From underground electro to avant garde theatre, the Arches offers a creative haven for every taste. David Pollock explains the appeal of this cavernous venue.
There can be no more unique venue in Scotland than the Arches. While certain spaces that run under Edinburgh’s Old Town mimic its subterranean, almost claustrophobic feel, the Arches’ old vaulted stone rooms under the platforms of Glasgow’s Central Station are so much larger and more imposing. Famous as a club venue, a music venue, a theatre space and a relaxing bar café hangout, the Arches has a singular place in Glasgow’s cultural life.
‘A few times since I started working here,’ says the Arches’ music programmer Brian Reynolds, ‘I’ve caught myself looking at the place and being overwhelmed. We can run club nights for as little as 300 people or as many as 2500, over three rooms and the bar. Yet we can also accommodate gigs for 200 or theatre shows for fifteen people quite happily.’ Among the regular club nights at the Arches are the house events Pressure, Colours and Inside Out, which feature big guests every month. Underground electro night Death Disco is popular with scenesters while Wednesday’s weekly Octopussy is also one of Scotland’s biggest student nights.
‘It’s not just about the events we put on, though,’ says Reynolds, ‘it’s about the fact that the Arches is a supportive environment, so there are always a lot of local artists and musicians in. The other night, for example, we had Adele Bethel from Sons and Daughters performing at our Scratch theatre night – that’s the sort of thing that happens here.’
253 Argyle Street (F4), Glasgow, 0141 565 1000, www.thearches.co.uk, entry prices vary.