Glasgow's No Mean City when it comes to its 2011 Blues, Country and Americana festival

Posted: 16th August 2011
Ron Sexsmith

There is no doubting the Scottish city's hard-bitten reputation and tough streets, but the title of this festival doesn't come from some stereotypical impression of Scottish thrift or a recent headline in a copy of The Glaswegian, but from a 1930's novel written by unemployed grafter-turned-author, Alexander McArthur. "No Mean City" is a gritty account of life in the Gorbals, one of the most resilient and run-down districts in Scotland, a true tale of gangs and violence, turf and territory - sounds familiar?

Far less terrifying and a danger to life is Glasgow's newer festival dedicated to bringing you the best in folk, roots, psychedelia and Americana over the course of a fortnight. The No Mean City Festival 2011 runs from 5th to 18th September and will feature over 50 artists from both the US and the UK, all of whom have one thing in common - a love of American roots.

Early highlights of the festival include acclaimed songwriter Ron Sexsmith, appearing at the O2 ABC on opening night (£18.50) and part of a UK tour, arty-psychedelic fuzz-rocker Kurt Vile with The Violators at The Stereo on 6th September (£10) and Nashville's angelic Caitlin Rose at the ABC2 on the 7th (£8). But if you think the bigger names have been grouped together to get things off to a top start - you'd be wrong. The whole fortnight has quality scattered all over it.

You're guaranteed a right old knees-up when Hayseed Dixie hit town on the 9th, appearing at the O2 ABC armed with favourites from their catalogue of banjoed rock-classics (£15) and, as upcoming must-see artists go, Po' Girl have more than enough in their canon to rouse the sleepiest of punters - they play the ABC2 on the 12th (£11).

The festival closes with two more big guns in the form of electro-blues/trip-hop axe-grinder, Skip MacDonald aka Little Axe at the ABC2 on 15th September (£10) and The Blockheads/Dr Feelgood guitar maestro Wilko Johnson at the same venue on the 16th (£17.50 - Ian Siegal supports). Many other acts are performing across the two weeks - scroll down for more details.

Paul Pledger