Travel Blog

  1. Going to gigs in Glasgow

    posted by Rebecca Keenan | 0 Comments

    Going to gigs in Glasgow


    I could visit Glasgow a hundred times and still keep going back for more. I’ve been twice for work, once to collect information for our free Glasgow pocket guide and then again to film our Glasgow video postcard and record our Glasgow podcasts. On top of that, I’ve been back plenty of other times to hang out with friends and go to gigs. The live music scene here is incredible, thanks to a great mix of home grown talent and top bands from all over the world. Three of my favourite places to go to concerts in Glasgow are the O2 Academy, the Garage and the SECC.

    O2 Academy

    One of the first gigs I ever went to in Glasgow was at the Carling Academy on Eglinton Street in the south side of the city. Now known as the O2 Academy, I think it’s a great venue. No matter what part of the venue I end up in after the usual meandering of the crowd, the sound is always great. Not confined to one particular genre of music, shows here feature a really great variety of bands and performers. Okay, so you might not particularly fancy seeing old school, big hair bands like Whitesnake (for the record, I’ve seen them play and was pretty entertained), but what about the likes of Interpol or Adele? As you can see, I really do mean it when I say they host a huge range of bands.

    The Garage

    I have extremely fond memories of The Garage on Sauchiehall Street, right in the centre of Glasgow. Possibly because the last time I was there I was right at the barrier with three of my friends seeing one of my favourite bands (The All-American Rejects, mostly pictured here) play live for the first time. It’s a great small venue and nightclub. The sound is spot on, the staff are super friendly and the stage is elevated enough that you have a good view from pretty much anywhere. Speaking of good views, I should mention that there’s actually an upstairs balcony at the Garage, too, which is very handy especially if you’re as short as I am.


    Anyone who’s ever gone to a show at a big venue knows that you’ll sometimes run across problems like subpar sound systems and badly organised queues. I think the SECC in Glasgow handles stuff like this really effectively. The security staff have always been totally on top of things when I’ve been there, even allowing people to wait inside on particularly cold days, which is definitely appreciated when queuing for hours in order to secure a spot near the front. Once you get inside, you can expect to clearly hear the bands rocking out on stage, which is definitely a good thing. On top of that, how can you not love a venue in a building nicknamed ‘the Armadillo’?

    That’s not even close to all of my favourite places to enjoy live music in Glasgow. If I actually get talking on this subject, I can literally go on for hours. I haven’t even mentioned places like King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, the Cathouse, Barrowlands and many, many more.

    Have you ever been to Glasgow? What are your favourite live music venues there? If you're contemplating your first trip to this fantastic Scottish city, don’t forget we’ve got a fab selection of hostels in Glasgow for you to check out.

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