Monday, November 5, 2018

The Barrowland

Last week's Teenage Fanclub gig at The Glasgow Barrowland brought to mind all the many great bands I have had the pleasure of seeing there over the years. The first band I saw live in concert were The Cramps at The Barrowland back in '86 and over the years I have seen most of my favourite bands play at the world famous venue. In quick succession after The Cramps I manged to see the likes of New Order, The Stranglers, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Julian Cope amongst many others. In the late 80's and early 90's there was barely a week that would go by without a pilgrimage to Glasgow's East End to see whoever was playing that night. Over the years The Barrowland has lost none of its magic and is still easily the best venue in Glasgow. In the last few years many bands that would have played there in the past have chosen to play the rather more salubrious surroundings of The Academy, a decent enough venue but not on a par with The Barrowland. The fact that it still looks exactly as it did 30 years ago just adds to its charm. Over the years there have been murmurings of property developers being interested in the site. Let's hope for the sake of Glasgow and live music that they never get their hands on it. The first view of that neon sign lit up as you walk up The Trongate is still something very special to this day. There's a love for the venue that is second to none and richly deserved. Nuala Naughton's book, Barrowland - A Glasgow Experience, lists all the gigs that have taken place at the venue up to about 2013 and is a wonderful nostalgia trip through some great nights. A couple of friends have recently taken their kids to the venue for the first time and they have had that same joy of seeing a gig there that I first experienced many years ago. Change is good, but sometimes there is no need for change and The Barrowland is living proof of that.


  1. Gracious Losers album purchased. I saw The Fall at The Barrowland, 1989 or 90, at the time of Extricate. They were tremendous.

  2. Hope you enjoy the album George, be good to know what you think of it. Was lucky enough to see The Fall a few times including a great gig in New York in the mid 90's but not that particular Barrowland gig.

  3. Hi Scott, good to see you back!
    I've heard so much about this venue - have never been to Glasgow but this is one of the places I'd want to visit if I ever get there.
    Brilliant too that the first band you saw live were the Cramps. Must've been quite something!

    1. Hi C, was a great introduction to live music. Couldn't have wished for a better first gig. If you ever come to Glasgow you should try and fit in a gig at The Barrowland.

  4. Indeed, a special place. When I think of Glasgow, this is the first place that pops into my mind. Been that way for as long as I can remember.