AUK’s Chain Gang: Billy Bragg, Natalie Merchant, Michael Stipe, Cara Tivey “Hello In There”, Glasgow, 1990

The last Chain Gang showcased 10,000 Maniacs and David Byrne singing a cover version. This week’s Chain Gang also comprises a cover of a well-known americana favourite featuring one of the protagonists in the previous clip chosen by Clint West.

In 1990, Glasgow became one of the first European Cities of Culture. On Sunday 3 June 1990, as part of the celebrations, between a quarter and half a million fans packed out four stages across the city for what was dubbed ‘The Big Day Concert’. At the time, it was the biggest free concert ever to be held in Scotland. Television’s Channel 4 cleared their schedule for six hours to cover the event, which featured sets from, amongst others, The Associates, Big Country, Deacon Blue, Sheena Easton and Wet Wet Wet. Appearing on the Custom House Stage backed by the River Clyde, on what appears to be a fairly chilly summer’s day, was Billy Bragg together with his then keyboard player Cara Tivey. He was joined by REM’s Michael Stipe and 10,000 Maniacs’ Natalie Merchant who performed the John Prine classic ‘Hello In There’.


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Paul Kerr

I was there when they played on the quayside although I couldn’t get close to the stage, instead having to watch it from the suspension bridge alongside. Glasgow was really buzzing that day and it really wasn’t too cold.