Fiona McKinlay recaps on why the Wah Wah Hut is consistently voted one of the very best venues in the UK.
Whether it’s Razorlight, My Chemical Romance or Manic Street Preachers, practically every band that’s become something in the past eighteen years has stopped off at Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut on their way to the top. But it’s not just a great wee venue with smart bookers – King Tut’s is also a bar, it serves very good food and has a jukebox with a great selection of respectable tunes, from Johnny Cash, to Hot Chip, to Sons & Daughters.
The venue opened its doors in 1990 and has stuck to the same policy of supporting new music ever since. Travis were regulars in their early days, and The Verve, Radiohead and Oasis have all passed across the stage.
The Tut’s team’s dedication to new talent was recently reasserted with the launch of King Tut’s Recordings and a monthly Your Sound event to help unsigned bands acquaint themselves with local industry types.
Tucked between offices on St. Vincent Street, head in on a week day lunch time to see the clientele at its most diverse - suited locals, skinny-jeaned youngsters and tourists will all be there grappling for a menu.
In the early evenings, the bar starts to buzz with gig-goers. The venue itself is upstairs and, most nights, plays host to three or four bands. While guitar bands do rule the roost, Tut’s regularly welcomes promising new talent from more exotic, experimental genres.
Deservedly, Tut’s has won many awards, including BBC Radio 1’s UK’s Best Live Venue three years in a row, and is constantly name checked by megastars as a splendid place to play.
It might not have its name up in neon lights like the Barrowland Ballroom, but King Tut’s certainly knows how to shine.
272a St. Vincent Street, Glasgow, 0141 221 5279, www.kingtuts. co.uk, free entry to the bar, most gigs between £5 and £8, buy direct from the bar to avoid booking fee.