As the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow certainly has something to shout – or sing – about. Internationally recognised as one of the country’s most exciting cultural hubs, Glasgow is considered the musical capital of Scotland. The roll call of Glaswegian bands or artists reads like a who’s who of rock, indie, pop, folk and classical – to name a few. From Bobby Gillespie (The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream) to Lulu, the list is endless; it’s not surprising that the streets are chock-full of hip (and historical) music venues that still attract the crowds. If you’re staying with us in Glasgow, be sure to make a stop-off; these are some of the best places to see live music in the city.
272A St Vincent Street
The quintessential rock and roll venue, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut is a small space that’s known for attracting big names – before they’re big. Ever since it first opened its doors in 1990, Tut’s has been showcasing emerging bands and helping them to make their mark on the music scene (famously, Oasis were signed on the spot by industry mogul Alan McGee after their show here). Name any indie band who’s made it, and they’ve probably played at Tut’s. In fact, the venue has become a kind of pilgrimage for artists and music fans alike. After all, with multi-band bills playing almost every night of the week, it’s a great place to spot tomorrow’s biggest names (or the competition, depending on your vocation!).
With a capacity of only 300, Tut’s is definitely compact, so get there early if you want a good view. It shouldn’t be too difficult to grab a decent spot if you’re staying at our Glasgow hotel though; we’re only an 8-minute walk away.
And if you’re feeling peckish before or after a gig, take a detour down to Bothwell Street, where you’ll find The Grill on the Corner – one of Glasgow’s premier steak houses. Described as ‘a glitzy oasis in the heart of Glasgow,’ it’s a 5-minute walk from King Tut’s – and our hotel. What’s more, A-List members can enjoy 20% off their total food bill (so go on, make a night of it!).
100 Bath Street
The Howlin’ Wolf – a cool and cosy kitchen, bar and live music venue – shares a street with us. It’s so close in fact, that you can walk there from Point A Glasgow in just 1 minute! If you love blues, soul and rock and roll, then this is the place for you. Specialising in live blues, The Howlin’ Wolf is open until 3am seven days a week (with free entry), so it’s the perfect place for night owls!
This American whiskey bar is all about the classics; old favourites like Moscow Mules and Sours take their rightful place on the drinks menu, and it’s all topped off with some suitably rustic décor. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy more exotic tipples though; you’ll find a range of spirits and beers from around the world on offer too, so there’s plenty to choose from.
The kitchen, much like the bar, serves up much-loved favourites; it’s all about comfort food here, so expect to find hearty dishes like pulled pork, macaroni cheese and vegan lasagne – hungry A-Listers get 15% off their food bill (seven days a week) too! The kitchen is open from 11am right through until 2am seven days a week, so it’s the perfect place to grab a [very] late lunch.
117 Bath Street
Just across the street from The Howlin’ Wolf (and our Glasgow hotel!) stands Bar Bloc; an independent bar and music venue that offers a little bit of everything. On entering the space, guests are confronted with a huge neon sign, boldly stating ‘not for everyone’ (all capitals); in actuality, it’s safe to say that, whilst fiercely independent, Bar Bloc doesn’t have any pretentions. And with a mix of live bands and DJs performing 7 nights a week, it’s probable that there is something for everyone. But the best part? You can see it all for free!
With its relaxed ambience and salvaged décor, it’s got that ‘home away from home’ thing down to a tee. With local beers on tap and a great selection of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available, it’s a great place to catch up with friends.
22-28 Renfield Lane
Located in an impressive building (designed by renowned Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh no less), Stereo Café Bar is an expansive multi-use space that’s readily become one of the city’s hippest hangouts. During the day, you can enjoy a veritable feast of vegan-friendly food and drinks; come nightfall, it turns into one of Glasgow’s best independent venues.
Playing host to a variety of gigs, live performances and club nights, Stereo’s diverse programme of events is one of its strongest assets. These generally run into the early mornings, so if you’re looking for a BNO (a big night out) then this venue is ideal. Oh, and since it’s just 5 minutes on foot from our Glasgow hotel, you can really let your hair down – after all, Stereo stays open until 3am during the weekends!
If you’re looking for something to whet your appetite beforehand, stop off at Blue Dog; a New York style piano bar specialising in great cocktails. Just 3-minutes’ walk away from Stereo, this West George Street bar is all about the ambience; with a live pianist and a huge drinks list, it’s the perfect place to kick-start your night. Member of the A-List? Lucky you! You’ll enjoy discounted drinks at Blue Dog too – simply flash your key card at the bar.
2 Sauchiehall Street
Renowned for its classical, jazz, pop, rock and folk events, Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall remains as one of the city’s most prestigious live venues. It’s also the home of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, so if you’re looking for some high-brow entertainment, you’ll find it here. And with past performances from the likes of Johnny Cash, David Byrne and Debbie Harry, you’re likely to spot an icon on the bill when you visit.
Located at the top of Buchanan Street – Glasgow’s main shopping avenue – it’s right in the heart of the action (and only a 6-minute walk from our hotel!). For the perfect pre-theatre menu, head around the corner to Vapiano’s – an Italian restaurant like no other. Offering a unique dining experience, guests can enjoy face-to-face interactions with the restaurant’s chefs as they cook dishes to order. So, however you prefer your penne pasta, your meal is guaranteed to arrive just as you like it! Plus, all A-List members will get 15% off their bill; if that’s not the best way to start a show, we don’t know what is!
Read our blog post on our Guide to Glasgow.