Glasgow: Clubs & Gig Venues

The very best of live music and club nights in Glasgow...

Feature | 03 Sep 2013


The Barrowlands
244 Gallowgate 01415524601
If you’re in Glasgow for any amount of time then the chances are you’ll end up at a gig in this Gallowgate institution. It’s truly one of the greatest venues anywhere in the UK with incredible acoustics, a ridiculous starry façade and a sprung dance floor that allows Barras crowds to genuinely jump higher and go crazier than anyone else. 

22-28 Renfield Ln 01412222254
One of Glasgow’s most prominent gig spaces, expect bigger promoters, DIY outfits and curious independents all to appear. You might see some locally sourced avant-garde stupidity one night, and your favourite ageing post-hardcore act the next. Club nights often take the form of gig after-parties, but some of Glasgow’s finest DJs have been known to hijack the place.

Nice ’n’ Sleazy
421 Sauchiehall St 01413330900
Aidan Moffat got it right when we asked him to sum up Sleazy’s in five words: “Very, very difficult to leave.” That’s not to say you won’t want to – the Sleazy’s basement can be hellishly claustrophobic, but Sleazy’s is home to the city’s most intelligent, open-minded gig bookers, who regularly hand the stage over to acts that others would barely consider music.  

427 Sauchiehall St 01413328100
Standing on the site of the former Captain’s Rest, Broadcast puts on gigs split down the middle between established acts and underground local talent. Gigs take place down in the basement, while the upstairs bar makes for a good hangout between sets, and the location couldn’t be much better for making a night of it (provided it hasn’t been too sweaty a gig).

O2 Academy
121 Eglinton St 08444772000
The kind of venue that makes Glasgow Scotland's music hub, the Academy represents the middle ground between an intimate gig and an enormo-tour. Formerly an Art Deco cinema, the large capacity allows for established acts from home and abroad, and pleasingly the Academy don’t stick to one musical genre, and offer a real mix of shows. 

300 Sauchiehall St 01413322232
Once home to Scotland’s first cinema, the ABC is now one of Scotland’s top gig venues. Well, it’s actually two – there’s the main concert hall with its grand art deco features and even grander giant disco ball, and the smaller ABC2 with a more intimate, club-style vibe. Expect to see top bands from across the globe here, and prepare to return for the student-friendly club nights too.

King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
272a St Vincent St 01412215279
A niche-defying institution, King Tut’s is both a homely basement bar with pool tables and food, and an upstairs gig space with an incredible reputation and a track record for booking great bands. Provided you don’t get stuck behind the pillar at the top of the stairs you’ll see just why this is one of the best small venues in the city.

13th Note
50 King St 01415531638
Standing tall amid the creative decay of the city centre’s eastern end, The 13th Note has cemented its reputation as an uncompromising believer in, and supporter of, live music in Glasgow. The absurdly cheap overheads allow all manner of mentalists to have their way with the bar’s crumbling cellar. Expect hardcore, drone, noise, and some plain silliness.

Sub Club
22 Jamaica St 01412484600
Frequently cited as the best club in the country and one of the best in Europe, this dance music mecca is home to some of the finest DJ talent around. That has a lot to do with the soundsystem, which will take your face clean off if you aren’t braced for it. The history and community vibe around the Subbie, built up over 20-odd years, adds something extra to go with the oomph.

The Arches
253 Argyle St 01415651000
The Arches’ location in caverns underneath the West Coast mainline comes as a surprise to newcomers and some of the performers, but there’s no doubt that it's one of the city’s largest, most creative venues. A not-for-profit organization, The Arches invests much of what it makes back into programming, allowing promoters to bring in acts and DJs you might not expect.

The Buff Club
142 Bath Ln 01412481777
While some of Glasgow’s other clubs can be a little esoteric at times, The Buff Club’s music policy is designed with one thing in mind: to get you dancing. Classic hip-hop, funk, R&B and soul all come pumping out on a regular basis, while regular night Killer Kitsch lays down electro and EDM tunes that you may well have heard before. Sounds crazy, right, but go along with it.

100 Eastvale Pl 01413577246
Just shy of the Clyde’s industrial wasteland is Studio Warehouse Glasgow. As a venue, it’s come a long way since its days as a rotting, semi-legal hipster’s wet dream. The bleak interior has been transformed into a sleek, haunting auditorium. SWG3 itself is home to all manner of graft-dodging creative types, many of whom have been involved in the highly innovative events you’ll find there.

Flat 0/1
162 Bath St 01413316227
Think of a ‘student flat;’ doesn’t seem like an ideal nightclub, does it? Flat 0/1’s shabby style works though, with mismatched furniture and a bike in the corner giving it a homely vibe. Cheap and quirky drinks (White Russians and supermarket cider amongst others) and a mix of club nights and live music make this the perfect house party spot, without any of the cleaning up afterwards. 

The Berkeley Suite
237 North St 01412373235
The Berkeley Suite is grander than your average club. Spread over two floors, the Art Deco flourishes make this an interesting place to be regardless of what’s on. Luckily, the events match the venue’s special air pretty well. Expect big club nights, exciting launches, and a range of other diverse events from music to film to art.

The Garage
490 Sauchiehall St 01413321120
The Garage is open every day of the year, and its size and scope makes it one of the most popular student venues in the city. Constant gigs, a steady stream of club nights, a steadier stream of drinks promos and three rooms with a range of musical styles on offer make The Garage a venue that has something for everyone.

The Faktory
17 Byres Rd 01413348888
The Faktory offers the solution to a common problem - fancying a night out, but not wanting to take to the Clockwork Orange and head into town. Ostensibly a sports bar serving up great value food and drink during the day, and a full-powered student club by night, Faktory manages to be all things to all men (and women) and its location means you don’t need a commute to get there.