BROADCAST played host to the inaugural The Arches: Sessions event on Tuesday, only a week after the legendary venue was forced into administration.

The event was initially intended to be launched as a “new breed of Open Mic night” at The Arches cafe bar, featuring live music, spoken word and performances of all kinds. Following the closure of the arts venue and night club, organisers decided to move the event to a different venue rather than shut down the project altogether.

The night proved to be a resounding tribute to the organisation, showcasing the great depth of artistic talent that Glasgow possesses. Singer-songwriter Declan Welsh, who also hosted the event, is disappointed but not despondent.

He says: “The closure of The Arches is incredibly grim news but, hopefully, these sessions can continue in some way. We’ve arguably lost the best club venue in Glasgow, but it was more than that. It was a great resource for artists, for playwrights and for mediums that aren’t necessarily immediately accessible to the public.

“The priority now is that The Arches remains ‘a thing’.”

Only 21 years old, Welsh represents the next generation of artists and musicians who will remember The Arches at its peak. He proved to be the perfect everyman to front the Sessions project, presenting his own authentic style of songwriting as well as introducing the various artists.

It’d be easy to pigeonhole Welsh as a Scottish equivalent to Jake Bugg or Alex Turner, but his flair for crafting topical, relatable songs is all his own. Though he performed songs about relationships, sex and night life, he also read out a wonderfully witty poem about “dear” Alex Salmond.

Politics seems to be a hot topic for this generation of young artists. Another spoken word poet drew from former teen-pop idols S Club 7 to extol the virtues of the Green Party – as apparently “there aint no party like a Green Party party.”

Meanwhile, poet Liam McCormick addressed the issue of The Arches’ demise directly. In one piece he colourfully conveyed his personal experiences of clubbing at the venue, explicitly addressing the elephant in the room: drugs.

McCormick is candid about his experiences, saying: “The Arches had this reputation of just being a place for pillheads. In my life, I’ve often been that annoying person on pills running around the club ‘oot my nut’. It paints a bad picture.

“You’re going to get a riff-raff element everywhere. You can go to various venues and take drugs to music, it’s just a fact. The Arches did so much more though – as well as being the safest environment for that kind of activity, it was an amazing artistic community.”

Champion slam poet, Bram E Gieben, was even more direct with his criticism of the police’s decision, thanking the audience for attending “this special protest night.”

He said: “I’ve seen it from all three angles I suppose: I’ve worked for them, I’ve pitched shows to them and I used to go clubbing there regularly. It offered so many opportunities for the artistic community, whether it be DJs or playwrights or whoever.

“It was a completely non-profit organisation and the money made funded the arts programme. Losing The Arches wipes a level off Glasgow’s ability to promote.”

If McCormick is an apologist on the drugs issue, Gieben is stronger. He is absolutely adamant that the police’s decision will only cause damage to Glasgow as a whole.

“Prohibition doesn’t work, the data is there proving that. Amsterdam has a better policy on this in the form of harm reduction – a policy that actually reduces the negative consequences of drug use.

“As soon as we have a society that recognises that, the better. If we keep stamping that out, the country’s night-time economy is going to lose hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

One thing that Welsh, Gieben and McCormick are all agreed on is that The Arches will definitely live on in spirit, and hopefully in a practical sense too. Gieben suggests there are “too many talented people involved in the live sessions brand for it not to continue in some form”.

McCormick echoes this, saying: “If you encounter a poetry night in Glasgow, seeing The Arches label attached to it lets you know it’ll be good quality. If this brand continues in some way, whether it’s resurrected or not, I’ll be there.”