Though Celtic Connections has finished for the year, Glasgow is a breeding ground for new music and has much to offer all year round, attracting big names as well as small, up-and-coming bands. The West End is a great place to catch a band, especially as many of the gigs are free, giving you the chance to discover new talent.
Jinty McGuinty's is the West End’s one and only Irish bar and offers free gigs almost every night of the week. Focusing on local talents, Jinty’s regular performers include Chris Suckle, Scott McWatt, Sandy Watson, Stuart McFarlane and Lily Kearns. Keep an eye on Jinty’s Facebook page for the latest gigs.
The Aragon Bar is on the lower end of Byres Road and is one of those timeless, traditional bars where you can get a good old pint. The Aragon offers an open mic night every second Sunday where local talents can play original or cover songs. Confirm times with the venue to avoid disappointment.
Bar Gumbo, bringing the spirit of the Southern States to Byres Road, has free gigs from Thursday to Sunday each week, and can be trusted to host some of the best blues bands in Glasgow. Regulars include The Shiverin Sheiks and Strange Dave’s Trio. There is also a monthly bluegrass jam session, where anyone who’s keen just needs to bring an instrument to join in.
Òran Mór is one of the biggest concert providers in the West End and has seen a wide range of acts perform, including Amy Winehouse and The Proclaimers. This cosy basement venue is a great place to catch a concert this spring, with names including The Rifles, The Feeling, Oh Wonder, Stevie McCrorie, Rat Boy and Colin Hay. Gigs are ticketed and can be purchased at the bar or from Ticketmaster.
The Bothy offers live music every Friday and Saturday night, entertaining their dining guests with an acoustic set from Paul Malcolm at 9.30pm.
Byres Road is also within walking distance from the Hydro and the SECC, where you can catch like likes of Muse and Rod Stewart. In fact, The Hydro is the third busiest music venue in the world, selling more tickets per year than the famous Madison Square Garden in New York. Glasgow’s definitely earnt its place as a UNESCO City of Music.
Header photo by David Baxendale