Stand Up! The Tin Forest Govan
The rain didn’t stop the people of Govan coming together at Elder Park on Saturday 7 June for Stand Up! (The Tin Forest Govan).
In 1885, Isabella Elder gifted the park and its iron bandstand to the people of Govan for their use and enjoyment, on the condition that ‘good’ musicians played upon it twice a week from May to September. Sixty or so years later, the war effort demanded that bandstands and railings be melted down for munitions – but the iron was no good and the bandstands were dumped into the sea.
Spearheaded by Maria Leahy and the Friends of Elder Park, the idea of rebuilding a bandstand was set into motion with the help of The Tin Forest Govan.
Local musicians, speakers, artists and young theatre performers were invited to Raise the Bandstand from the history books and reinstate it in the present day.
The rain was pouring but it didn’t dampen spirits. Aly Macrae warmed the audience with an alternative rendition of the Prince classic Purple Rain and soon had the crowd belting ’Govan Rain’.
Frances Thorburn took to the stage with Primary Sixes and Sevens and banished the last of the rain with a version of I’m singing in the rain.
Other musical entertainment came from Brass Aye!, a street brass band who got everyone dancing as they delivered a mix of funk, soul and ska.
The Modests, a four piece rock band shook things up before an ‘Aly Macrae and Annie Grace shaped intervention’ initiated an impromptu ceilidh. Not a soul in Elder Park was spared from Strip the Willow.
The Friday Night Posse took to the stage, offering an impressive flip-side to traditional Scottish folk with a selection of hard style dance tunes.
Singer songwriter Becci Wallace performed a delightful set, whilst Scottish rapper, Loki, provided some provocative words for the audience to chew on.
Several speakers stood on soapboxes to talk about what the ‘Thing is about Govan.’ The first, Liz Anderson, has lived in Govan for 24 years. Interweaved with bursts of Abba classics, she narrated her own life living in the area, maintaining that the people she has met in the community are the ones she cherishes the most.
Next up was Annie Adair (12) and Anastacia MacDonald (13) shedding light on the scary, albeit exciting reality of entering the first year of secondary school together.
A warming and dignified speech came from Robert Fullerton. Robert moved to Govan when he was two years old and has lived there for 53 years. He is a welder by trade and worked for the shipyards for many years until he had an accident and injured his spine in 1989. Since then he has concentrated on looking after his two children and working for various community groups around Govan.
Tam McGarvey closed the speeches by providing an explanation of the origins of the wooden panels decorating the bandstand.
Lu Kemp, The Tin Forest Govan lead artist said:
We tried to embed ourselves constructively within the community, to work in partnership with existing organisations and to support ideas and desires already present within a community that is as rich and diverse as Govan. We wanted to represent this diversity and at its best it mixes the political with the surreal and a ceilidh with techno. The beauty is in contrasting ideas finding a place together.