JJ Gilmour at Glad Cafe

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AS well as writing his own material, southsider Crawford Smith has shared the stage with top names in rock, blues and folk.

His charismatic appeal has attracted big hitters to the southside, supporting acts such as the inimitable Declan Sonnitt, Irish songwriter and longtime collaborator with fellow Irishman Christy Moore.

A co-founder of the Southside Fringe and the weight behind the weekly Sessions, Smith also headlines as frontman for Howlin’ Radio, who held the stage at the Glad Cafe last night with comedian of the year Larry Dean. This weekend, Smith supports JJ Gilmour at the Glad Cafe.

Crawford said: “I supported JJ Gilmour about a year ago and I’m over the moon to be asked back again. His songwriting skills are internationally recognised, matched with his excellent stage craft, funny banter with the crowd and a star-studded backing band. It’s the perfect storm of a gig.”

Former Silencers frontman JJ — now a southsider himself — harboured ambitions of becoming a footballer. Indeed, his nickname Jinky is after Celtic football legend Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone.

But football’s loss was the music world’s gain and JJ’s last two visits to the Glad Cafe were sellout events.

He told The Extra: “It’s always a pleasure to work with an artiste like Crawford who really works at his game by making sure every page is turned. The venue is great and so is Crawford, and myself and Graeme Duffin will help add our spice to the evening so people won’t go home short-changed.”

Tickets are available from TicketScotland and from Young’s Interesting Books on Skirving Street for the Saturday (Dec 13) gig — 7.30pm start, £12 and for over 18s.