Avin' it on a Shoestring Pt. 2 - Glasgow

Our guide to what's on Glasgow students' clubbing menu

Feature by Robbie Thomson | 13 Oct 2006

Despite the budget prices of a Buckfast and Tennents carry out, drinking out in Glasgow can be a hellish drain on finances, particularly in the West End, where student poverty clashes with middle-class affluence. In a recent kick against this, Uisge Beatha on Woodlands Road has introduced a 20% discount on production of a valid matric card. Wicked deco, and you can enjoy the company of an entire stuffed Savannah and a legless Margaret Thatcher at less than two quid a drink. Just up the road is The Halt/Halt2, an old mans' boozer renowned for free rock music and two quid pints. Except when Franz Ferdinand play for £25 a ticket and ruin the fun. Keep your eyes peeled for promos and freebies; the pint/panini - type deals are decent and the recent Caribbean Cocktail night was top value, if somewhat incongruous. Reggae and paper umbrellas do not a classy drink make. Down on Byres Road, Tennent's bar offers a mid-priced drink and a fine selection of slightly more expensive real ales, but is mostly notable for its pound-a-can carry outs.

In the same area, the University of Glasgow unions are a cheap trip if you're in student company. The Beer Bar in the GUU beats the QMU on price, but its popularity with the sports teams and cheapo pitchers of diesel means you're likely to see a fair amount of rugby tackle if there's been a fixture. Linking Sauchiehall to the West are the bar/clubs Mojama and Driftwood, which work on the pile high, sell cheap principle, and do spirit/mixers for about £1.50. Just drink though, don't admire the wallpaper, as the chic minimalism looks like an old Doctor Who set. Driftwood fares the same, with a faintly ridiculous wooden front and a mescaline-fried, gun-toting Mexican leering from every corner.

Equidistant along Sauchiehall, the Art School Vic Bar and the Strathclyde Union are both money savers. The former is brooding, low-ceilinged and hyper-cool, the latter a glorious technicolor vomit, oozing its lack of class and spilling pissed students everywhere. If it seems impossible to gain cheap intoxication without joining the student clique, then venture beneath the Merchant City to a well lit, comfortable bar with an excellent jukebox and pride in its' lack of scene pretensions. Revolver is also a classy place to head before the town centre, with doubles only 20p more than singles and cheap pints of San Miguel. Admittedly, it being Glasgow's finest gay bar might put some off, but as long as you can work out where the ladies' toilet is hidden, it's a pleasant boozer.

If dropping a tenner for a night out at the Subbie doesn't fit the budget then there's still plenty of great clubbing to be had on the cheap if you know where to look. Art School Thursdays are an institution for pound pints and sticky dancefloors with hip-hop upstairs courtesy of Freak Menoovers and camped up electro in the Vic bar from Record Playerz. It's almost always packed out and has a great atmosphere with drinks promos and £3 entry (11pm-3am) if you're a student. Just down the hill from the Vic, the ABC does a good line of nights for indie lovers that won't break the bank. Entry price ranges between £2 on a Tuesday to a fiver on Saturday (10.30pm-3am), but if you have Internet access it's easy to book a guestlist place online, which will save you waiting in the obscenely long queue that's usually outside. The Buff Club is a wee gem tucked away near Blytheswood Square on Bath Lane that caters for people with funky tastes ranging from hip-hop, classic Motown, funk, Northern Soul and electro. It's a small and sweaty little number with some sweet wallpaper (you'll see what we mean) that's usually full to the gunnels and reasonably priced too, the best night being a Monday.

So don't despair if your rent's eating up the student loan or if you're just plain skint - there's still plenty of ways to get your music fix, and get drunk and belligerent without having to rely on the ol' Frosty Jack's… it does help though.

See Listings for times and prices.