Koxedo review

Last Friday I was standing in a queue beside a plastic marker on the pavement, waiting at a distance for an order of fried chicken from Ox and Finch’s new pop-up Koxedo. It was quiet in this popular part of the West End. A little too quiet, as my predecessor Diner Tec used to say.

Glasgow Times:

The sun was just starting to dip behind the tall tenements on nearby Argyle Street. It was that golden hour where the light seems to bring an extra vibrancy to street scenes. The part of the day when you’d once find an atmosphere of anticipation for shenanigans ahead as folk emerged from offices to meet their friends in familiar corners of bars or restaurants.

For now, an exciting Friday evening is a park bench in Kelvingrove Park, looking out at the towers of the university and the art gallery appearing over the treeline, listening to the new Mogwai record while unpacking a brown paper bag.

Glasgow Times:

The Ka Pao chicken sandwich is buttermilk fried chicken breast coated in sriracha fish sauce caramel, packed into a milk bun with nam prik num and pickled cabbage. It’s a variation on one of the best dishes from Ox and Finch’s Southeast Asian inspired sister restaurant and my recommendation if you are going to place your own Koxedo order. A finely-tuned package of flavours, try to eat slowly to savour at first before inhaling the rest.

Chips were well cooked slices of skin-on potato. They were used to scoop up the whipped Colston Bassett Stilton dip that really made me think about the better things we could have been doing with chips ‘n’ cheese at 2am all these years.

Six By Nico

Speaking of cheese, and new pop-ups, the team behind Six by Nico have taken up residence at 358 Byres Road, formerly the location of Fopp Music Store. The Cheese Club sees Stephen Sweet open a shop that will offer a range of chutneys, crackers, olives, cured meats and a deli counter serving hot and cold snacks. Expect toasted sandwiches and brunch items to takeaway.

Glasgow Times:

The pop-up starts in March with planning permission now granted for the building to become the third Glasgow location for the Six by Nico fine dining concept, which will include a rooftop bar. Chef Nico Simeone says: "Plans to develop and grow Six by Nico, in both physical and virtual markets, will be announced later this year. We've always had big ambitions to grow our portfolio and open new restaurant brands throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. Our journey started in Glasgow's West End, and the community we first served is vital to our organisation's development plans. We hope our customers are as excited as we are about The Cheese Club shop pop-up opening this month and our restaurant plans for the location on Byres Road later this year.”

What's new?

When Friday evenings do have more of a familiar rhythm to them and we start to move into a renewed indoor and outdoor existence, there may be a new roof terrace on Ashton Lane. Plans have been submitted for the building occupied by Vodka Wodka and Ramen Dayo.

Elsewhere, Five March on Elderslie Street have successfully launched their café Morning Glory on Great Western Road. Early hits have included their hot pork roll of porchetta, aioli, tomato chutney and apple slaw. You can also pick up a selection of Freedom Bakery sourdough breads and other treats from local independent suppliers and farms.

Glasgow Times:

Further ahead, Mowgli Street Food, the Indian restaurant chain started by Nisha Katona, have announced they will move into the landmark location of 78 St Vincent Street next year bringing a healthy, spicy zing to the city centre.

I could also mention The Absent Ear cocktail bar speakeasy set to open in the basement of The Amsterdam, Moskito’s planned return to Bath Street or The Gentleman’s Umbrella, a gastropub project due to be unveiled close to Central Station when levels allow.

At the moment, we are at that frustrating point when the silence of empty streets is hard to ignore. Progress has been made but we await a roadmap back to some kind of normality. When the breakthroughs come, be reassured there is a more exciting version of the city ready to go.

Springburn to Screamadelica

When society began to retreat from the pandemic, concerts were cancelled or postponed in a blizzard of doom-laden announcements.  

Musicians had nowhere to play and few places to go. To temper the onset of boredom, muster up some creativity and rescue their income streams, we’ve seen lockdown collaborations, online concerts, hastily assembled new records and bands delving into their back catalogue.

Bobby Gillespie didn’t want to work on another album. Instead, he spent most of last year writing a memoir of his early life, taking him from Springburn to Screamadelica.

The book, Tenement Kid, will be published by White Rabbit on 28 October.

Divided into four parts, it starts in a tenement building in Springburn where Bobby lived for the first ten years of his life before moving to Mount Florida where he met Alan McGee, who would later sign Primal Scream to his Creation Records label.

The memoir covers Gillespie leaving school at 16 to work as a printers’ apprentice, discovering music, the formation of Primal Scream in 1982 and his part in East Kilbride alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain.

The book reaches a crescendo as Andrew Weatherall meets Bobby in an East Sussex field, leading up to a defining collaboration on the Screamadelica album and the tour that followed.

In a statement, the singer said: “The publisher Lee Brackstone has been hassling me for years to write a book. I always rebuffed him with some excuse or the other. At the beginning of 2020, I wanted to challenge myself creatively and do something I had never done before. I didn’t want to write another rock record, I’d done plenty of those, so I decided to write a memoir of my early life and worked on it all through the summer, Autumn and Winter of 2020 and here it is. It is titled Tenement Kid as I spent the first ten years of my life living in one. I am very proud of it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.”