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5 of the best live music bars in Glasgow

Glasgow has a cracking array of bars with live music, here are five of the best.

Published: February 1, 2017

Glasgow has always been a hotbed of musical talent, with the stars of tomorrow often arising from humble beginnings.

If you want to catch a glimpse of the next big thing, or chill while listening to veterans of folk, Glasgow's bars are an excellent place to start.

The Butterfly and the Pig

(153 Bath Street, G2 4SQ, 0141 221 7711)

Picture: Wow 247

Picture: Wow 247

This bar is a vintage oasis, away from the day-to-day bustle of Glasgow life. The look is decidedly shabby chic, with mismatched furniture, charming wallpaper and well-loved wood panelling.

The Pig and the Butterfly hosts live music every day of the week, so guests are sure to be very well entertained. Listening to live bands such as Howlin' Radio or The Flying Mules are a great way to spend the evening, or you can take to the stage and perform yourself at one of the bar's open mic nights.

The food menu is very playful, and not just in terms of the food on offer. You may want to try out their “Glasgae tarts we luv em” or a prawn cocktail, described as “a delightful cocktail indeed”. Or you can pop upstairs to the tearoom and choose from a collection of truly spectacular cakes, served by friendly tea ladies.


(36 Bell St, G1 1LG, 0141 552 5924)

(l-r) Andrew, Scott, Stewart Laing

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Blackfriars puts the emphasis on home-grown Scottish musical talent, although brilliant bands from further afield are not unknown.

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Their preferred genres of music are not at all restricted: rock 'n' roll, doo wop, latin, funk and swing have all been known to grace the pub. Current trends are not ignored either, as the best DJs are invited to show off their stuff.

Real ale and craft beers take pride of place on Blackfriars' drinks list, and the personal tastes of the staff govern what they offer to punters. With a constantly rotating selection of real ales, you can be sure of exciting new flavours every time you visit.

The food is everything you could want from a traditional pub menu: comforting dishes cooked to a high standard at reasonable prices.

The Scotia

(112 - 114 Stockwell Street, G1 4LW, 0141 552 8681)

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Picture: Trip Advisor Travellers

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

The Scotia has a very long history of music. In fact, as the oldest pub in Glasgow, it has a very long history, full stop. Established in 1792, this pub has been going strong for hundreds of years, and is a firm favourite among Glasgow residents. In the Victorian era, a Music Hall opened up next door, beginning the pub's relationship with live performance.

However, it was forty years ago that live music really got going in The Scotia. Folk musicians would come and show off their skills, later giving way to such famous faces as Billy Connolly and Gerry Rafferty, who were known to the pub crowd as “The Humblebums”.

As well as offering a diverse range of artists and genres for their guests' enjoyment, The Scotia has its own Singer-Songwriter competition for aspiring musicians.

Ben Nevis

(1147 Argyle St, G3 8TB, 0141 576 5204)

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Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Fans of folk music will be in seventh heaven at Ben Nevis, one of Glasgow's most beloved whisky bars. Exposed stone and rocks on the wall make for a rugged interior, and impromptu bursts of rousing folk music make for a lively atmosphere.

Beer lovers will also be right at home, with a number of premium German and South American beers to choose from. The only food on offer is their famous pie and beans, but this venue is really all about the booze and the tunes.

The staff are very knowledgeable, so if all the choice makes your head spin, they will be sure to sort you out.

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut

(272 St Vincent St, G2 5RL, 0141 221 5279)

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

This venue and bar is part of rock 'n' roll legend, as the place where Alan McGee discovered Oasis. Almost every night, band after band play the stage, some of them already hot stuff, but most with fame and fortune ahead of them.

Returning heroes include Biffy Clyro and Paolo Nutini, while the bands who got a leg up at King Tut's include Radiohead and The Strokes. Around 300 people can squeeze into the L-shaped auditorium, but you won't mind being squished once you hear the musical delights on offer.

The café-bar downstairs is just as fabulous as the venue. The eternal student fare of pizza and burgers are a mainstay, as is King Tut's very own lager.

Maddy lives in Edinburgh and has written for the Sunday Herald and the Ed Fringe Review. She is passionate about authentic, sustainably sourced food, and is always keen to discover exciting new flavours.

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