Media Release: Chemikal Underground’s ambitious ‘East End Social’ project launches


THE East End Social, an unique event which is part music, part community-engagement project and an official Culture 2014 event – as part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme - has launched its programme and website today (Monday 10th March 2014).

The East End Social will strive to bring music to locations and venues throughout the east of Glasgow, from tea dances and beat-box workshops to major outdoor concerts and intimate café performances. Libraries, care homes, primary schools, cinemas, parks and community centres will all feature in the programme, taking in areas like Calton, Bridgeton, Easterhouse, Dennistoun, Dalmarnock, Shettleston, Oatlands and Rutherglen.

Music programme:

  • The Scottish debut of King Ayisoba on 10th April at Platform in Easterhouse.
    King Ayisoba is a Ghanaian pop trailblazer who performs traditional street-folk on the kologo (a rhythmic, melodic, two-stringed lute), fired-up by 21st century influences, and variously sung in Frafra, Twi and English. Support is from Zea – the berserk alter-ego of The Ex vocalist Arnold de Boer. The kamikaze Dutchman’s hi-octane wig outs veer across break-pop, avant-garde, guitar-mangling, rapid-fire electronica and ear-splitting chorales and Sacred Paws – a tropical, harmonic art-pop duo signed to Mogwai‘s Rock Action label. (Tickets £7.50)
  • The East End Social Tea Dance.  The East End Social will bring the Big Band sound back to the east end’s iconic Barrowland Ballroom for a spectacular weekend of tea dances on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th May. Led by 16 piece, Glasgow Swing Band, That Swing Sensation, there will be dance instructors, tea, cakes, a few drops of the hard stuff, guest vocalists and enough quicksteps, foxtrots and waltzes to satisfy hipsters and the hip-replaced alike. (Tickets £10)
  • The Duke Street Expo 2014.  The East End Social alights in Duke Street on May 31st to be greeted by the open doors of the library, cafés, churches, charity shops, restaurants, art gallery and pubs of this vibrant half mile stretch of Dennistoun between Bellgrove and Duke Street train stations.  An all-day cultural Expo of pop-up performances, DJ sets, concerts, choirs and pub quizzes has been declared with music, food, community and carousing top of the agenda.  The line up for this event is still being confirmed and will be announced in due course.
  • The East End Social and The Creeping Bent Organisation are proud to present The Nectarine No 9 performing their seminal 1995 album,Saint Jack’Davey Henderson (Win, The Fire Engines) reconvenes the band to perform their deliriously dark, rollicking masterpiece in Rutherglen Town Hall on 7th June.  Support comes from wonderful Glasgow-based art-pop prospects Casual Sex.  (Tickets £12)
  • Mungo’s Hi Fi bring their full Soundsystem to Alexandra Park’s Gala Day on 21st June. Joining the Mungo’s crew will be reggae legend Tippa Irie and British dancehall artist YT with more to be confirmed. Mungo’s Hi Fi champion the evolution of reggae, dub and dancehall music and are committed to the re-invigoration of soundsystem culture. They have developed formidable live shows, collaborating with foundation legends like: Ranking Joe, Sugar Minott and Sister Nancy.
  • Neu! Reekie! Kevin Williamson and Michael Pederson’s fast-paced fusion of spoken word, animation and music saddles up with The East End Social for an extravaganza at Platform in Easterhouse on July 19th. Now one of the UK’s biggest mixed arts night they’ve birthed a DIY record label and publishing house; with the live events spiraling out into live art; absurdist raffles and light shows. The full line-up for their East End Social spectacular will be announced shortly. (Tickets £15)
  • Penman’s Jazzmen, one of Scotland’s foremost traditional jazz bands, bring their brand of vintage New Orleans jazz to The Bowler’s Bar in Bridgeton on the afternoon of Sunday 20th July and the evening of Fri 25th July, just as the city gets into full swing for the Commonwealth Games. The band can be found raising the roof of King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut every Saturday afternoon. (Tickets £5)
  • RM Hubbert steps up to The East End Social plate with an intimate performance at Rutherglen Town Hall. Last year’s SAY Award winner will be playing material from his extraordinary ‘Ampersand Trilogy’ of albums (‘First & Last‘, ‘Thirteen Lost & Found‘ – the album that earned him his gong – and ‘Breaks & Bone‘), in what promises to be another captivating performance from one of Scotland’s most prodigiously engaging talents. (Tickets £12)

