From massive gigs at well-known live music venues to underground talent making waves at local bars and pubs, Glasgow knows a thing or two about live music. But its clubbing scene is every bith the match, and with a reputation as good as Glasgow's, it's easy to see why so many clubbers make the pilgrimage from far and wide to sample one of the UK's best clubbing cities. DJs do too, with a set at spots like the Sub Club or Nice'n'Sleazy a rite of passage for any self-respecting turntable talent. We've picked our best clubs from Glasgow's many, so all you need to do is take your pick and prepare to party - aural treats for your ears and feet await.
Another bar more synonymous with Glasgow you will surely struggle to name. DJs frequently play in the bar, especially at weekends, but downstairs in the red interiored basement of Sleazy’s is where the real action is. The basement has come into its own as a club venue over the last half-decade or so, with packed club nights of all sorts happening every weekend, and some weeknights too. Residents on the decks at Sleazy’s include the garage, punk, psych and rockabilly-spinning Hot Club DJs, leftfield electro, indie and Italo-disco lovers Black Tent (featuring members of the band Errors), and acid house and techno selectors Haus Dimension.
Accessible through an innocuous doorway off of Jamaica Street marked by little more than its iconic submarine logo, the Sub Club – or ‘the Subby’ as it’s more commonly known – is the world’s longest-running underground dance club, and one of the most important clubbing institutions in the world. Originally established as a club night by a group of art students in 1983, it became a club proper in 1987, just in time to catch the euphoric wave of acid house.
Situated in the impressive Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed former Daily Record building down Renfield Lane, Stereo has become one of the vibiest alternative café-bars and gig venues in the city since moving into town from the West End in 2007. A central location together with great food and drink and a diverse programme of events keeps the place buzzing from noon until night (3am at weekends), seven days a week. It’s also one of the best gig venues in Glasgow for catching new, up-and-coming and cult local bands – members of which often double as bar staff.
Sister venue to Mono, Stereo, The Old Hairdresser’s and The 78, The Flying Duck began life in 2007 as a dedicated nightclub and sometimes gig venue in the basement of a tenement building adjacent to the Herald building at the top of Renfield Street. Long-running monthly clubnights include Singles Night – indie, soul and rock’n’roll from Belle & Sebastian’s Chris Geddes – hip hop/disco/new wave party Houndin the Streets, and Swedish-themed night Super Trouper, among others.
Clubs don’t get much more intimate than La Cheetah, where the DJ booth and huge Funktion-One soundsystem alone take up a large quantity of the floor space. But that’s the beauty of this fast-emerging basement venue, which has been a breeding ground for all kinds of exciting new names on Glasgow’s booming electronic dance music scene over the last few years – including the Numbers and LuckyMe – and frequently welcomes big names from around the world. Expect to know everyone on the dancefloor by the end of the night.
The place where Glasgow’s art, clubbing and live music scenes meet: Since 2009 SWG3, aka Studio Warehouse, and the adjoining Poetry Club have become established as among the most vital independent multifunctional creative spaces in the city. The Poetry Club hosts regular music and spoken-word happenings, as well as regular club nights such as queer electro dance party Hot Mess and reggae sound system Argonaut Sounds. SWG3 hosts The Electric Frog – an electronic music festival bringing together respected live acts and DJs from around the world. Often held on bank holiday weekends, the party spills out of the venue into empty railway arches and a street marquee.
Initially called the plain-old ABC when it opened as a music and club venue in 2005 after a £2 million conversion, the potential for this Sauchiehall Street art deco building was recognised by Regular Music. Club nights – mostly of a student-orientated, indie, electro and pop variety – take place Thursday through Saturday, and include Propaganda, Love Music and Jelly Baby Club. If you find yourself dancing in ABC1, note that you’ll be doing so beneath Europe’s largest mirror-ball.
This stylish underground clubbing and live music venue joined the Glasgow scene in 2011, when it was opened by the proprietor of adjoining bar-restaurant Chinaski’s. Packed and sweaty regular nights include old-school disco party Supermax, dub-reggae soundsystem Mungo’s Hi Fi and house, acid rock and all things in-between mashup Wild Combination from DJs David Barbarossa and friends. Special guests over the years have included Optimo, Horse Meat Disco, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, Felix Da Housecat, Richard Fearless from Death in Vegas, Andrew Weatherall and many more besides.
In the same neck of the woods as the Variety Bar and Nice'n'Sleazy, Broadcast is a bar as well as a gig and club venue. It hosts live acts of impeccable calibre while its club nights cover a range of genres. The alternative LGBT crowd bop around to disco, electro and house at Birdcage; Bobby Tank provides an electrofunk- electronica mashup inspired by everything from dubstep to Michael Jackson; the clientele even skanks the night away to the reggae, rocksteady and ska sounds of Dr No's on occasion. For the latest club nights and gigs, check the Broadcast website.