Twenty-one comments

Uisge Beatha Session

Mixed tunes/singers session.

Led by Phil. Participants get a drink ticket. Although the distribution of said tickets can break down a wee bit towards the end of the night.

Starts at the ungodly hour of 6pm - or around then - I have never been there at that time, and goes on until midnight.

Clientele is nice, although they can be noisy, and also very smoky. A studenty bar.

Also Thursday: less inging & more tunes

Same venue, but at other end of pub, every Thursday from about 8:30pm until closing, really gets going at about 9:30pm. Can get very busy.

Usually only 1 or 2 songs unless a lot of singers happen to be in on any given night. Friendly session, be sure and start your sets if you pop in for a visit.

Er, that’s less "singing"…

…’though, come to think of it, I’ve never noticed a lot of "inging" either

Thursday session cancelled

The Thursday session has been cancelled and is unlikely to start up again in the near future.

I was away from Glasgow when this happened, so don’t know any of the ins and outs. But the Thursday Uisge session is no more.

- Chris

By invitation only

It is with great sadness that I have to report that if you think you will pop into the Uisge Beatha pub on Woodlands Road, Glasgow for a session then youre out of luck.
Some individuals have proclaimed themselves keepers of the session on a thursday night and the rest of us are excess to requirements.Not invited.Nothing to do with your ability, just not in the clique.
I have considered these people friends and fellow musicians
for years and to be told not to play is a real pisser.I could have
sat and listened had I wanted.How good would that be.
Well they can take THEIR session ,and stick it.
Aye right up.

Re: By invitation only

I’m not against "closed sessions" as such. Sometimes, this is necessary because of space etc. However, to declare a formerly "open session" as a closed affair sounds very arrogant and elitist to me.
Unfortunately, I do not know this pub. Is it possible that the session regulars have been put under pressure by the management to limit the numbers?

Re: By invitation only

Check it out with the manager first but how about arriving early with a few friends and getting the session started before the clique arrives?. You can’t very well be chucked out of a session once it’s going.

Re: By invitation only

This is the session I eluded to on another thread.

The Uisge session was cancelled abruptly about 3-4 months back without explanation. I was on holiday when it happened, calling the pub managment on returning it was a mutual agreement with the session organisers, and they didn’t currently want a thursday session.

Just over a month ago the old session organiser started a night up again by invitation only, most of the previous regulars did not recieve invites. I get the impression that the plan all along was to cancel for a few months and then start back with invitees only.

As it turns out this hasn’t been a problem for many of the regulars as one of the guys made other arrangements around the same time as the new Uisge "session"* ( unknown to us) started up. Thus far the nights in the new venue have been very enjoyable. Far less "politics" and "personalities", more fun. To be frank I think the music has been as least as good as all but the very best nights in the uisge of old.

So looks like we’re all happy. The Uisge crowd have their closed music circle and the rest of us have the new session.

Feel free to email me for deatils of the new session Bill (athough if you’re the same Bill I’m thinking of then you already know).

* I’m not being malicious by putting "session" in quotes here. This regular night is advertised in the Glasgow gig guide as regular and free, but clearly not as a session.
- Chris

Re: By invitation only

I have seen this happen before.

Who are these session police that put their own needs/egos before others? They should named and shamed? Or suffered the musical equivalent of being "hung drawn and quartered"!

Aren’t people perfectly entitled to have a closed session ?

Posted by .

Yes BegF. However, I think the ill feeling arises because this used to be an open session. As I say, there may have been management pressure or it could be the musicians own choice.
Perhaps, this could be clarified.

Uisge Beatha - By Invitation Only

I thnk it might be helpful to point to casual readers, that this discussion appears to relate to THURSDAY evening sessions and NOT SUNDAY EVENING SESSIONS in the lower room of the pub. (please excuse the capitals, I am only shouting a little bit…).

The only message prior to this in this stream which is relevant to Sunday appears to be the one by Scabby Douglas at the top, dated April 2004.

Maybe it is time for an update on the SUNDAY session.
I have been a regular at the Sunday session for more than 3 years now, and while it can appear a little intimidating to newcomers at times, this is only because it is so successful! It generally has the best session audience I have ever encountered, most come in to appreciate the music, and only occasionally is there a problem with too much talking.

Newcomers are being invited to take part almost every week. As with any session like this, some come back again (and again, and again, sad souls) and some move on to other pastures, or appear only occasionally.

The session starte quietly at about 6pm with a few performers and usually only a few customers. As it picks up gradually , more musicians and more listeners come in and soon after 8pm the room is usually full to capacity. After 8pm, would be performers just arriving, often have to sit for a while until a seat becomes available.

Occasionally, performers may find that they have not ‘caught’ the MC’s eye for a while, but if they do, they will soon get an invitation to do a number.

Here endeth the advert. The Sunday evening session is one where musicians play for the music, and the audience. Long may it continue!

yup, most of the later comments were about Thursday nights.

They were not originally submitted to "session comments", but rather to a thread on the "discussions" forum, from where they were removed to here. This partly explains any resulting confusion (i hope🙂)

- chris

Just moved in round the corner from the Uisge Beatha (how do you pronounce that anyway) and been to a couple of the Sunday sessions which were exactly as described above. The music ranged from Irish session tunes to R&B, traditional folk songs to new compositions. Had a great time and I plan on going back regularly. Haven’t tried a Thursday yet, but maybe tonight I’ll give it a go and see what’s happening.

