Photo by: Bartosz Madejski
"First arriving as a student in 2005, I’ve been living in Glasgow for ten years now. I was immediately taken with the vibrancy of the city, but never really discovered its treasures until a few years later when I was introduced to places like the Sub Club and Art School. It was on these dancefloors (and at the subsequent afterparties) where I met most of the people I now call friends, but most importantly its how I discovered what Glasgow really has to offer and why it’s now my favourite city in the world. So if you’ve just arrived in Glasgow and you’d rather venture beyond the student union, here is our guide to some of the clubs and parties which matter...the fun starts here." Alex Caslano (Editor)
There’s no better feeling than descending those stairs for the first time, hearing the bass get louder as you embark on what could easily be the best club experience of your life. There’s a reason why every DJ who plays the Subby comes away beaming, and while the soundsystem is up there with the best, it’s mostly down to the crowd and an electric atmosphere. Sub Club patron, Skream, returns for an all-nighter on Friday (18th) with Rinse FM, while if you’re quick off the mark, weekly student party, i AM, host Midland on the (15th) as part of their fifth birthday celebrations. Or, you could pay homage to Subculture this Saturday (19th) with Harri & Domenic, arguably the longest running underground club night in the world.
Photo by: Jack Wrigley (taken at Freaky Freaky)
One of Glasgow’s great institutions which boasts an impressive and colourful timeline stretching back to the 1930s, The Art School is an iconic place to party. After re-opening its doors after a massive refurbishment last year, the upstairs Assembly Hall now boasts a state-of-the-art soundsystem and some incredible A/V installations. For the full experience (and if you’re lucky), grab a ticket for Numbers on Friday (18th) who will be teaming up with Amsterdam label Dekmantel to present Fatima Yamaha (live), as well as Jackmaster, Spencer and a very special guest. Drop in at the iconic Vic Bar downstairs from 7 to catch an Astral Black x Donkey Pitch special with Jon Phonics, Lockah and Dressin Red performing live (which is also free). Or, head up the hill on Saturday (19th) for the next installment of Freaky Freaky x Too Nice - expect party cuts from RnB to G-Funk.
Hidden away on the outer limits of the West End, the SWG3 complex plays host to some of the biggest and indeed, unique events the city has to offer. With The Arches now sadly out of commission, it’s here you’ll find that special warehouse vibe, with a stripped-back interior and big, open-plan dancefloor. Jump along on Friday (18th) for The House Party, when three of Glasgow’s finest promoters, Sub Rosa, Stay Fresh and Thunder Disco Club, are promising to transform SWG3 into an anything goes ‘empty’, taking inspiration from Beastie Boys’ party classic ‘Fight For Your Right’. Be sure to also check out SWG3’s adjacent and satisfyingly intimate Poetry Club when you get a chance – monthly sweat-fest, Hot Mess, is the hot ticket.
Bunkered down in a small and sweaty basement on Queen St, La Cheetah is a rowdy hotbox with a big soundsystem. Booking leftfield legends and cutting-edge talent alike, it’s a DJ’s favourite thanks to the intergalactic booth (you’ll understand when you see it) and a crowd which gives it 100%. On Oct 9th, the club celebrates its 6th birthday with their Motor City Electronic series, inviting Detroit stalwart, Omar S, to do the honours. Having levelled the club last year, you can guarantee his appearance will be a sell out, so be quick. Begin your night upstairs at Max’s Bar & Grill which is a favourite for pre-drinks and fuelling up on some seriously heavyweight burgers.
Photo by: Bartosz Madejski
Overlooking the roaring M8 motorway and cleverly disguised as an old pawn broker, The Berekely Suite has become an enduring favourite since it opened its doors five years ago. With a slick and laidback bar upstairs, it’s a good idea to arrive early and soak up the atmosphere before heading down to the dimly-lit, speakeasy basement club. Head along on a Thursday for Walk N Skank where you’ll be blessed with reggae, dub and dancehall from world renowned soundsystem and selectors, Mungo’s Hi Fi. It’s also Walk N Skank's 3rd birthday this week so expect a big one.
After a postponing the launch date, the much anticipated arrival of Club Action this weekend will no doubt be a big talking point as we move into autumn. Brought to you by the same people behind Love Action (the festival previously held at The Arches and now hosting one-off events around the city), Club Action will make use of a 400 capacity basement on Sauchiehall Lane, where you can expect to see some seriously on-point bookings from the world of house and techno. This Saturday (19th) heralds the launch party with On The House featuring Edu Imbernon, while B.Traits, Moda Black and Sidney Charles B2B with Sante are all lined-up for the rest of September.
A student favourite and home to Glasgow’s longest running midweek parties, Killer Kitsch and Burn, The Buff Club boasts an inclusive atmosphere, quality music and some cracking drink promos (all the ingredients for a good night out). Head along to the aforementioned Killer Kitsch on the 15th for a ‘Guide To Glasgow’ special where you’ll hear some the tunes that shaped the city’s musical landscape, as well as the upfront heaters which are doing it the world over. Make sure you check out ‘Kill Yourself Dancing’ for a rare Sunday of disco & 80's boogie on the 27th too.
If it wasn’t for the alarming thunder of bass, you’d be forgiven for walking right past Flat 0/1; but hiding behind the traditional tenement exterior is a one of Glasgow’s most raucous party venues. Fashioned in the style of your typical student digs and serving the booze to match (think MD 20/20, Frosty Jacks and Lambrini), this Bath St gem has become a bit of a cult hit. With residents and parties featuring Greenman, Kappa, Boogaloo and Tremors, the emphasis is very much on local DJ talent, providing everything from hip hop to house, disco to grime. When the place is jumping (which is most weekends), it can get a wee bit mental.
Celebrating 20 years on air earlier this year, Glasgow’s freeform radio station, Subcity, is still an integral part of the city’s music scene, offering students (and anyone else who is interested) the chance to programme their own shows and generally get involved with some like-minded, creative people. Some of the city’s most respected names have been involved at one point or another in the station's history, including everyone from Optimo to Hudson Mohawke. Their annual Fresher’s party is taking place at the Art School on Wednesday (16th) under the banner 'Fresh 2 Death' with station selectors The Rainbow Dome, 199X, Deep Brandy Album Cuts and Rumours. You can find out more info about getting involved with the station here.
Glasgow has a plethora of live venues, from the world-renowned Barrowlands and King Tuts, to the historic 02ABC and Academy, not to motion the goliath SSE Hydro down by The Clyde. You’ll find that pretty much all major acts pass through Glasgow, but its also worth checking out gigs at smaller venues like Broadcast, Nice N Sleazy, The Flying Duck and Stereo for up and coming artists too. Look out for Skepta who will perform at the 02ABC later this month (27th); he’ll be joined by Preditah, Joker and P Money for a full 3am Bank Holiday takeover (we're also hosting a comp to win tickets - get involved here).