NME doesn't call you “quite possibly the finest small venue in the world” for nothing. Among King Tut's many other accolades is being named number 7 by New York Magazine's Top 50 places to go before you die. Beating such esteemed company as swimming with hippos in Botswana and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Not at all bad for a 300 capacity venue.
The praise is well deserved though, as Tut's can proudly proclaim that it has played host to a whole load of talented and now household name bands at the start of their careers. Oasis, Radiohead, The Killers, Juliette Lewis, Pulp, My Chemical Romance, Florence & The Machine, Biffy Clyro, Manic Street Preachers, Snow Patrol, Frightened Rabbit and Paolo Nutini have all played here at some point or another. It is strongly advised that you visit this jewel in the crown.
Tucked down a lane in Glasgow, you could be forgiven for seeing Stereo as you amble past, but now that I'm telling you that it's there, you've no excuse. A late night bar offering vegan food, regular DJ's and gig nights, Stereo is well worth going ever-so-slightly off the beaten track for. Stereo offers quite the eclectic mix of acts to cater to any musical palate, from a whole night of Nicki Minaj to a Tuff Love album launch and all points in between.
For example, on the 12th of this month they have Flying Penguins, (a Glasgow based folk outfit) with some special guests performing their own stuff, as well as a couple of spoken word acts for good measure. So that's your indie-folk type stuff covered, but then 4 days after that on the 16th is Stereo's well known Techno gig which was a regular feature in 2015, and 2016 will be no different. Warming up for Octophant is Edinburgh duo Chunky-Burd and Glasgow based Esif.
Just the briefest of staggers from Stereo, The Old Hairdressers Stereo's As both a gallery and music venue, it can gather in artists from different walks of life, and is well worth a look for those of you who want to push the dingy out just a touch.
On the docket this month is a WestGAP fundraiser event on the 9th, with acts Gummy Stumps, Rapidtan, Sharptooth, Oddlaw and Vital Idles all putting on a show to raise money for the Glasgow based, completely independent anti-poverty charity.
If that doesn't tickle your fancy, then there's the screening of a 1931 Soviet film about the importance of shoes called Nail in the Boot, with live Ukelele accompaniment, which frankly sounds too odd to be missed. And on the 20th there's a group exhibition of artwork by students of the City of Glasgow College called Domination or Persuasion. Definitely a unique venue showing unique performances.
Broadcast lists itself as a venue cafe bar, which is exactly what it is. If you want to eat, you can eat, if you want to drink, you can drink, if you want to listen to live acts, you can listen to live acts. Lots and lots of them, at least 4 days a week.
On Friday the 8th from 11-3 is an exotic mixture of disco, tropical and pop-rock from Sunshower and David Barbarossa. The very next night is a full lineup of budding pop artists presented by Feel the Noise Events, including Caitlyn Vanbeck of Xfactor fame, Sunday Club (also of Xfactor fame), and plenty of other singers to keep you entertained. Sunday sees Glasgow act Renegades of Funk return to Broadcast to play another free gig. There's literally too much choice at Broadcast, you'll have to see it for yourself.
“Sleazy's” as it's known around town is a popular bar/gig/club on Sauchiehall Street. The busy lineup is as varied as it is impressive. During this first month of 2016 there is a Clench EP launch event with music from Avante and Velocities, Sick of Talk EP Launch with Dublin based Punk band Surge, GlueRash, Lost Limbs and Rapid Tan. All of these acts promise to be loud, aggressive, and awesome.
Later in the month are The Trongate Rum Riots, an eight-piece who hail from Glasgow and play their own style of music which is an13tywhere from sweaty punk to dirty folk, and who played Wickerman last year. “Elements of the Pogues and the Pistols”, says STV, so anything but your average folk band.
There are of course a million other acts who play this joint, but Sleazy's also offer anyone with an acoustic guitar to become one of them, every Monday, with the promise of a free beer to all performers. Sleazy's Open Mic Night is hosted by Gerry Lyons, so come along to see who is up and coming, or to dabble on the main stage yourself.
Oran Mor has to be one of the best looking live venues in the world. Originally a Parish church built in 1872, it stood empty for a long time before being refurbished and reopened in its current guise as an arts centre in 2004. It plays host to new musical talents, comedy nights and the famous A Play, A Pie and A Pint series.
3 restaurants, 2 bars and a club down in the crypt make Oran Mor a hive of activity from morning until night, but its formidable list of upcoming events make it what it is. Oran Mor has always been a stalwart venue for Celtic Connections and this year is no different. Live acts in the pipeline include 9Bach with Iain Morrison, a roots-based act which combines modern ambient electronica into its Celtic sound. A Play, A Pie and A Pint is back with a full calendar for the Spring season, and Irish comedian David O'Doherty makes an appearance early in February.
Two things make the Barrowlands unforgettable. First is that sign. Second is the massive sprung dancefloor. Oh and the ridiculous list of acts that have played there over the years. Ok so three things. I could just list some of the highlights of yesteryear and that would be as good an advert as any for this mint venue in the East End. Let's do that, shall we?
Ryan Adams, Admiral Fallow, Alice in Chains, Artic Monkeys, Richard Ashcroft, B52's, Bay City Rollers, Beastie Boys, Belle and Sebastian, Biffy Clyro, Black Crowes, Blink 182, CSS, Capercaillie, Catatonia, the Charlatans, Chemical Brothers, Chvrches, the Clash, Coldplay, Alice Cooper, Elvis Costello, Daft Punk, Dandy Warhols, The Darkness, Death Cab For Cutie, Steve Earle, Eminem, Faithless, Feeder, Garbage, Buddy Guy, Ice Cube, Billy Idol, Leftfield, Lemonheads, Madness, Maryln Manson, New Order, Oasis, Robert Plant, Public Enemy, Queens of the Stone Age, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Seasick Steve, the Shins, Thin Lizzy, U2, Vatersay Boys, The Who, Yeah Yeah Yeahs...
Don't ask any more questions just go there.
13th note is a quirky venue, bar and restaurant, as its name would suggest. Music students will know that there are only 12 notes in the scale. It hosts live music, comedy and theatre acts nearly every night of the week in its cosy downstairs venue. As well as the more animated entertainment, 13th Note also showcases artwork from time to time.
Pop in and enjoy some of the food, local craft beer and take in whatever is on offer at the time. Oh, and if you are musically minded, they are always on the lookout for new acts to play downstairs.