Not for nothing is Scotland reputed to have some of the finest clubs in Europe. David Pollock and Henry Northmore cherry pick the best
It’s not that we want to make Edinburgh feel inferior, but Glasgow is pretty much recognised as the most vibrant city in the UK after dark, behind London. Sure, your student days aren’t complete without a stagger alongside Sauchiehall Street every now and then, particularly into venues like the Garage, the ABC and Nice’n’Sleazy, all of which run regular, student-friendly late nights. But the city is also responsible for some of the most bleeding edge electronic music clubs in the land, and you might not feel like you’ve truly experienced the best your new home has to offer until you’ve been round them.
Widely recognised as Glasgow’s most atmospheric clubbing spaces are the vastly different Sub Club and the Arches. The former is a small basement on Jamaica Street (best nights: nationally-recognised techno, hip hop and dubstep-playing monthly event Numbers; legendary and eclectic weekly Sunday-nighter Optimo), the latter a cavernous space just round the corner which is built in the caves under Central Station (you’ll want to check out monthly electroclash revival night Death Disco and Wednesday’s student party Octopussy).
Beyond these, regularly high-quality ports of call for clubbers of style and taste will be Stereo (must-attend: Huntley & Palmer’s Audio Club, a perfect blend of highbrow and dancefloor-ready sounds, and Ballers Social Club, the club wing of highly-regarded local music and design collective LuckyMe – both are monthly, both feature regular guests) and the old faithful Glasgow School of Art. Prime events here include Thursday’s weekly double bill R-P-Z and Mixed Bizness, and semi-regular dubstep session Fortified. Other places and promoter nights of interest include the indie-centric Flying Duck, particularly Gavin from Camera Obscura’s Friday night Back Tae Mine and monthly soul, mod and psych night Modern Lovers, and the Admiral Bar Basement’s peerless monthly disco club Melting Pot.
While there’s less to go round in Edinburgh, this means the nights of real quality stand out all the more. The current sound of the city is disco, both the classic version and the new style popularised by artists like Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, and the best places to hear it are the excellent Wasabi Disco (monthly at Sneaky Pete’s), the comic book styled Club For Heroes (monthly at the GRV) and the recently established Devil Disco Club (monthly at the Bongo Club).
Otherwise, Edinburgh possesses a couple of exemplary, long-running indie nights (Evol, every Friday at Faith on the Cowgate; The Egg, every Saturday at the College of Art’s Wee Red Bar), possibly Scotland’s top drum & bass night in Xplicit (monthly at the Bongo Club) and its own, original version of Modern Lovers (monthly at the GRV). Certain venue names are also a mark of quality in themselves; as well as those mentioned above, expect to make frequent visits to Cabaret Voltaire (We Are … Electric every Wednesday and the monthly Sugarbeat Club and Ultragroove are recommended for house and techno lovers) and the West End’s Berlin, a venue with a strong tendency towards straight-up house sounds.
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