Glasgow is a congested city when it comes to evenings out and live music, and finding a place for a new event amongst the swarm of ‘best new nights’ and ‘exciting new ideas’ is something that is to be commended, but to curate probably the two most talked about gig/club nights in town? Well that takes a lot of doing.
Meet Aileen and Hannah the ladies behind Milk and LAID, which will probably be your best nights out this month, or any month for that matter.
Not many events have captured the attention of the Glasgow gig-going public this ardently, but there was one in particular that influenced Milk and LAID. Hannah mentioned, “When we started out we loved what the Detour boys were doing with their live shows and we really wanted to come up with something as good as that, but run by gurrrls”.
They have managed to capture a spirit of welcoming debauchery not seen since Detour and much of that is down to Aileen and Hannah’s approach to being gig hosts – they don’t just take your money off you at the door, they’re there to have a good time too.
Aileen noted, “I think we just like a good party! We like getting everyone involved which is why we kick about with cameras and then transfer all the drunken mug shots onto our visuals for the next show. Flat 0/1, the venue for MILK, has had a huge part to play in the success of the night – the atmosphere in there really is just like being round at your pals with sickeningly cheap booze and a tatty sofa.”
Add this friendly approach to the marketing campaigns that have given Milk and LAID distinctive identities and you have a recipe for success.
The concepts have a wonderfully playful theme to them, but there is a smart business premise there too. “We’ve made A LOT of MILK cartons since we launched back in May 2011”, said Aileen, before explaining, “These go out all over Glasgow in bars. For LAID we put sweets in plastic eggs in egg boxes and they go out too. We feel that there’s is so much competition in Glasgow you have to give a little something extra. Sweets always work, just ask the kiddie stealers.”
Milk and LAID are now instantly recognisable from their milk and egg carton campaigns, but the thing which really sets these events apart is the top level music. Aileen and Hannah have already hosted the likes of Discopolis, Trapped In Kansas, Friends In America, LightGuides, The Dirty Beggars and Washington Irving to name a few, and there has not been a let up in quality on a single bill.
To consistently attract such relevant and exciting talent is impressive, but how do they choose their bands?
“If I fancy them, they’re in!”, joked Hannah, before adding, “We listen to a lot and try to come up with combinations that will get people excited.”
Aileen expanded on this, and explained that the same desire to have a good time themselves influences the band choices. “It’s probably a mix of snooping about to see who everyone is talking about and booking bands we both love and want to jump about to. I get so frustrated when I discover a band and very few people have heard of them. MILK and LAID are the perfect platforms to show them off.”
A perfect platform it may be for them to show off bands, but Milk and LAID have increasingly become THE platforms that bands want to play, and this has led to many memorable nights.
“The Anti-Valentines show we had a few weeks back with Carnivores and So Many Animal Calls was unbelievable. People were hanging off the rafters and the bouncer was going mental at folk for crowd surfing, it was so funny”, enthused Hannah. “But honestly, I’ve loved every single one”.
Aileen agreed, saying, “Carnivores was absolutely amazing. Our Christmas MILK was also one of my favourites; we had a choir, mulled cider, mince pies, the Dirty Beggars, Joe Black from Washington Irvine and my parents even came down. I think my dad had a Frosty Jack’s because his face went that red way.”
If you have not managed to make it along to Milk or LAID yet then I suggest you do so soon, and you wont have to wait long as both are monthly showcases. Aileen and Hannah have managed to create two fantastic nights, with the best bands playing and an atmosphere that is unrivaled. Beware though, as immitations do exist, which Hannah found out when told of a rival Milk:
“Turns out it’s a gay club down the road. Their facebook page has a nice poem with the lines: “Our udders touch and we get a bit rough, I’d never seen so much of the white stuff!” … wish we’d thought of that.”
Wed 28th March – LAID feat. Capitals + Galleries + Butterscotch (bEINg MC’s) @ Bloc
Wed 18th April – Milk feat. Tango In The Attic + Cancel The Astronauts @ Flat 0/1
Photos by Emily Wylde Photography