Missy Lorelei writes about one of her favourite venues.
If Oran Mor were a person, it would be Winston Marshall, banjo playing loon from Mumford and Sons; it is that folky- none more folky, indeed.
Situated at the top of Byres Road, it is the most welcoming of venues, a converted Romanesque-Gothic church with a Whisky Bar, Victorian Bar and mini-auditorium, capacity of 500.
The décor is splendid, plush but not oppressively so, featuring inspired artwork and calligraphy by everyone’s favourite eccentric polymath, Alasdair Gray. I have spent hours gazing at his characteristically ethereal murals, and they have rendered me dizzier than the booze.
At almost any given time, you can find a broad melee of students, actors, ordinary peeps, West End poseurs and the simply curious.
Many’s a night that local musicians play traditional instruments (violin, uke, acoustic guitar, accordion) for the sheer love of it—and it is actively encouraged.
Meanwhile, more established artists who have graced the auditorium include Laura Marling, The Kills, Camille O’ Sullivan, Emmy the Great and rising folk star Benjamin Francis Leftwich. After all, Oran Mor is “the great music” in Gaelic.
But the most striking feature of the Oran Mor? The magnificent halo wrapped around the spire, slightly slipped, which glows blue in the dark.
Cheeky, eccentric, and charming: just like young Winston Marshall, in fact.