8 Iconic Live Music Venues in Glasgow
You don’t become a UNESCO City of Music without paying homage to some incredible venues along the way. Glasgow plays host to a huge 130 live music performances in an average week, and the venues range from tiny to super large scale. We’ve picked out our favourites, have we missed yours? Let us know in the comments.
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It’s possibly best known for that Oasis-signing story, but this wee establishment is worth more than its weight in gold-dust for its never-ending gigs list, cosy feel and the incredible experience it provides for both performer and audience. It’s looking great for celebrating its 27th birthday this year, and has even been included on New York Magazine’s Bliss List: they rate a visit higher up on the list of euphoric experiences than climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and Swimming with Hippos in Botswana!
Decades (built 1934) of foot-tapping on the delectably sprung dancefloor of this ballroom have only added to the charm and character. A glimpse of the riotous neon frontage is all you need to get going for a gig you’ll never forget, no matter how many times you end up there.
Panopticon Music Hall
Back in its historical heyday (it’s the oldest surviving music hall in the WORLD, don’t ya know?), the music hall was where comedians, acts, performers wannabes were made or broken, in the face of discerning, rotten fruit-flinging crowds. Now, it’s showing its age a little but still puts on a great show, and all the money goes towards getting it back to its former glory! Beautiful original fixtures make it well worth a visit.
The oldest original bandstand in Glasgow was built in 1924 and immortalised in the above film, one of the earliest examples of colour film in Britain, in 1926. Fast forward nearly a century and it still welcomes the biggest and best names in the business. This year’s Summer Nights concerts include performances by Tom Jones, The Pixies and Ladysmith Black Mambazo amongst many others.
This distinctive ‘flying saucer’ by the Clyde opened in 2013 and has since been named the second busiest venue in the world, beaten only by London’s O2 Arena. Acts to sell out this 13, 000 capacity venue include Adele, Ed Sheeran, Still Game and KISS.
The building itself dates from 1836, and has functioned as a beautiful events venue in the east of the city since 2015. The refurbishment has retained many period features, making it a particularly unique example of Glasgow’s delightful church renovation habit (we’re thinking of Oran Mor and the Malmaison Hotel, to name but a few). A thriving new platform for the arts scene which welcomes all kinds of acts to the organ-fronted stage.
Nice n Sleazy
A Sauchiehall Street legend, most everyone has been in for a gig and a White Russian here and if you haven’t yet, then take our advice and go. The downstairs stage is dark, pokey and a recipe for genius, each time.
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
On a sunny day, you can see all the way from the concert hall steps to Enoch Square at the other end of Buchanan Street, and the Concert Hall might be of fairly standard-looking design but the acoustics are truly marvellous. From fiddles during Celtic Connections to spine-tingling symphonic performances, the hall is worthy of note in this list.