Music Venues in Glasgow

Music Venues in Glasgow

The list of Glasgow's output of big-name bands is truly endless, and they had to start somewhere, right? Well, you can be sure to find tomorrow's upcoming rock gods at the smaller venues in the city, while the already established acts are served by the massive venues that are also dotted around the city. There is something for everyone.

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut is a bar and venue in central Glasgow, that takes its name from a renowned club in New York. No less renowned, its Glaswegian counterpart has played a role in the rise of many new bands from the region, as well as nationwide, earning a place in the hall of fame of gig venues across the UK. Opened in 1990, the venue has a capacity of a mere 300, but don't let this put you off, with such an intimate atmosphere, the Hut really is the best place to catch a soon-to-be massive name on the music scene. Locals praise the variety of acts, from heavy rock one day to acoustic comedy the next, there is something for everyone. A mere list here of the bands that King Tut's has been a launchpad of would suffice to entice you. Featuring Biffy Clyro, Coldplay, Beck, Blur and the Strokes, the list is endless, with artists such as these serving to cement King Tut's' reputation as the best venue in Glasgow, and one of the best in the UK. Not only this, but the Hut has its own tent at Scotland's festival T in the Park, and was voted the most influential venue in Britain as a result. Monthly, there is an event for unsigned bands to help them become acquainted with the industry, so if you are in a young band, head down there and follow in the footsteps of such massive bands.

O2 Academy Glasgow is the Scottish branch of the nationwide concert venue, serving a whopping 2,500 patrons  all raring to be rocked by the huge diversity of acts that are attracted there. Opened in 2003, bands that have performed include the Killers, who sold out the venue in 3 minutes, and the legendary James Brown, who played his last ever UK show there. If King Tut's Wah Wah Hut is too much of a risk for you with their selection of underground artists, head to the O2 Academy, where the biggest and best bands grace the stage. Such a large venue also boasts the advantage of the range of artists, from straight rock to more popular artists to the very best in worldwide hip-hop. The schedules are always full of great artists, and being a branded venue you often know what you're getting for your money, namely the chance to see the biggest artists in the world in your city.

Queen Margaret Union is a student's union, part of the University of Glasgow, that plays host to club nights and bar nights that are legendary among the students. The Union was founded in 1890, so it is not without its history, but about one hundred years after this date it played host to a number of bands on its main stage, like Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, before seeing Biffy Clyro and Franz Ferdinand more recently. With a capacity of around 900, you can expect a packed house, full of eager students in either their 'cheesy pop' nights, the big gigs or the comfortable bars upstairs. In a stunning location, the Union is the number one choice for the discerning young adult in Glasgow, but with something of a rivalry with the second Student Union in the city you will be expected to choose one and pledge your allegiance. Head here for a variety of nights, either a quiet drink, a loud band or a messy club night.

Nice 'n' Sleazy is a bar and club located within the epicentre of Glasgow's bustling nightlife. Open until 3 am every night, the venue is very popular among all walks of Glasgow life, but especially students, for the cool atmosphere and alternative drinks and attractions on offer. Sleazy's (as locals affectionately call it) is renowned for almost all aspects of its service, with everything from the acoustics to the food on offer being routinely praised. The bands on offer are generally unknown to the mainstream music scene, so you aren't likely to witness crowd singalongs, however, Sleazy's offers an excellent atmosphere in which to hear the latest that Glasgow has to offer. If you fancy putting on your own club night, or even playing there in your new band, get in touch as the venue is very keen for new nights to be put on the map of the Glaswegian scene.

SECC Glasgow, or the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, truly lives up to its grand full name, with over 22 thousand square metres of space, often filled with the sounds of bands playing to many thousands of people. With up to 12,500 people able to fill the audience space, the SECC is the place to catch none but the biggest and most popular acts in the world. If the smaller venues in Glasgow are not your thing, there will undoubtedly be numerous performers at the SECC to interest you, from Scottish staples Biffy Clyro filling the stadium with their dynamic blend of alternative rock and melodic balladry, to rock titans The Who and Neil Young commanding the stage in recent years. The venue is not merely for live music, though, it also hosts a veritable variety of different entertainments from the audition stages of X Factor, to the most popular comedians of the times. In the huge list of past acts there will certainly be something that you are into, so check out the SECC listings for that big evening of arena-rock atmosphere that is so often praised. Furthermore, the SECC is one of the medium-sized venues, so it still attracts the big names but doesn't have any of the drawbacks of the huge areas such as poor sound quality.

For those interested in Glasgow's music history, we have prepared a special article about famous bands from Glasgow.

Photography: Astrobobo

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