Five Years Of TATTGOC: The Curry Clubbers Speak! (Part One)


This month, Trampy and the Tramp's Glasgow of Curry celebrates five years of continuous spicy operation, incorporating almost 50 legendary outings and countless weekly updates. A lot has happened since that first fateful visit to the Indian Orchard in Partick, and we've got a series of typically self-congratulatory posts lined up for November before a very special Curry Club outing to mark the occasion. After our incredible curryspondents sent telegrams of goodwill last week, now its the turn of some of the regular Curry Clubbers to explain what TATTGOC means to them ... a rare opportunity, since it's usually the Tramps doing the reporting, the very definition of unreliable narrators.

Enjoy these frontline reminiscences, and we'll be back next Thursday with even more celebrations ... including a cameo from TATTGOC's own pantomime villain, The Bulldosa.

Ravi Peshwari
First outing: Indian Orchard, Nov 2008

Green grow the rashes , O; 
Green grow the rashes , O; 
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend, 
Are spent amang the lassis, O. 

Trampy And The Tramp's Glasgow Of Curry? I've always thought that was a bit of a mouthful. But maybe that's the point, because it certainly has been a mouthful – and a spicy one at that. I've never eaten so much curry in my life.

Trampy and The Tramp have shown me that curry is something worth celebrating. It seems to be the ultimate ubiquitous dish these days. I even heard a reference to Chicken Tikka Masala on The Archers the other day. But the Scottish curry really has matured over the years. We've come a long way from the foil container full of ghee, with a base of chicken and gravy, that I used to eat in my hometown of Coatbridge in the early 1980s.

One of the the most memorable monthly outings for me, was the big love-in at the Kama Sutra on Valentine's Night 2012. This was the day that the Tramps set out to dispel the myth that TATTGOC was some sort of misogynistic cult, with an open invitation to any female partners. It was a fine evening, as the
blog entry for that outing testifies, with appearances from Mumbai Me A Pony, Naanbread Mouskouri, Tina Turmeric, Chaka Naan, Birhiani and my very own beautiful assistant, Vag Mahal. The female company was a welcome spicy addition to our manly curry club. But another couple of appearances made the evening a special one. First there was the presence of the self-confessed ghost of TATTGOC, Mahkni Knife, plus a delightful debut from curry cub Baby Bhuna. Now, having ticked all these boxes would have been enough to mark this as a legendary evening in TATTGOC history but those pesky tramps, being the masters of detail had one final trick up their sleeve – an eleventh hour arrival of the scottish pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang. A fine evening indeed.

Thank you Trampy and The Tramp. It has been an honour to be part of your mighty celebration of curry for the past five years.

Chasni Hawkes
First outing: The Khyber, June 2011

When I think of Curry Club, the first thing that pops into my head isn't the spectacular array of establishments that have been visited, nor the Biblical quantities of spicy grub that have been consumed ...

It's the vibe, that buzz of excitement and anticipation, cultivated by the Tramps and emitted by each Curry Clubber as they join up of with the squad. Each of them thinking that tonight's going to be a good night. Oh yes, and the glance from Trampy to the Tramp and back again as they wrangle the naan/rice equation from the ether ... like Aristotle squaring up to Archimedes on the sands of Millport.

The Gheezer
First outing: Indian Orchard, Nov 2008

When doubting Londoners peer at me in horror and fascination when I tell them that, yes, Glasgow is a great city I tell them it’s the level of friendliness that sticks with me. Glaswegian wit might be dry as a karahi, the humour spicy as a madras, but underneath it all there’s ... a moist chewy centre like a succulent rogan josh. Look, I’m new to this writing game. And I’m writing this in haste on a chilly evening in London, pining a little for a warming trip to a curryhouse with the friendly brotherhood of TATTGOC.

For it is a brotherhood. A shady network of mainly bearded men, meaty tendrils extending across the globe. Once, as we headed to the Neelim in Scotstoun, a bemused bam was heard to ask “Are youse all brothers, aye?” Trampy stepped up to the open goal. “Yes. Yes we are.”

Admittedly, the entry criteria are strict and mysterious. Rumours abound that beardedness, short-sightedness and a certain thickness of middle are required. These are nonsense; though admittedly it would be hard to construct an entertaining Who’s Who board out of the members. But with TATTGOC, once you’re in, you’re in.

The geniality of the group means we’re extended a welcome even in the less immediately friendly corners of the city. A pre-curry visit to a pub in Tradeston filled with
mad uncles playing fuming games of dominoes might have felt like a wrong turn without the aura of harmless cheeriness we projected. Instead, a few eyebrows were raised at our ambient hairiness and we were granted safe passage.

And as the popularity and ken of TATTGOC has grown, so the reception of restauranteurs has shifted from bemusement to – in some cases – near adulation. Trampy and the Tramp have deservedly established themselves as minor celebs in the admittedly niche world of curry. More importantly than that, they’ve created a brother-(and, sometimes, sister-)hood of which I’m proud to be a part, and memories that keep me eagerly awaiting my next trip back to the home of curry.

Bobo Balti
First outing: Punjabi, May 2011

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to eat curry.
I’d long heard of the famous "Curry Club", thanks to friends The Bulldosa and The Gheezer’s tales of spicy lamb chops and egg pakora, and one day hoped for an invite to sample one of these affairs for myself.

After a late night visit to watch Tron: Legacy in 3D at the IMAX, and running into Trampy, I was, not long after, invited to come along. My first ever TATTGOC outing was to the Punjabi on Paisley Road West. This was less than three weeks before my lovely assistant Debbie McGhee gave birth to our first curry cub. A period that meant I wasn’t back on duty for nearly six months.

Since then though, I’ve had a dozen outings to some of the strangest and greatest curryhouses in Glasgow. All of which have been an absolute pleasure. I even got to attend this year’s Scottish Curry Awards. A fantastic event, where before we even sat down, we had been given an eye test and gifted a device to check the tread on our car tyres. 

There are so many aspects of Curry Club I could talk about – the ritual of selecting your nickname, The Tramps’ Christmas party gifts, the rice/naan equation are just a few. Anyway, one final thing to say is that food is, of course, a big part of the Curry Club, but the company at the table is far bigger. As always, I can’t wait for the next one. Here’s to the next five years ...

Five Years Of TATTGOC: We Asked Our Curryspondents To Wire In
Tastin' With The Vamps: The Mystery Of The Haunted Madras Lattice Curry Capital 2013 Result: The TATTGOC Breakdown
Our Keep Calm And Curry On Podcast: Episode 13 – Temple Of Bhuna
It's National Curry Week! And You Could Also Win A Holiday!


Bobo Balti said...

Those two pics of me are like a before and after photo-shoot (sans the trousers that don't fit anymore).