Friday 25 October 2013--I meet W for lunch at The Ubiquitous Chip in
Ashton Lane. The Chip, founded in 1971, is a Glasgow institution. Owner Ronnie Clydesdale made its reputation by taking two big risks. The
first was basing his restaurant on Scottish cuisine, at a time when that was regarded as a contradiction in terms. (I assume the name is an
ironic comment on the popular conception of that cuisine.) The second was moving into Ashton Lane, a moribund back alley, in 1976. The Chip
was instrumental in the transformation of the lane into the center of bohemian student café culture. Like many such places--New York's Greenwich
Village and Toronto's Yorkville come to mind--it has lost much of its countercultural edge in the ensuing decades. Still, it remains a
lively and artsy little corner of town.
All that said, The Ubiquitous Chip is just too highfalutin' for my swollen and fuzzy brain this morning. W seems to be similarly afflicted, and we spend most of our lunchtime trying to suppress our giggling. Eventually we escape and go for a walk through the university and Kelvingrove Park. W then goes on her way. I walk a while longer, circling back to my hotel for a rest.
Alan Reid, erstwhile and longtime member of the Battlefield Band, meets me at the corner of Byres and Great Western Roads. I have a ticket to see his former bandmates at Ňran Mór this evening. Alan has another commitment, but has agreed to have a pint with me beforehand. He tells me that the lads are in Tennents, just down Byres Road. He hasn't seen them in a year, and it's a convivial reunion, with handshakes and backslaps and lots of laughter.
The lads deliver their usual high-octane show, although I have to say I miss Alan's songs mixed into the set. The venue itself is disappointing, a basement room with a ceiling so low, Mike Katz can't play the pipes standing up.