Some Pilau Talk With ... Norman Blake!

Everyone in the TATTGOC brotherhood loves curry – we even have an award that says so! But surely we could still learn a thing or two from other prominent curry lovers? And maybe even go round to their house for tea? In the special summer series we're calling Pilau Talk: The Legends, Trampy and The Tramp will be asking well-kent faces to recommend some of their favourite curry haunts and recall some of their most memorable spicy experiences. Next up is Norman Blake, founder member of Teenage Fanclub who recently released the amazing album Shadows. The band are touring the USA and Europe over the next few months, finishing up with a sure-to-be-raucous hometown show at the Barrowlands on December 12. Over to Norman ...

What are some of your favourite Glasgow curryhouses, past or present?
The original Wee Curry Shop on Buccleuch Street has always been great, that and Mother India would be my current favourites. Used to frequent the Shenaz next to the Mitchell Library quite a bit. We were quite friendly with the people who owned that for a while and held some band meetings in there.

And your favourite Glasgow curry takeaway?
The Sheerin Palace on Allison Street in the South side have incredibly authentic dishes. The chickpea dish in particular is very good. Most of their dishes are very hot in the spice department. It's very small and I usually just get the takeaway. It has a growing reputation and I love it.

What’s your all-time favourite curry dish, the one to which you always return?
Chilli Garlic Chicken is a great favourite of mine. I like the cleanness that the combination of garlic and chilli brings to the dish – also, they don't overpower the chicken.

And if you had to choose just one accompaniment, would it be rice or naan?
Rice every time. Although I am partial to a peshwari naan.

Could we trouble you for an anecdote – a beloved curry-related memory?
Sadly I can't bring one of my own to mind. I remember Raymond from the band telling me that he once saw a guy in the Shenaz asking the waiter for "a meal". When the waiter asked him if he would prefer chicken or beef or something spicy or mild, the guy said "look, just bring me a meal". That has always amused me.

Where’s the most exotic place you've had a curry?
I'm thinking that it would have to have been on the island of Hawaii when we were touring around 1993.

Can you actually make a decent curry yourself at home?
No. I have tried on numerous occasions but just can't seem to get the spice and seasoning blend right. As an aside, Alan McGee's sister makes a very, very decent curry.

Can the TATTGOC brotherhood come round for our tea?
I can throw together a decent pizza if that would be an acceptable alternative.

If you could enjoy a curry dinner-for-two with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
Napoleon Bonaparte. He would have a tale or two to tell.

And finally, we know that Teenage Fanclub split songwriting duties equally – but are things just as democratic when the curry bill arrives?
Absolutely! I have enjoyed numerous Chilli Garlic Chickens on the group's coin ...

Cheers Norman!
There are still a few legends to go in our celebratory series ... who will be next? Find out next Thursday ...

Tom Shields
Fred MacAulay
Ian Cowie aka Mr Snax
Diner Tec
Roy Beers
Iain Banks


David G. Chandler said...

I thought I knew a lot about Napoleon but I never knew he rocked a superbike... that's awesome.

Anonymous said...

The Wee Curry Shop's taken Garlic Chilli Chicken off the menu, but you can still get it if you ask nicely. Really is the dish of champions.

Oh, and a paratha instead of rice for me, Norman!