Glasgow truly does have something for any lover of the arts – and that includes taking in some wonderful live music. There are high-energy rock shows and the more sedate pleasures of classical opera, local pubs with exceptionally talented Scottish acts offering traditional music, and much more. There is simply so much live music in Glasgow that it is a wonder that the notes don’t simply flutter wildly over the waters of the River Clyde.
A UNESCO ‘City of Music’
Such is the quality and quantity of the live music on offer in Glasgow that it has been recognized as a UNESCO City of Music. It is packed to the rafters with world-class venues offering a wide variety of entertainment, as well as some exceptional homegrown ensembles and solo acts.
That is not to say that Glasgow talent has not made its mark on the world stage. Bands like Simple Minds, Primal Scream and rising electronic dance music fan favorite Franz Ferdinand are all Glasgow born and bred.
The city also plays host to the Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet Company. Add to its numerous attractions fabulous choirs, a thriving jazz scene and many folk groups, and you have the perfect recipe for enjoyment. Book a hotel at My Hotel Break Glasgow and pay the city a visit.
Legendary Music Venues in Glasgow
On any given night there is bound to be a live music event within easy striking distance of your accommodation. Head to the city center to spend the evening at one of the city’s famed pubs where live music is bound to be on offer. Many pubs play host to artists from Glasgow’s vibrant Indie rock and underground dance scene. If you want a sure bet spend some time at Nice’n’Sleazy, King Tut’s Wah-Wah Hut or The Sub Club.
This list will give you everything you need to know, including what’s on, where and when.
A Rich History of Glasgow Rock
Glasgow’s theatre offerings and music venues are clustered around Sauchiehall Street, Argyle Street and Buchanan Street. Venues include The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall where one can often enjoy the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. It also has been pivotal to the success of the Celtic Connections music festival. Those who want to enjoy the celebration should visit the city in January.
Head east from ‘The Barras’ market and one arrives at the Barrowland Ballroom. This was the place that put Glasgow on the Rock map in the 1950s when Chuck Berry and Elvis records were offloaded at the nearby dock – much the delight of fans who flocked to the dancehall to enjoy sounds from these musical pioneers. The Barrowland Ballroom holds 2,100 fans and has seen bands like U2 and Oasis perform.
From Pop to Folk
Stroll down the banks of the River Clyde and head to the ultra-modern SSE Hydro, which is close by the armadillo-shaped Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. Both of these play host to huge crowds. The Hydro can accommodate 13,000 people and has seen Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift perform.
However, for those who want to immerse themselves in the traditional live sounds of Scotland, with its evocative fiddlers, bodhran drummers and soulful clairsach harpists the two go two venues are The Scotia and the Ben Nevis, alongside the river. These two pubs have a proud history of providing a stage for traditional Scottish music performers. Adding to the allure is a point of great ale and a dram (or two) of single malt whisky.
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