Shari Black Velvet: How long have you been the general manager and what goes into your job?
David Disbrowe: I have literally only just taken on the proud role as general manager. The most important task is keeping up the good work that has been set over the many years at the Note. My aim to is to build on the current trade and make the business stronger, open the venue up to new marketing sources such as SaveAScream.
SBV: Do you get many meat eaters eating there? I guess a lot of the bands that play there probably eat there - how is their reaction to the food, usually?
DD: To be honest, its difficult to tell. The food is of a very high quality and often takes people by surprise because of the minimal surroundings here. We are very well known for our homemade veggie burgers, which go down very well with the travelling bands whose pockets are a bit tighter. We make up for lack of meat with huge bags of flavour!
SBV: Have you had any well known musicians or other people come and eat there while in town?
DD: You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Pete Doherty, Euros Childs... Even Scarlett Johansson on Fireworks Night!
SBV: What are a couple of the most memorable gigs at the venue or outstanding events?
DD: Impossible to say, far too many memorable gigs over nine years... and plenty of crazy moments for sure... Outstanding event? Maybe merchant city fest 2010, a free, two-day, all day weekend we put on.
SBV: The venue is over 18 only. Why? Do you think you miss out on a large younger audience because of that? I know a lot of pop-punk fans for example are under 18.
DD: Of course this can be an issue, and we hate turning anyone away but because of the licensing restrictions it is easier for us to manage the venue and serve alcohol if we restrict the venue to 18's and over, we hope that when they do turn of age, the 13th Note is top of their list to visit!
SBV: What do you pride yourself in as a venue? What do you think a venue needs to have a good reputation and be a success?
DD: We pride ourselves on being a major part of the Glasgow music scene for almost the last 15 years, we were there in the early days promoting bands and supporting the huge underground network of talent that there is in Glasgow. We also have great pride in our staff and the food as mentioned. The majority of staff that work here have been here for many years because they love the place, that is very rare to hear. There is no secret to success; The 13th Note has always remained true to its roots; look after your customers, be good to your staff, listen to your audience and stick by your morals. Lastly, perseverance; there are always good days and bad days, it’s making the most of the good ones!
SBV: Which local bands are you proud to have had play in the venue? Any you think deserve more success?
DD: Again, too many! There’s such a broad spectrum of talented musicians and artists in Glasgow from all genres of music. I dont want to start naming or selecting any so as not to offend and omit anyone! I have my own private list of up and coming geniuses!
SBV: Your menu looks amazing - so much good food! In the world of veganism, what do you think is the best vegan food invention?
DD: I think if you asked our Sunday brunch crowd that love our all day breakfasts I'm afraid it would have to be veggie bacon and sausages (or sosages as we term).
SBV: You also have some art/photograph exhibitions there. Do you think talented artists need places like 13th Note to show off their work?
DD: Absolutely. The venue is situated in Merchant City, an area which boasts many print studios, art galleries, exhibition space etc. We have a full calendar of artists wanting to display their wares, and with the many art schools we will never have a shortage of demand for our gallery space.
SBV: What should bands do if they're interested in playing there? And who else would you like to hear from?
DD: We have an in-house promoter (James T McKay) who works through the week in our office. If anyone is interested he can be contacted on 0141 553 1800. We are very open minded - for instance last night we had a band who performed to men doing Mexican wrestling in front of them!
SBV: If you could give bands any advice or suggestions regarding booking gigs, their performances or anything, what advice would you give?
DD: It’s all hard work, do the homework; book well in advance to get the best dates, get the posters up early and get on all the social networks. Contact the venue and ask if they can help with anything, set up links on good music websites. The gig - make it memorable; you want folk talking about your set and not anyone else’s so think of something different (Mexican wrestling has been done!). Be professional, the more you know your instrument and your sound the more you can get from sound engineers!
Visit www.13thnote.co.uk for more info.