Glasgow’s Music Landmarks

When Glasgow was named a world center of music by UNESCO in 2008 it was deserved recognition of its remarkably diverse and energetic music scene. From fey indie rock bands to relentlessly innovative dance sounds, the city’s musical influence can be felt worldwide. Unsurprisingly, there are numerous locations around the city where this enduring fervor can be sampled first hand.

272A St Vincent St, Glasgow G2 5RL, UK
Although most famous as the place where Creation Records boss Alan McGee first spotted Oasis, this venue has long been a hothouse for new and emerging acts. Tucked away underneath one of the city’s most commercial streets, it remains a haven for healthy rock and roll disrespect.
12, Kings Court, Glasgow G1 5RB, UK
An air of casual cool permeates the atmosphere at this, one of Glasgow’s best gathering spots for fans of alternative music. A judiciously curated events schedule runs the gamut from book readings to live performances, while the cafe serves great vegan food and a wide selection of beer and wine. In house record store Monorail has a small but excellent choice of sounds.
Top of Byres Road, Glasgow G12 8QX, UK
Translating into ‘big song’ in Gaelic, Òran Mór is a linchpin of entertainment in Glasgow’s trendy west end. Located in the former Kelvinside Parish Church, this stunner of a venue is host to concerts (think FKA Twigs), plays (the irresistible play, pie and pint combo), and weddings (naturally) in addition to being a charming restaurant. While I tried my first haggis in Edinburgh, it really fell flat in comparison to this one. Though it’s easy to thistle-up at the idea of eating a sheep’s innards, it’s actually of little concern once you’re hungry and diving into a plate of it. Haggis is whipped up from a sheep’s pluck — aka their heart, liver and lungs — and comes hacked up with onion, oatmeal and plenty of spices. Following the makeover it’s pretty unrecognizable. Traditionally it comes served with neeps and tatties, a rather charming way of saying mashed turnips and potatoes. Here the goods arrive drenched in whiskey sauce and chances are, you’ll eat every bite.
244 Gallowgate, Glasgow G4 0TT, UK
Bob Dylan, David Bowie, The Clash, and U2 are just a few of the seminal acts to have performed at this vaunted music hall since it first opened in 1934. Occupying a massive city center building with street-level market stalls and an iconic neon sign above, it’s one of the favorite venues for seeing live bands in the city. Reportedly, the draws here for major performers—who could easily fill stadiums—are the Barrowlands’ excellent acoustics, and small (2,100-capacity) audiences of die-hard music lovers. Scheduled to appear in the next few months are indie superstars Haim, local Glasgow band Chvrches, and Neutral Milk Hotel. To find out more about why Glasgow is a UNESCO City of Music please visit
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