of Buzzcut, but I have decided that it is the best new venue in Scotland: it has that rough around the edges vibe that I imagine Tramway had in the 1990s, and embodies something of Buzzcut's spirit. It's very "let's do the show right here", only with less jazz hands and more crumbling architecture.

What the Hairdressers and Glue Factory share with Buzzcut is the sense of immediacy. The technical crew have to work harder to make things happen - the bar is either too busy or too quiet - people wander in off the street for a drink and end up getting a face-full of Live Art Action - spaces are press-ganged into use. It's from here that the positive atmosphere emerges, and Buzzcut becomes more than a simple selection of shows. It feels awkward, underground, even subversive thanks to the misuse of the venues. Rough, tough, and a cheeky grin: how very Glasgow.

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