Best Live Music Pubs in Glasgow 2017
Last Updated: 30th January 2017
Glasgow’s famous around the UK for its amazing live music scene, both for its nurturing of small, local acts and for drawing in the big names too. I’m sure you already know the popular gig venues, so we’re not going to look at those here – instead, read on for a list of some of the best pubs and bars to listen to some great live music while you enjoy a pint or two.
The Rio Café, 27 Hyndland Street, G11, £
Why not accompany one of Glasgow’s best plates of Macaroni with something altogether more cultured: a wee side of Jazz. The Rio, often a venue in the city’s Jazz Festival, also plays host to near-constant evenings of both free-entry and ticketed gigs. Is chin-scratching soloing on beat-up saxophones not your thing? They also have a wide range of folk music and spoken word performers. And even the odd play.
Buck’s Bar, 111 West Regent Street, G2, £
Relatively new to the Glasgow scene, having opened in late 2016 on West Regent Street right in the heart of the city centre. Buck’s Bar has live rock and roll several nights a week – with a great bar and kitchen (serving truly delicious Nashville style buttermilk fried chicken) to boot.
The Butterfly and Pig, 153 Bath Street, G2, ££
Differentiating itself from the identikit clubs and upmarket-and-achingly-prententious clubs on Bath Street is the Butterfly and the Pig: a tea-room/bar just the right side of twee. Resident every Saturday night are the Meat Men who provide a luxuriously astounding Rock ’n’ Roll show. You can also make a wee night of it with half price entry to the adjoining Buff Club and indulge in some recorded music coupled with unbridled hedonism.
Babbity Bowster’s, 16-18 Blackfriars Street, G1, ££
A beautiful building; cosy booths and a patter-champion owner, Babbity Bowsters is one of our favourite pubs hands-down. The icing on the cake is the frequent (but frustratingly erratically timed) traditional music jam sessions. Bodhrán, fiddle and mandolin make for a perfect oral accompaniment to one of the local ales on offer. You’re not guaranteed to find them there all the time but weekend afternoons are the best bet. If it’s sunny, then you might get treated to an al-fresco concert in the spacious beer garden.
Waxy O’Connor, 44 West George Street, G2, ££
If you think you’re too cool to go to the Glasgow branch of an Irish-themed pub then you, pal, are missing out. At least once a month the Caffrey’s soaked, Guinness encrusted haunt beloved of rowdy students and jaded office workers welcomes a rag-tag assortment of traditional musicians. They play intimate sets in one of the many bars providing the listener with a wonderful musical treasure hunt. Find them and your ears will be rewarded.
Blackfriars, 36 Bell Street, G1, £
This slightly-hidden Merchant City gem might have an ever changing selection of IPAs and Stout but one thing we would never want them to alter is their live music institution, The Shiverin’ Sheiks. Bringing all conquering blasts of good old fashioned dancing tunes most Tuesday nights to the cosy, welcoming community in the bar they offer a raucous sound guaranteed to wash away a midweek funk.
McChuill’s, 40 High Street, G1, £
Spacious, casual bar on High Street (right at the eastern boundary of the Merchant City). Has regular live music, especially at weekends, as well as a really well stocked bar and decent bar food offering. Draws in a really mixed crwod and can be a lot of fun.
We hope you’ve found this guide useful and that you’ll get out and try a few of these great Glasgow bars. Don’t hesitate to connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to let us know how you get on, or if you have your own favourites that didn’t make the list.