Alternative Clubbing

<strong>Chris Duncan</strong> presents your guide to the Scottish clubbing scene

Feature by Chris Duncan | 02 Sep 2009

A tremendous amount of ground to cover in such a small space, so let's begin shall we?

Glasgow has an enormous amount of venues and club nights available throughout the year and the choice at times can be a tad overwhelming. Hands down the most important club in the city, and indeed the country, is the Sub Club. Beloved by everyone and recently voted the tenth best club in the world by the night life New Testament that is Resident Advisor, there simply is no such thing as a bad night out here. Created with the purpose of being the best club possible, the underground bunker boasts the finest soundsystem in the land, excellent staff, a well stocked bar and some of the greatest club nights in the world. Their flagship nights are famous across the globe, with Subculture and Optimo Espacio happening ever Saturday and Sunday respectively. Midweek nights include the brand new Bon Bon evening, specialising in house and techno, and Flux, taking place on Wednesday evenings. Other nights include Kinky Afro, Return to Mono, Numbers, HYP? and Monox, ensuring that the quality level is kept at an all time high. If you see the inside of the Sub Club more than any lecture hall throughout the year, consider your academic year a success.

Round the corner from the Sub Club is The Arches, Scotland's largest arts venue and one of the most stunning spaces you could ever hope to come across. Located under the railway arches of Central Station it hosts a variety of gigs, theatre and art events as well as some huge club parties. Every week there is the student orientated Octopussy, offering an electro soundtrack with bouncy castles and jacuzzis thrown in for good measure. Death Disco is a monthly evening of glam pop and electro with retina scorching visuals and big name guests. Also taking place monthly is the more mature Pressure, hosted by the Slam boys and featuring some of the biggest artists in techno today.

Onto smaller venues now, with every Thursday night meaning the Art School for a huge percentage of Glasgow's students. A tiny door tax allows for entry into both RPZ and Mixed Bizness with all the infamous mess that ensues with them. Bouncing between Nice 'n' Sleay's and the Art School are Cheap 'n' Nasty and One More Tune, offering noisy fun that'll never hurt your wallet. The exceptional drinking hole that is Black Sparrow has recently opened its basement, with nights such as Limitless taking place on a regular basis and guest slots from the likes of Slabs of the Tabernacle. Miss it at your peril.

Tuesdays at the Buff Club become a sanctuary for anyone needing to vent some mid-week steam, or a place to go for those who have been out since Friday evening, as Killer Kitsch fills the place to capacity. Damaged Goods happens the first Friday of every month in the basement of Nice 'n' Sleazy's, with David Barbarossa giving you young whippersnappers an education in black crack rarities. Meanwhile in a different basement entirely, the wonderful Huntleys and Palmers Audio Club continue to book some of the best guests for anyone who is feeling musically adventurous. Which should be everyone. Also taking place at Stereo is the new Tic Tac Toe club and the excellent Men and Machines evening, offering up house and techno music with occasional guest DJs. Flitting between Stereo and the damn near perfect watering-hole Ivy, is Ballers Social Club, a well-respected eclectic night with hip-hop roots, run by local collective LuckyMe. Continuing on the adventurous theme, Melting Pot is still one of the finest nights in Glasgow and takes place monthly in the basement of The Admiral bar.

It isn't all dark basements and 3am licences. The Courtyard frequenlty offers all day parties in their outdoor area in the form of Alfrisko, Bigfoot's Tea Party and Sunday Circus.

Finally, for anyone who doesn't like the sound of ahead of the curve music, excellent guests and interesting venues, there is of course Sauchiehall Street, the night life equivalent of Custer's last stand. The newly renamed O2 ABC is a former cinema now housing a disco ball larger than the moon and two floors of student friendly clubbing every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile The Garage continues to open every single night of the year, with various rooms offering cheese, chart pop and metal.

Over in Edinburgh the d'n'b scene is still a huge part of the city's night life, with Xplicit and Bass Syndicate both excelling in bringing some of the biggest names in the genre to Auld Rekkie recently. The Caves is the venue for Kapital, an excellent evening with great guests, including a recent appearance from BPitch Control overlord Ellen Allien.

The always interesting Cabaret Voltaire offers a wide range of nights, including Alternative who recently confirmed a booking of Dom Rimini for October. We Are Electric takes place every Wednesday and Sunday night festivities are hosted by Killer Kitsch who recently expanded their Glasgow success into the city. Meanwhile Split takes place on Tuesdays and Sick Note is still free to get into every Thursday night.

Brand new fidget, b-more and house night, Diamond Dollar takes place at Faith, while Touch Bass happens weekly at the Wee Red Bar.
The Bongo Club becomes a Lynch-esque dream with the arrival of Confusion is Sex, highly recommended. Over at the GRV, Hybrid takes place on Tuesday evenings, while Club For Heroes happens at Electric Circus for the bargain basement price of fuck all.

Last but by no means least is the visionary Autobahn, taking place in the Strathie's backroom. Expect kraut rock and retro sounds being fed through effect pedals until the wee hours of the morn'.

Up north in Aberdeen, Snafu seems to have a stranglehold on the club scene. Electric Boutique and the Dirty Hearts Club take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays respectively as Mixtape caters for the techno and house crowd on Friday evenings, whilst The Deep End offers big name guests most Saturdays.

Electric Institute runs at Korova every Thursday, while Friday nights are covered by Kamikazi at Warehouse (formerly Moshulu) and Indo Silver Club at The Tunnels. A special mention goes to Everything Else Sucks who richocet between Snafu and Origin to host a variety of exceptional nights. With their most recent guest being DJ Zinc they are well on their way to being one of the stand out nights in the city.