You may think that the majority of your time at university will consist of drinking, studying and more drinking to cope with the studying. However, Glasgow has more to offer than great drinking joints and more rain that shine – it was the European city of culture after all! Something that helped the city reach this title is its expansive live music scene, playing host to acts of all sizes and genres. To help make the huge task of knowing where to be and who to see, the following guide will give you the lowdown that’ll keep your ears happy.
BARROWLANDS: There’s no point listing the huge roster of acts that have called the Barras home in the past few decades – there’s already a pathway just a street away from the iconic venue that does just that! Formerly a dance hall, the Barrowland Ballroom is often regarded as the best venue in the UK and it’s not hard to see why: from the bounciest flooring that have somehow kept thousands of gig goers to the fluorescent ceiling, there’s an undeniable charm to this old dog, one that you’ll be hard-found to find anywhere in the world, let alone Scotland.
SWG3: On paper, the SWG3 shouldn’t rank on a list like: a warehouse that’s a fair trek from the centre of Glasgow, surrounded by abandoned buildings, it sounds like the kind of place that your mum and dad warned you about. To be fair, with some of the acts that tend to play here they may be right. Over the past few years, the venue has welcomed the likes of industrial, experimental hip hop juggernauts Death Grips, grime juggernaut Skepta and emo kings Modern Baseball and American Football. SWG3 may be best known for showcasing a whole range of experimental DJ acts but its understate variety means that it deserves far more recognition in the books of gig goers.
KING TUTS: Owned and managed by DF Concerts, you’re no doubt going to find yourself in King Tuts Wah Wah Hut at least once in your life, even if it’s not for the music. However, if you come for the bar downstairs then you sure as hell should stay for the range of up and coming acts that would sell their soul to perform here. Much like the Barrowlands, King Tuts is proud to display the wide array of bands and artists that have performed in this intimate venue, from homegrown talent like Biffy Clyro to international juggernauts like Nirvana. Due to how tightly knit the music community is in Glasgow, it really shouldn’t be taken lightly when nearly everyone signs King Tuts praises.
Mono: Mono is an independent music, arts, drinking and dining hotspot, with a vegan café-bar, record store, concert venue and gallery all under one big domed roof. The calibre of artists booked here – often cult and left field bands and singer-songwriters or experimental noise artists – keeps Mono at the very heart and soul of the Glasgow music scene.
ACTS TO SEE: Amor, The Black Lips
The Glad Café: If you’re heading to the southside, then The Glad Café is one of the most happening spots. It’s laidback personality compliments the artists that perform there. The venues musical catalogue ranges from indie and electronic, to experimental, world and traditional. They also have The Glad Foundation (a charity committed to providing Glasgow’s youth with affordable and free music lessons).
Bloc+: Bar Bloc+, with it’s free gigs, clubs, it’s delicious food and drinks deals, and it’s quirky killer vibes, its understandable why it has developed a strong reputation in the local music scene. With gig and clubs on 7 nights a week showcasing alternative concerts and local music talent, it’s also home to Bloc+’s own mini orchestra, Blochestra. Other musical highlights include their Sunday night jam night ran by Admiral Fallow’s Louis Abbot and friends. Their musical calibre and the number of touring bands the venue accommodates has also earned them praise from the likes of BBC 6 Music.