Clare Grogan was a waitress at the Spaghetti Factory in the West End – where Stravaigan is now – in 1980 when she was discovered by director Bill Forsyth, who cast her alongside members of the Glasgow Youth Theatre in Gregory’s Girl. Shortly afterwards, her band, Altered Images, signed a record deal for their debut LP, Happy Birthday.
Altered Images went on to tour and release music until 1984 when Clare went solo. She has continued her acting and performing career, adding television presenting and writing a children’s novel, Tallulah and the Teenstars, about a girl who forms a pop band.
Clare remembers some of her favourite Glasgow people and places, a feature from The Best of Glasgow City Guide and Cookbook.
I have travelled the world and although I’m biased, I think Glasgow has an amazing amount to offer. The buildings are spectacular, the arts, music and culture scene is incredibly diverse and inclusive. And the curries are the best.
My daughter Elle asked me when she was little if everyone in Glasgow knew each other – I explained that people in Glasgow are the friendliest people I’ve ever come across. We try to keep that flag waving in London where we live.
My earliest memories here are of growing up in Hill Street and being afraid of the Art School building around the corner. I remember my great aunt Winnie playing the organ at St Aloysius Church and watching films sitting on my mum’s knee at the ABC cinema on Sauchiehall Street.
Our neighbours, the Capaldis, gave me and my sisters Margaret and Kathleen chewing gum – which we were not allowed. I also remember my Dad’s spag bols. And new shoes from Clarks at the start of every school term.
I had my first cappuccino in Cafe Gandolfi – still one of my favourite places to meet and eat.
I also love the Kelvingrove Gallery – my parents took us when we were little and I go every year. It’s particularly amazing if someone is playing the organ.
I love the Centre for Contemporary Arts and I love the Citizens Theatre – where I saw my first naked man!
I can’t leave out the No 59 bus…don’t know if it’s still a thing, but it took me everywhere I needed to go and I had the best laughs at the back of the bus on it.
When I think of Glasgow I think of crossing the Kingston Bridge and looking both ways down the Clyde.
It’s still one of my favourite places to shop and I still love running occasionally to all the corners of Bellahouston Park where I used to run when we moved to the Southside.
I love Glasgow every which way – it’s in every bit of me.