Went to the Thursday night session here last night. There were five of us and the emphasis was on playing Irish session tunes. I can see why this is different from the Sunday session since then there is all kinds of music and song, not just tunes. Certainly seemed very welcoming to let me join in and play. Maybe the negative feeling came from just trying to change from a general folk night to a session format.

Uisge Beatha

Hello I came across this thread today and feel it deserves a response.The last post was in feb so my apologies for ressurecting old wounds..
The old session (which I hosted) was alas a victim of its own success.
The session was held in a room approx 3m x 3m (if that) and it attracted at times up to 24 musicians and they were still trying to get in.The bar has residents living in flats above and is not soundproofed.The instruments could be at time individually very loud (drums and bagpipes )which would cut through a football crowd.The trouble was manyfold and was brewing over a period of time.
The management were getting complaints from the residents about the noise.The session was meant to finish at 11.30pm sharp but there was ALWAYS those who couldn’t care less and carried on regardless of me asking them to stop.The bar staff getting more and more frustrated with musicians who couldn’t or wouldn’t stop until chucking out time.I had to leave at 11.30 to get home and as soon as I was out the door the "musicians" by now the drunk ones ,would start up again and I would get a row from the management the following week.I was also asked to stay until 12 in order to make sure there was no more music.I did not get paid a penny for this nor do I drink ,so I was getting quite fed up with all of this..
Then there was drink not purchased on the premises being smuggled into the bar which the bar staff noticed.The cans of beer just being left underneath the table.All in all it became unmanageable.The session had to stop.End of…that was in July 2005.
I made it very clear at the last session why it was finishing and I expected word to be passed by ye to each other to those who were not there,but,as expected,the rumour factory went into full gear and ye end up bitching about your own shortcomings (well some of ye)..seems like a no win situation doesn’t it!!
In September I approached the management with a view to getting the music going again and they agreed but limited the amount of musicians to 5 because of the trouble before with certain"musicians" and residents..At no time was it advertised or alluded to as" by invitation only" nor was it an open or closed session.It wasn’t even a session.Myself and 4 other members of a band I play with agreed to play gigs there every week and it is advertised as such in the Gig guide and that is how it has been.We have had the odd visitor and if it has been quite they were welcome to play a tune.I made it very clear to anyone who just turned up expecting to play that it wasnae a session.At times this was not easy to do especially when I knew the people but to be fair it had to be applied across the board to everyone.I get a bit fed up when after having explained this the same people turn up the next week and begin to play as though I hadn’t said anything at all to them.That I think is symptomatic of what has been going on.
I can quite understand the feelings of some of ye but emotionality never came into the decision to stop what was clearly becoming an abuse of the pub and to restart in an entirely different,and I might add ,in the only acceptable format, to the management of the Pub.
It is nothing to do with session police /purity of music or any of the other terms that have been bandied about and I am glad that ye have found the Spirit Bar in Glasgow on a thursday might do well to ponder that I went and saw the manager when it recently changed hands and suggested traditional music nights which Jim and I started on a Sunday night.They liked it and agreed to have other nights made available..thus enabling all of ye to gather there on a thursday when ye approached the manager… so enjoy
Slán Go Foill


I looked in here last Sunday. What I saw was one musician - maybe Liam above - playing uilleann pipes, accompanied by 2 guitars, one mandolin, one bouzouki, a bodhran and a shakey egg. It was more a "singaround" where everybody took a turn, one set of tunes for 5 or 6 songs.
The audience were very attentive, and seemed to be enjoying the music.

Posted by .


Danny here, just to say thanks very much and hello to the players who put up with me when I rolled in for about an hour last Thursday.
I borrowed a whistle from a chap who was foremost a mandolin player, and, after his - as I felt - understandable initial very slight reticence (or maybe that was just my paranoia), I managed to blow out a couple of tunes.
I normally come into sessions appropriately "tooled up" with flute whistle and box as my monicker suggests, so apologies for me wandering like a stray cat. The truth is, I had only intended to come up to Glasgow to visit my ageing parents for the preceding weekend, and come back down on the Monday, hence I didn’t bring any instruments. However my dad died on the Monday morning so I had to stay on to help with the funeral arrangements. Coming out to play a couple of tunes on Thursday was a real escape and catharsis for me so it is with real genuine thanks that I offer this post. Thanks so much guys, for your genuine warmth and yet you had no idea what I had been through!

Re: Dram

The pub name has been changed to the Dram and it now operates between 8 and 12 on a Sunday.

Re: Dram

This is really a singaround now (with the odd tune) and should be advertised as such.

But it got me rereading the Dram thread of thesession, which is more entertaining than most TV.

Dram 2020 Sunday session

Now with Paddy at the helm balancing the tunes and songs. Everyone is made welcome to join in or to sing a song or play a tune.

Dram remains one of my favourite Glasgow sessions. No two nights are the same. You get a mixture of styles, instruments and cultures.

There’s a wide range of music played including, folk, bluegrass, Scottish and Irish traditional songs and tunes.