There’s much more music to announce over the coming weeks with some significant names still to enter the fray. There will certainly be more concerts in Bridgeton’s Bowler’s Bar following the blast of the ‘secret’ gig on March 1st which featured PAWS, Conquering Animal Sound and RM Hubbert. The avuncular BBC Scotland DJ, Vic Galloway, will be en point in that regard, hosting a series of dates featuring the best of emerging Scottish talent.

Community programme

Running in parallel with The East End Social’s music programme will be a number of workshops and community-focused initiatives, improving access to music in areas of the east end that have perhaps been poorly served in the past. Music is unique in its ability to bring communities together and The East End Social simply offers those communities a welcoming, inclusive ‘club without walls’ to which they can rightly belong, enjoying – and participating in – concerts, workshops and music events of every description.

Local tea dances

A series of monthly shindigs in the Calton Heritage & Learning Centre and Bridgeton Community Learning Centre from April – August, featuring music from the Jim Cleland Trio. With accordion, keyboard and bass, the trio will be offering up Foxtrots, Reels, Gay Gordons, Waltzes and the odd Dashing White Sergeant for the fleet of foot.

Music workshops

The East End Social has enlisted the talents of Glaswegian beatboxer Bigg Taj and DJ/Musician Alan Bryden to deliver immersive, entertaining music workshops for youth groups in Bridgeton. The first run of workshops has been based in Church House, a youth drop-in centre in Bridgeton’s Boden Street with plans to extend out to Shettleston and south of the river to Oatlands.

Music therapy at Carmichael House

In partnership with Playlist For Life, The East End Social will be working alongside the staff of Bridgeton care home Carmichael House, delivering music groups and reminiscence therapy. Musicians, Howie Reeve and Rory Haye, with the support and assistance of Playlist for Life trustee and nurse Andy Lowndes, will also work with residents and their families to create personal music playlists in support of the Playlist for Life initiative.

An East End Social talk event will be held in the Apple Store, Buchanan Street, on Sunday, March 30th at 4pm entitled ‘Making an Impact on Dementia with Music’ with Sally Magnusson and Andy Lowndes from Playlist For Life and Stewart Henderson from Chemikal Underground/The East End Social.


The East End Social has also forged links with local schools, delivering samba classes and – thanks to the inspired instruction of Joy Dunlop – Gaelic singing and Puirt a Beul workshops in Dalmarnock Primary. Musical instruments have been procured for St. Anne’s Primary and logistical assistance offered in the recording of a wonderfully exciting Commonwealth Song they’ve produced as part of the St Mungo’s Learning Community.

Commenting on the programme, Stewart Henderson, The East End Social, said:

“We’re delighted with how the programme’s starting to come together: there’s a really strong, eclectic mix of music and community events – something for everyone basically – and a lot of the programme will be free or available through concession tickets. There’s a lot more still to be announced of course, but the support and enthusiasm we’ve seen for this project already has been extraordinary.

Bringing all of this activity to the east end means a lot to us personally and we just hope The East End Social can be seen as a landmark project, capable of transforming the east end’s engagement with the arts while opening Glasgow’s eyes to what is an extraordinary, vital part of this city.

“We’d like to thank everyone connected with the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, our partners at Clyde Gateway and a host of other individuals and organisations throughout the east end for making The East End Social a reality.”

For more information on the events listed above and to buy tickets:

For further media information and images, contact: 

Lisa Watt, LWPR on 07903 206615 email:

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Contact: Lisa Watt
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