Introducing: Glasgow’s Subculture Gems

By now you’ve probably heard that Glasgow is a city that thrives with diversity, because it’s true -arts, culture, events, you name it. But what about subculture and other lifestyles? If typical club nights aren’t your thing or you simply fancy something a little different away from the mainstream, here’s a non-exhaustive list to give you a small taste of what’s on offer in underground Weegie scenes.


On the last Saturday of every month, strange creatures venture out of their caves to come together and dance in the QMU’s very own goth/industrial night hosted in Qudos. Replacing what was once known as Bedlam, Asylum initially stirred up some controversy due to the mental health connotations of its name choice, but, if anything, this reflects the fact that it’s a ‘place of refuge and expression for all alternative people to be free to dress and be what they want without judgement or prejudice’, making it one of the most inclusive club nights out there. It also has a wide age range of its regulars, giving you the chance to break out of that student bubble for a night.

So, if you want to wear black, listen to mad goff tunes or just dance in a conga line to ‘This Corrosion’, Asylum is the perfect outlet to prove that it’s not just a phase. Expect cult films on screen and DJ No_Name (aka Brian) spinning the best of The Cure, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, Rammstein and more.

Alternatively, Stigmata is another club night which takes place on a fortnightly basis in Ivory Blacks with DJ Frank Flag playing similar industrial tunes with some EBM and post-punk thrown into the mix too, while DJs Catnip and Pasta’s Danse Macabre recently made a comeback to bring you a more 80s take of gothic rock, classic italo/disco and free cupcakes, all in Stereo Café Bar’s basement.


For student and non-student metalheads alike, you’ll definitely want to check out the University of Glasgow’s own Rock & Metal Society – whether you’re into ‘sludgy doom, symphonic piratecore or satanic campfire music’, Morgul is a great place to meet like-minded people. Thanks to its past members, Glasgow has actually been hosting a one-day extreme festival called North of the Wall which has proven to be highly successful since its conception in 2012, and next April will be no different as Abyssal, Dragged Into Sunlight, and others take to The Garage’s stages. Watch out for warm-up shows in the run-up to the event too!

In association with reputable gig promoter Hamilton Hunter, Lords of the Land is another one-day extreme festival which invades the Barrowlands earlier in the same month. Having featured names like Mayhem and Primordial in its lineup last year, metal fans will undoubtedly be spoilt for choice for its third instalment in 2018. Festivals aside, there’s never any shortage of metal gigs to enjoy throughout the year anyway, and when it comes to heavy music-themed bars, Solid Rock Café and Rufus T Firefly on Hope Street are the places to be.


If pop-punk in good old Catty (aka Cathouse Rock Club) doesn’t do it for you, then don’t despair – Glasgow may be lacking in the punk club night department, but the scene is very much still alive. In terms of gigs, it’s worth keeping an eye on venues like Audio, 13th Note and Ivory Blacks as they often feature old and new punk and oi bands alike, however the real highlight of the year comes in April: for one day and one day only, punks from across the UK gather in all their glory to the O2 ABC for Scotland Calling, a brilliant festival that allows you to see legendary names like UK Subs, Angelic Upstarts, The Buzzcocks, GBH and more, all for a bargain price. It’s a tough act to follow, but Chaos on the Clyde is an event that runs across four days the following month that lives up to its name: because why wouldn’t you pass up on the chance to watch punk bands perform on a boat and indulge in drunken piracy on Glasgow’s favourite river?


Sure, they may have recently replaced Red Stripe cans with Pabst Blue Ribbon, but Walk n’ Skank nevertheless remains a night well worth having a loyalty card for. Tucked away downstairs in the stylish Berkeley Suite, local legends Mungo’s Hi-Fi and guest DJs bring you the finest reggae and dub music so that you can sway about and enjoy a chilled-out night every Thursday. Compared to noisy clubs, this place is a real sanctuary and breath of fresh air, making it a true Glasgow gem indeed. What’s more, popular vegan hideout The 78 Bar usually hosts a reggae DJ set on Thursdays, so it’s a prime destination for pre-drinks only a short walk away! Last but by no means least, The Rum Shack in Glasgow’s Southside is famous for being the city’s original Caribbean bar, providing its customers with tasty grub and live music in a relaxed setting. Oh, and with over 100 types of rum, it’s never gone.

[Anni Payne]

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