Extra Comment: a song and dance about Glasgow 2014

Festival 2014 event Perch; showing off Glasgow?
Festival 2014 event Perch; showing off Glasgow?

Glasgow’s unfaltering pride and — dare I say — defensiveness has its pros and cons.

It’s not that we’re strutting around proud of ourselves — if anything, we’re a self-effacing bunch, and never quite willing to shout out about our own achievements.

But there’s more than a touch of sentimentality about the place which ensures that

Unfortunately, as our east coast counterparts are quick to point out, it also means that we’ll defend everything Glasgow stands for — perhaps even the less flattering parts.

Reputation for violence? Shameful poverty? Politicians quick to pave over history in favour of bland office blocks or noisy motorways? There are a few black marks on our city’s good name, and not all of them unfounded.

We’re told that the Commonwealth Games is another example of Glasgow’s regeneration into a city of culture and sport — a sign of great things to come, if we can just prove ourselves on the world stage.

To an extent, I’d say that Glasgow 2014 is succeeding. At a time when Scotland is on the map for more than one reason, the dear, green place is shining bright in the spotlight.

Still, it’s hard not to think that the legacy of the Commonwealth Games is focused on what Glasgow means to the outside world — and not what it means to its residents, or indeed what they mean to it.

As a southside reporter, I’ve written countless stories on the plight of those living near Games venues, and the lack of information rolled out by organisers.

As a resident living near one of those venues, I’ve received even less info — and spent countless minutes on the phone to a no-doubt weary volunteer (probably cursing me for adding to the list of complaints).

There’s a buzz about the city, and many were delighted to welcome the Baton Relay and the opening of the Games (John Barrowman’s singing aside) — not to mention those gorgeous Scottie dogs leading in each nation — but with road closures, restrictions to leisure facilities and a lack of information for those of us affected by it, I can’t help but wonder what the Games are doing for Glasgow.

Being more of an arts enthusiast than a sports fanatic, I caught my first glimpse of excitement on Sunday at aFestival 2014 production.

We know that if someone is asking, Glasgow is dancing — and with all eyes on the city, an event like

Let’s hope that, everyday hindrances aside, Glasgow 2014 does the same.