You'd always expect the Tramps to be teetering on the bleeding ledge of digitalism – we're talking about guys who don't just push the envelope but usually lick it for good measure. And as well as THIS VERY BLOG, which is updated WEEKLY, they've also got a reasonably popular Facebook group, to which you are all warmly invited. But what about the new microblogging sensation known as Twitter? Is it the future of global communication and citizen journalism, or little more than 140 characters in search of a plot? After dipping their toes into the cyber-ether last year (you may remember The Tramp live-tweeting the Scottish Curry Awards 2010 over at @buggenhagen), the Tramps recently jumped in headfirst with their golly-things-are-serious-now joint account @tattgoc.
OK, so everyone immediately follows Lady Gaga, Stephen Fry and Lily Allen, but what if you're obsessed with Glasgow, curry and Glasgow curry? From a spicy perspective, where are the real characters on Twitter? Let's go find 'em!
1. GLASGOW CURRYHOUSES, THEN
(Click here to read on ...)
You might think Twitter represents a fantastic new way to connect with your favourite curryhouse, right? Perhaps ... but mucking around with 140 characters is, perhaps correctly, pretty far down the list of priorities for most restaurants. Most channel their time and resources into what's happening in the bricks-and-mortar of meatspace rather than the virtual realm. If Glasgow curryhouses have an online strategy it's presumably focused on maintaining a robust online ordering system, either of their own – like the sturdy Ashoka chain – or in conjuction with one of the growing legion of one-stop carryout websites like Just-Eat or Hungry House.
Even high-end destinations like @dahkin and @thedhabba have put down placeholders but little else (at the very least, you'd think they might follow each other, since they're owned by the same folk). There's also not much going on at @motherindiaglas, sadly. On the plus side, Mister Singh's India – which has an impressively robust online presence with their own website and even a separate blog – tweets a fair bit over at @MisterSinghs, while the Merchant City's Cafe India feed – @CafeIndiaGlw – may be sporadic but has a real sense of personality ("now that's more like it! A SUNNY Friday!").
In TATTGOC's rose-tinted dreamworld, curryhouses would occasionally tweet messages and pictures from "behind the curtain"; candid snaps of slow-cooked curries, the hushed preparation of secret spice mixes and chefs poring over fading handwritten recipes, yellowed and cracked like pirate treasure maps. But maybe that's just us ...
2. CURRY CELEBRITIES?
Twitter is a limitless playground of love for celebrities, albeit one in which they can lord it over 1m+ followers but still maintain some sort of social plexiglass to insulate themselves from genuine contact. So perhaps it might offer a chance to keep in touch with some spicy titans? Actor and karahi godmother Madhur Jaffrey is on there, over at @madhursworld, but after following her for a while and not hearing that much, the Tramps decided to disengage. C'mon, if she's not going to follow back, then pffft. (In other words, we're madhurs hell and we're not going to take this anymore.)
Of the other folk that TATTGOC considers curry celebrities, you can hear what's on the mind of @gillcharan, and also @dominikdiamond (although he does seem to be more active on Facebook). Iain Banks has managed to remain aff it, but crime, beer and curry fan Ian Rankin – @beathhigh – is never aff it. To date, there's no sign of Curry Lover of the Year 2011 Tam Cowan, although you can keep up with runner-up Hector over at @curry_heute.
Of the next generation of curry titans, everyone loves Anjum Anand of the BBC2 show Indian Food Made Easy. But while she does have a nice website, she has no official presence on Twitter, apart from an account run by her publishers Quadrille to promote her recent I Love Curry book (over at @ILoveCurry). Fair enough ... but that hasn't stopped a few enterprising souls trying to hijack Anand's good, presumably potentially profitable name. In the few months we've been kicking about on Twitter, our daily, hourly, practically minute-ly searches for curry content have revealed at least three fake Anand accounts burbling with useless spam, including this one, a craven attempt to hoodwink Jamie O and Nigella L:
For shame. For shame.
3. OK, WHATABOUT FOLK JUST CALLED "CURRY"?
No sign of Bugsy Malone star and Saturday Picture Show host Mark Curry ...
But there is the highly entertaining account from BBC Scotland sportsman David Currie who, thankfully, doesn't just talk about football all the time over on @mrdavidcurrie. TATTGOC has been admiring this correspondernt from afar since he agreed to try Cafe India's hottest curry alongside Miss Scotland earlier this year for The Sun. (Read the whole sorry tale here.) The bold Currie even occasionally tweets about our favourite foodstuff – "Sportsnews curry night latest. top three so far in no particular order Mother India, Balbirs Cafe India. Even had two 'celeb' suggestions" – but even his general banter is reliably great, especially when he initiates "Tap Trumps", the game he devised with his wife in which they stage their own mini Old Firm match by totting up how many football tops of each stripe they clock during a shopping trip:
But possibly even higher in TATTGOC's estimation is former America's Next Top Model winner, videogames geek and self-styled "mistress of the dorks" Adrianne Curry, who spills her soul to 200,000+ followers over at @AdrianneCurry ...
As an in-demand model, actress and spokesperson, Curry is a fitness fanatic with formidable discipline, who often tweets about her various kickboxing workouts. In fact, if we're being brutally honest, she doesn't really talk all that much about curry. Instead, she tweets a lot about her continually-evolving life philosophy, her long-standing love of Nine Inch Nails and the awesomeness of videogames. Oh, and cosplaying.
She sometimes tweets cosplaying photos too.
4. BUT THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE WINNER ...
So who is the most characterful character TATTGOC has found thus far on Twitter? The man who, whenever we considered throwing in the towel, instantly brought us back from the brink with a dizzying cocktail of entitled vainglory, improvised spelling and certified gibberish? It could only be one man. Because only one man has, in their lifetime, maintained both a close working relationship with Charles Bronson and an impressively well-appointed "bedroom area":
And that man is @mrmichaelwinner. Even better, as a long-serving restaurant critic for The Sunday Times, the polarising writer/director sometimes even tweets his fleeting thoughts about curry:
The only problem is, since Winner is often "retiring to bedroom area" at around 8pm, there's not much late-night lunacy on the cards. But then, if you're in the market for late-night lunacy, isn't that why you bought the complete Death Wish DVD boxset in the first place? [Bronson fingergun]
What say thee? Have The Tramps missed out on some cracking Twitter characters? Let us know in the comments below or, perhaps more appropriately, send 'em along to @tattgoc
SOME OTHER RECENT TATTGOC "NEWS" POSTS
TATTGOC 2011: The Director's Cut ...
For Puris Only: The Lost TATTGOC Primer
Those Scottish Curry Awards 2011 Winners In Full ...
Trampy And The Tramp's Curry *Loves* Of The Year