On Friday evening I found myself photographing the Tartan Army Hootenanny bar pre-game party, ignoring the pain from my not yet fully recovered dislocated shoulder.
John, on the way to Queen Street railway station, messaged: “There are lots of men in kilts here signing on the streets. Scotland football team must be playing.”
Indeed, there was Scotland vs Russia UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying match played later locally at Hampden Park, and Tartan Army, the team’s loyal fans were out on the streets of Glasgow to celebrate.
As I am always on lookout for an interesting urban life story, I headed for the Hootenanny bar, one of Glasgow’s favourite pre-match pubs. I heard the sounds of bagpiper paying and people singing traditional tartan Army chants.
Well, Scots really know how to party, despite the fact that that Scotland hadn’t qualified for UEFA European Championship since 1996. However, they are forever hopeful!
There was a crowd of Scotland football fans in dark blue, yellow (second team colours) or tartan T-shirts. Some Saltire flags decorated the railings of the Hootenanny beer garden under the giant Billy Connolly mural on the gable.
Most people camped outside the pub with their beer and the area quickly grew into a real Tartan Army Hootenanny bar street party with a great atmosphere. Some fans cheered my camera and later proved a friendly bunch.
I started a conversation with a group of kilt-clad guys. One of them talked to me in Russian. He happened to work in Moscow as a chef for two years!
They showed me the traditional attributes associated with the Scotland team – the Scottish Football Association crest with a rampant lion and eleven thistles on their dark blue shirts, the badges and feather hackle plumes on their Glengarry diced hats and Balmoral Scottish piper bonnets.
If you are a tourist in Glasgow while any home football game is on and want to get a taster of genuine Scottish street culture, a visit to the Hootenanny bar is recommended!