My Glasgow: Ally Houston

Ally Houston brings his debut show and clown alter-ego Shandy to Glasgow International Comedy Festival. In his My Glasgow column, he recalls growing-up posh in the city.

Feature by Ally Houston | 21 Mar 2015

The thing about Glasgow is that there is Glasgow and there is posh people. I’m from posh people, Jordanhill to be precise. I don’t know if you know it. It can be found just up its own bum. And so I’m not really Glasgow. Not to many Glaswegians.

Growing up in a posh area in Glasgow means being surrounded by less-posh areas. The young teams from there would come to us looking for an easy fight, which they got. As teenagers, we were like a focus group for gang activity. Don’t get me wrong, we had a young team too, armed with sharpened clarinet reeds and Shakespeare’s insults, but organising a practice session for the Young Jordanhill Mafia (genuinely the name) was hard to work around festival season for a wind quintet.

They had razors, we wore blazers. We never said “yaldy”, we wouldn’t even set foot in Aldi. The only thing I’d stabbed was a carvery gammon.

So what explains some of my best friends being actually Glaswegian? What could we possibly have in common? In fact, these relationships are based around a sense of humour.

Everyone has a clown, and I’ve called mine Shandy. Shandy laughs at me along with everyone else, I laugh along too, then in private, me and Shandy have words.

If you can’t laugh at yourself, you might be posh or not, but you’ll never be Glaswegian. Not to me.

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Ally Houston: Shandy plays at The Old Hairdressers, 25 Mar, 7.30pm (£5/£4)