Glasgow’s Music Culture

Glasgow is revered by bands around the world for the unrivalled fandom the city produces and the vibrancy of its crowds.

However, the city has lost its unique music appeal to many of those who grew up here. If you’re gearing up for your first year at university, you better get used to pretending to enjoy monotonous dance music. If anything, the standard of music in Glasgow city centre must form part of the motivation behind why students are such avid drinkers.

When there is no novelty factor to be had, the homogenous nature of modern music offers little excitement to those familiar with the chants synonymous with crowds at Scottish gigs.

T in the Park has been in a hiatus for the past two years and looks set to continue for the foreseeable future; a result brought on by abandoning its indigenous audience in order to cater for those who enjoy watching Calvin Harris nod his head repeatedly.

Its replacement? TRNSMT. How very appropriate.

There can be no greater metaphor for the lack of originality of today’s music and the palate of those who enjoy it than deleting all two vowels from a word.

It’s tempting to say that Glaswegian millennials must be the most difficult ‘Guess Who’ players or online daters anywhere.

“What sort of music do you like?”

“Eh, mmmh, I like everything really. Anything in, like, the top 40. I like a lot of different styles.”

Having witnessed La Mercè in Barcelona and the Catalans adoration of Reggaeton, it is clear that the fondness of generic music stretches far wider than just these isles.

Go into any student bar or nightclub and you will hear a collection of songs being sung mostly by a computer which sound suspiciously identical to another song that was so memorable you vaguely remember having the exact same thought when you heard that for the first time too.

There is still terrific music out there to enjoy that has integrity and originality at its core, but it’s getting harder to find.

This summer’s Stag & Dagger festival was a roaring success, showcasing the best underground rock music from the UK. DMA’s, an Australian Britpop-inspired group, headlined the day-long festival, but the scale of it was a depressing reminder that non-mainstream music is becoming more and more marginalised.

In the next few months Royal Blood and Reverend and the Makers will visit Glasgow but the majority will be oblivious to it.

Glasgow used to produce outstanding bands such as Primal Scream, The Skids, Teenage Fan Club, Deacon Blue and even Travis. Unless you actively delve into the internet basement of unsigned potential then it is unlikely we’ll hear the sounds or messages these bands produced again for a considerable time.

So, if you’re a fresher, choose to experience the full range of Glasgow’s nightlife music scene (we recommend Firewater) and relieve yourself of the chore of faking it.

Featured image credit – Flickr user Stuart Chalmers