Best Nightclubs in Glasgow
Okay so Glasgow’s got a booming burger bar industry, a cool craft beer scene, some slick cocktail bars, and some rather wild (and mega cheap) student nightclubs. But when it comes to Glasgow nightlife, the thing that makes this city so infamous, no it’s not the Bru bombs, or the deep fried Mars bars at the end of the night (who actually eats those?), it’s our iconic clubbing. Glasgow churns out world class DJs, spawns acclaimed EDM labels, boasts some of the most incredible venues, and claims some of the world’s longest running club nights. So for those not yet acquainted with Glasgow clubbing, those too scared to dive in, or those who are new to the city and wondering where to start, this is my crash course in Glasgow clubbing. Glow sticks at the ready now…
Sub Club is the mac daddy of Glasgow clubbing. This place has spawned some seriously sick club nights over the last twenty years (can anyone say Optimo or SubCulture), and every week it continues to pump out night after night of incredible clubbing. From sensational midweek residencies like I Am and Sub Rosa, to awesome weekend sessions like Return To Mono and Sensu, Subbie boasts some of the finest regulars in the business, while also attracting world class guests to the decks. Whether you’re a novice clubber or discerning house or techno fan, your love affair with Glasgow clubbing should start in this Jamaica Street basement.
Another heavyweight of Glasgow clubbing, The Arches has created some of the most epic dance parties in Glasgow over the last 20 years. This Argyle Street club is responsible for some of the biggest nights and names in UK clubbing, among them, Pressure, Slam and Colours. With its five vaulted arches, it has the built-in acoustics and ambience for sensational sessions, and it’s got the goods and the size to draw big name international DJs. Over the years the likes of Daft Punk, Underworld, and Felix Da Housecat have performed here, and the club boasts Carl Cox as a patron. Add in the not-for-profit arts centre that is the inspiration of this super club and you have yourself one of the finest contributions to both clubbing and culture in Glasgow.
La Cheetah is one hot little addition to Glasgow clubbing. A tiny basement club under Max’s bar in Merchant City, La Cheetah has played host to some massive DJs over the last few years. La Cheetah has something of a specialty in drawing old school Detroit and Chicago DJs, along with some big names in soul and funk to Glasgow, the club is also home to some cracking label showcases from local collectives as well as German and Dutch outfits too. And while it might be a bit of a squash down there, it all adds to the intimacy and the atmosphere. Keep your eyes peeled for regular nights from Catch 22, Pistols at Dawn and NotSoSilent.
Saint Judes is a star on the rise in Glasgow clubbing. Part of a bigger venue, with swanky private hire spaces, an awesome, and rather glam restaurant, and party packages that offer everything from afternoon tea to karaoke, the last couple of years haves seen the basement space branch off and transform into quite the discerning dance club. The Bath Street venue has scored some major coups over the last six months with touring DJs like Artful and Dro Carey, while thriving regular nights include The Shimmy, Missing Persons Club and new Thursday residency, Different Drum. With a Funktion 1 sound system this is one banging basement to check out some of the coolest DJs in town.
The Berkeley Suite is one of the coolest clubs in Glasgow, packed out at weekends for some smashing alternative clubbing. While other big name clubs in town are known for their house or techno, The Berkeley Suite is the epicentre for disco, dub and reggae in Glasgow, as well as some niche electronic music too – this is also the place where well known DJs come to experiment. Hidden behind a pawn shop front and with old school dancehall decor inside, this club is a beautiful place to party. Look out for residents and regulars, like DJ Billy Woods, Walk ‘n’ Skank Thursdays, Horse Meat Disco and Positive Education – oh and don’t miss Felix Da Housecat who will pay a visit at the end of the month.
Make Do is a pop-up club in Glasgow, that rose from the ashes of Chambre 69, a much-loved nightclub which was closed down early this year. What was meant to be a short-term makeshift measure, has developed into regular dose of clubbing awesomeness. This big space is a total mixed bag of music, boasting some cracking house and techno sessions, as well as stomping label showcases, and rapid raving D&B and gabber nights. While the nights can be somewhat irregular, that adds to the allure and with regular licence extensions, if you’re looking to party hard ‘til the wee ones, this is the club to check out. But catch it while you can, pop-ups are precarious, so who knows how long this one will be around for.
Last but most certainly not least, is SWG3. This West End warehouse is the perfect setting for some monster raves. While it was previously home to weekenders and early evening parties, recent changes have meant there are more late night sessions and after parties kicking off in this incredible venue. New rooms create more intimate clubbing experiences while there’s still the space for some epic club gigs. While SWG3 doesn’t host residencies, regulars at the warehouse include Sunday Circus, Frogbeats and Chungo-Bungo. This is the home of user-friendly raving in Glasgow.
Well sorry for waxing on, it’s just so dang hard to summarise such a mammoth scene and that’s only the start of it. Have a monster weekend folks, and while you’re at it, why not root out that rave whistle and try one of these gems on for size?