A guide to Glasgow's best music venues in 2014
Featuring Mono, Stereo, the Barrowland Ballroom and King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
Forget London and Manchester: gigs in Glasvegas are second-to-none. Malcolm Jack introduces some of the city’s leading venues
With a capacity of 13,000, Glasgow’s newest and biggest live music venue opened in 2013. Prince, Fleetwood Mac, Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus all played there in year one alone. If the bands you love have grown arena big, there are few better places to watch them than in The Hydro’s satisfyingly sight and sound optimised mega bowl.
Simply the best music venue in Scotland – possibly the world. With its sprung dancefloor and dusty old don’t-go-changing demeanour, the 2100-capacity famous Barrowlands is the ultimate place to commune with your favourite bands – just ask famous fans from Oasis to Metallica. Simply seeing its iconic neon sign glowing into view on a gig night is enough to get you buzzing.
Oasis – let’s get that little King Tut’s legend out of the way first, for famously it was here in 1993 that Creation Records’ Alan McGee first found the Gallaghers, and the rest is history. But this 300-capacity hub of the local scene thrives on much more than past reputation. With a near-constant stream of up-and-coming bands passing through every year, new Tut’s legends are made all the time.
Everyone from St Vincent to Mogwai and Robyn’s names have appeared on the ABC’s retro marquee overlooking Sauchiehall Street since this old art deco cinema became a music venue in 2005. With two rooms, at 1362 and 350-capacity apiece, it’s Glasgow’s busiest mid-sized venue. In the main ABC1, crowds spectate from beneath Europe’s largest disco ball.
Not just one of Glasgow’s best music venues but also one of its best vegan café-bars, and home to a fantastic record store (Monorail) and art gallery (Good Press). Gigs aren’t especially frequent at Mono, but they tend to be discerningly booked from the real independent end of the spectrum. Crystal Stilts, Parquet Courts and Perfect Pussy are just a few among several memorable recent shows here.
Part of the same family as Mono, café-bar and gig/club venue Stereo and bar and gig venue / gallery space The Old Hairdressers sit adjacent to one another on Renfield Lane. Stereo is the bigger of the two, hosting hip touring acts such as Ariel Pink and Black Lips in its industrial-feeling basement. The Hairdressers is predominately a haunt for DIY-minded local artists, of both the audio and visual variety.