I recently visited Glasgow for the first time ever, and after 2 days in the city, I realised just what a treasure trove it is for music fans. So here I am sharing 5 things every music lover should do when they visit Glasgow!
Go on a music walking tour
Glasgow Music City Tours offer 2 great tours around Glasgow, tailored to music fans. It’s a city rich in musical history with some of the biggest names in music hailing from the Glasgow, including Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, Texas, Simple Minds, Primal Scream, and even some members of Dire Straits and AC/DC. Glasgow is also home to some fantastic live music venues, including what is considered to be the best venue in The UK (but more on that later), and you’ll definitely get the chance to have an exclusive look around some of these venues on the walking tour.
Celtic Connections is a music festival that celebrates Glasgow’s traditional Celtic music as well as it’s connection to the rest of the world. Hundreds of artists will be descending into the city 18th January – 4th February for what promises to be 2 and a half weeks of amazing music. We were treated to a little sneak peek of what’s to come. A couple to look out for are Findlay Napier and Tannara. I’ve had a quick look at ticket prices and they mostly seem to be around the £14-18, with some of the bigger shows being £20, but none that I’ve seen are over £30!
Attend a gig in a converted building
During the music walking tour, we were taken to 2 converted venues. One was St Luke’s, which as you can probably guess, used to be a church. It’s now an intimate gig venue with a hipster bar next door. This space also gets used for weddings and talks. Jeremy Corbyn was due to speak there later that night!
We were also shown around The Old Fruitmarket, which as the name suggests, was once a fruitmarket. All the original stall signs still hang around the venue. The old antique signs are brightened up with colourful lights all around the room.
Go to a Ceilidh
A Ceilidh is a social gathering, traditional to Scottish and Irish cultures. It involves a live band and lots of dancing, not just any old freestyling though. For each dance you usually get into groups of even numbers. You are then shown a set of steps and moves that you’ll then need to repeat until the song is over. It’s a bit like a barn dance, and usually the songs get faster and faster, so it all gets a bit messy, but it’s great fun!
Catch some live music at the UK’s best venue
Yes, that’s right, the UK’s best venue for live music as voted for by fans and artists is in bonny Scotland. During my trip, I didn’t get a chance to go to a concert at Barrowlands, but it has definitely been added to my bucket list! Literally everyone has played this legendary venue, and you can find the names of more than 2000 artists that played there between 1983, after it’s reopening having suffered a fire, until 2014, when this amazing ‘album pathway’ was laid. We also heard a very touching story about when David Bowie played there. One of the sound engineers noticed him look up and smile at the ceiling which is decorated in pretty stars, so he went up, removed one, and gave it to Bowie. Starman indeed. It may not look like much in broad daylight, but come nighttime the outside of the venue is all lit up like a Vegas casino!
* I was invited to Glasgow for a free 2 night trip with Visit Scotland, but rest assured, all words and opinions are my own 🙂