Glasgow has a big reputation for being a musical city, with bands such as the Fratellis, Franz Ferdinand and the Jesus and Mary Chain all hailing from here. So as a student new to this bustling city, where do you go to find the next big hidden musical talent or to just simply enjoy some good tunes and a relaxing atmosphere?
Down Sauchiehall Street you’ll find a wide variety of bars that also play host to an eclectic mix of music from minimal pop punk rock to electronic music in the vein of Moby or Kraftwerk. Broadcast is known to host small indie events like This Feeling, where up and coming bands showcase their new music. The underground basement venue gives the place a real alternative vibe, and there’s a decent beer selection, which is always a plus. Definitely somewhere to go for fans of Oasis, Catfish and the Bottlemen or Kasabian.
Nice N Sleazy’s
Nice N Sleazy’s is almost next door to Broadcast, and offers a completely different experience. A “trendy” live music bar, it offers open mic nights on Mondays, and a variety of different gigs throughout the week ranging from alternative rock to house music. It can also be a bit of a hidden gem on Saturday nights, as it offers techno and disco tunes downstairs.
Of course, you can’t venture down to the deepest, darkest sections of Sauchiehall Street without mentioning the best club in Glasgow. Firewater, although not a music venue per se, offers some of the cheapest drinks and best tunes on a Thursday night. A small bar/club, Firewater Thursdays are somewhat legendary amongst the students of Glasgow, with the music coupled with the deadly £1.80 vodka mixes meaning that it is very easy to “sleep in” for your Friday morning lectures every week (pretty sure I missed the majority of Friday lectures in first year). A must-visit for fans of Arctic Monkeys and the Stone Roses, or terrible vodka connoisseurs.
King Tuts is widely known throughout the UK as a place where new bands can start off on the way to stardom. Priding themselves on discovering the next big things, King Tuts played host to the likes of Oasis, Biffy Clyro and Blur before they made it big. A very diverse range of music is played there, with consecutive nights maybe consisting of a small acoustic gig and then a heavy rock band.
The Barrowland Ballroom, or the Barras, is known as Scotland’s premier rock venue. A raucous and in-your-face atmosphere is obviously expected along with numerous mosh pits and a few of yer das’ there to relive their long forgotten past. While many may believe the place is long past it’s sell by date if you compare it to its contemporaries like the O2 ABC and the Hydro, you can still expect loud and unforgiving music. Definitely something that any music fan must experience at least once in their life.
Glasgow is also the home to a club that was voted one of the top 50 clubs in the world by DJMag.com and also one of the top 10 in the UK by The Guardian. It’s obviously Sub Club, or as it’s affectionately known around Glasgow, Subby. An intimate and claustrophobic venue, Subby is not for the faint-hearted. The centre of dance music in Glasgow for 25 years, it is incredibly hard to describe and needs to be experienced. Top house and techno DJs have played here, including Jackmaster and LCD Soundsystem. Even if you’re not a big fan of this type of music, the atmosphere is worth going for, as it is unlike any other place in the world. The people, the lights, the sounds all combine to make every night out here a once in a lifetime event.
While these few venues are my favourites, there is still even more to visit in Glasgow. From intimate gigs at Bloc and the Butterfly and the Pig to huge sell out shows at the SSE Hydro and the O2 Academy, Glasgow is a musical powerhouse of a city. So don’t sell yourself short and check out what it has to offer now you’ve moved down for university.
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