House Guest fest poster
Credit: House Guest

LIVE: House Guest Fest – Nice N Sleazy/Garage Attic/Variety Bar, Glasgow, 06/04/2024

The inaugural House Guest fest took place in Glasgow across three venues, Garage Attic, Nice N Sleazy and Variety Bar on Saturday 6 April. The three venues were just 30 seconds walk from each other, if that! It was organised by Scottish Music Collective and Crowded Flat, two local organisations who promote artists locally. It’s important to say that in all the doom and gloom that surrounds the current struggles for grassroots venues and artists, House Guest fest sold out ahead of the day itself, such is the talent of both organisers and performers.

The day began at 3pm with Sister Madds downstairs at Nice N Sleazy. The room was already pretty packed and it was obvious from the get go that this was going to be a special day. They were followed by The Noise Club who came on dressed as monks led by a lead singer dressed as a priest! What an energy this clergyman brought to the room and moshing at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon is always a good sign. And then Wine Moms who for this gig-goer were one of the bands of the day. Hilarious setting up banter was followed by their grunge punk garage rock racket with two singers going for it. What a noise.

Next up a trip upstairs to the main bar for Knackered and Static. The former are from Perth and from what I could see kept swopping instruments and singing duties. Everyone was having a good time – in the bar and on stage. Static continued the vibes, both upbeat and with a fizz of energy.

A dash across the road to Garage Attic to see Heavy Weather, the fabulously named Martha May and the Mondays, Milange and San Jose. All four bands brought their own vibe but the one thing they had in common was just how tight their performances were. The team managing the day had the unenviable task of keeping to the schedule. The artists had 30 minute slots with a 15 minute turnaround, but from a gig-goers perspective it all seemed to run like clockwork with no horrendous sound issues or indeed overruns. San Jose are one of the most popular bands locally at the moment and it was a full room by the time they took to the stage. Crowd surfing and general mayhem was the inevitable outcome.

The final part of the day was back downstairs at Nice N Sleazy for Junk Pups, Parliamo and Soapbox. The love in the room for Parliamo was obvious. Its been a quiet couple of years for them, as I suspect like many the pandemic took its toil but to see the room bouncing and singing along was wicked. Soapbox had the foresight to get the members of Scottish Music Collective onstage to thank them for the day. They then closed things out with a wild performance, a raucous way to end a day of live music in some of the venues on Sauchiehall Street.

In total around 30 bands took part in the day across all the stages. Keen to find out more about the background of House Guest fest, and Scottish Music Collective in particular I put some questions to them.

Please introduce the team behind Scottish Music Collective (SMC).  And when did you form?
The SMC is made up of 4: Jack McManus, Mark Carrick, Aidan Bowskill, and head honcho Jamie Thompson. Our first show was on 10 May 2022, but under a different alias “Best End Records“. The SMC as seen today was formed not long after this. 

Why did you create Scottish Music Collective?  And what do you do at the moment?
We all met through a Music Business course in college so our friendship was built on the foundations of music and going to gigs. Creating SMC was a means of putting on gigs with bands that we love, to help push their music forward in Glasgow and to contribute to the scene as a whole. We currently manage two bands, Soapbox and San Jose, whom we have together with the bands themselves established as two of the most prominent acts in the scene, with them both selling out every headline they’ve played to date. Alongside that, we try to organise gigs in Glasgow as regularly as possible.

How did the idea come about to create a festival in Glasgow?  And what was the biggest challenge of the first House Guest fest?
We had been discussing the idea of an all day festival as it was something we all had a passion for, the desire to push our boundaries a little and showcase the many talented individuals that we’d been working with. The idea for Houseguest came as we and Crowded Flat (our big cousins whom we will forever be in the shadow of) started to form a relationship.  The prospect of a collaboration between us was attractive and we thought if we’re to do it, we may as well go all out. We both have different tastes in music and work with different bands of different genres, so us coming together for a festival was a way to combine these two scenes in Glasgow. The largest challenge was the logistics of the day, as it was a much larger event than we’re used to. 

What a great idea to use upstairs and downstairs in Nice N Sleazy.  The Garage Attic and Variety Bar were also used on the day.  How accommodating were the venues when you approached them?
All very accommodating. SMC and Crowded Flat have worked with them all in the past so a good relationship has been built between us, which made organising this festival easier than it could’ve been if this relationship didn’t exist.

But perhaps the most important question, and one I’m sure is too early to answer for you as organisers!  Will this be an annual event?
We can only dream.

Fingers-crossed there is a second edition of House Gest fest in 2025. It’s days like this that shines a light on the next generation putting on gigs and generating a community. In and around Glasgow there is an ever-expanding pool of artists, and the support is there to attend such events as this sold out in advance. Fingers-crossed see you next year.

For more information on Scottish Music Collective please check their facebook and instagram.

For more information on Crowded Flat please check their facebook and instagram.

For more information on San Jose please check their facebook and instagram.

For more information on Soapbox please check their facebook and instagram.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.