The Skinny guide to Glasgow clubbing

From tiny basement venues to a huge multi-venue warehouse space – here's our guide to Glasgow's best clubs

Feature by Nadia Younes | 11 Nov 2021
  • Stereo

When you think of Glasgow nightclubs what probably comes to mind is a series of small, sweaty basement venues decked out with pounding sound systems that will leave your ears ringing for at least a week – unless, sensibly, you come prepared with ear plugs.

Glasgow’s nightlife is world-renowned, largely thanks to a number of legendary venues and club nights birthed in the city. While some of the city’s most iconic venues, like The Arches and The Art School, may sadly no longer be in existence, those that are still standing continue to show – week in, week out – why Glasgow’s club scene is so revered.

Sub Club (22 Jamaica St) is a venue synonymous with Glasgow nightlife and a true global clubbing institution. Beginning life as a club night in the early 80s, Sub Club found a permanent home in the venue formerly known as Lucifer’s in 1987 and has remained in the same location ever since. Its longest-running club night, Subculture, is also the longest-running weekly house music residency in the world, with resident DJs Harri and Domenic still at the helm 27 years on. It’s also known for being the venue in which legendary Glasgow-based duo Optimo launched their infamous Optimo (Espacio) parties, running in the venue from 1997-2010.

A fresher face on Glasgow’s club scene, but with just as strong a reputation is La Cheetah Club (73 Queen St). Sitting beneath Max’s Bar and Grill, La Cheetah has steadily developed a reputation as one of Glasgow’s best clubs in its 12 year existence. Known as much for its dedication to supporting local artists and promoters as it is for bringing some of the world’s biggest DJs to its tiny 200-capacity basement, La Cheetah is a club all about balance and it’s in the club’s varied programming where it really thrives.

In March 2019, to coincide with the club’s 10th birthday celebrations, the team behind La Cheetah announced an expansion, opening a much larger sister venue, Room 2 (69 Nelson Mandela Pl), taking over the space once held by Chambre 69. Both venues boast an esteemed Funktion One sound system but the sheer scale of Room 2 allows more opportunity in terms of the range of events that can be held within the venue, with the team branching out into live music and comedy.

Featuring much more lavish decor, but maintaining the basement feel, The Berkeley Suite (237 North St) in Charing Cross sits underneath a pawn shop and features ​​a bespoke, custom-built sound system from Glasgow’s own We Enjoy Sound. The venue is known for frequently hosting the late Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston’s A Love From Outer Space, aka ALFOS, parties and Glasgow disco institution Supermax, with resident DJ Billy Woods at the helm, which is soon to celebrate a decade of parties in the venue.

Both opening in 2007 and both serving delicious vegan food, Stereo (22 Renfield Ln) and its sister venue The Flying Duck (142 Renfield St) also serve up a tasty selection of gigs and club nights, leaning into the more eclectic side, in their basement spaces. Popular club nights in the venues include Glasgow queer clubbing staple PUSH IT and live music/clubbing hybrid, with a focus on showcasing local talent, A Cut Above.

For larger scale events, however, multi-venue warehouse SWG3 (100 Eastvale Pl) has a space for just about anything. From intimate club nights in The Poetry Club to huge parties in its Galvanizers space to outdoor events in the Galvanizers Yard, SWG3 has allowed space for a myriad of events to take place in Glasgow – and not just a seemingly endless run of Bongo’s Bingo events.