With a rich musical heritage and many atmospheric venues, Scotland’s biggest city has something for every music aficionado.
Named a UNESCO City of Music in 2008, Glasgow is a music fan’s paradise with homegrown sensations including Texas, Del Amitri, Travis, Simple Minds and Primal Scream and over 130 venues. To help you enjoy unique spaces, big names and a ceilidh or two in 2016, we’ve rounded up the top music hot spots in the city.
Whether you have a passion for folk, rock, classical or bagpipes, contact us to enquire about upcoming events to suit your tonal taste and to secure tickets to the Celtic Connections festival from 14-31 January.
Get up close and personal
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
By far one of Scotland’s best-known music venues, this 300-capacity club in the city centre has played host to some of the biggest names in music. Oasis were signed here by Alan McGee in 1993 and others who have graced the stage when starting out on the road to fame have included the Killers, Pulp, Florence and the Machine and Paolo Nutini, who hails from nearby Paisley. To catch other future big names before anyone else, contact us for the full listings at this basement space.
A former parish church in the north of the city, this ornate building is now a highly regarded arts venue. Its Gaelic name means ‘great melody of life’ which seems appropriate given the number of events and variety of styles it attracts. Everything a gig-goer could need is on site – including a brasserie-style restaurant for a hearty dinner before heading to the Victorian-themed bar for a pre-gig drink. A five-minute walk down the road, the Alfred Hotel is ideal accommodation for out-of-town visitors or locals who want to go all out.
Not your traditional music venue, this subterranean space offers a sophisticated night out with bookable tables and the chance to step back in time to the Roaring Twenties in an intimate setting. Cocktails are expertly made by dapper bartenders, while you sit back to enjoy anything from jazz to blues and cabaret, every Friday and Saturday night. Flapper dresses and bowler hats are optional but you’ll be in good company if you get into the swing of things by dressing up.
Scale things up
The SSE Hydro
One of the UK’s newest arenas, this 13,000-seat venue wasted no time establishing itself in the market, opening in 2013 with a show-stopping concert by Rod Stewart. It has since hosted performances by Taylor Swift and U2, as well as the MTV Europe Music Awards and a 16-night run by Glaswegian comedian Kevin Bridges. No wonder 2014 saw it named as the world’s second busiest music arena, even beating off competition from New York City’s iconic Madison Square Garden.
Contact us for access to VIP seats at the SSE Hydro for upcoming events.
Referred to locally as ‘the Barras’, this 2,100-capacity concert and dance hall to the east of the city centre has a reputation for attracting some of the music industry’s biggest names. Past gigs have included Elvis Costello, Muse, Foo Fighters and The Clash to name a few. Its sprung dancefloor and superb acoustics mean it remains a popular tour stop for bands that could easily fill it 10 times over, and fans jump at the chance to see their idols in this relatively compact setting.
City Halls and Old Fruitmarket
A focal point of the city’s music scene, this historic complex has retained many of its original features, from the greengrocers’ signs in the covered market to the traditional shoebox-style set-up of the Grand Hall. As well as having hosted audiences with historical greats such as Charles Dickens and Benjamin Disraeli, it has been the home of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra since 2006.
Each January, the venue comes into its own during Celtic Connections, as the city becomes a hub of folk and traditional acoustic music from both sides of the Atlantic. If you happen to get carried away at one of the late-night ceilidhs or jamming sessions, we recommend Café Gandolfi for an indulgent, full Scottish breakfast including Stornoway black pudding and potato scones – contact us to book a table.
Pictured: Barrowland Ballroom