In Glasgow centre live music venues are thriving, whether you flock to Ivory Blacks, Sleazy’s, Tut’s or the Barra’s or any other room large enough for a good pit and too many people smashing against a barrier trying to get closer to their favourite band. However the rest of Glasgow seems to be having withdrawal symptoms from good local live venues.
In Clydebank there have been a few promising prospects, but nothing so far seems to have panned out.
First there was the Crow Bar, inside was awesome, covered in posters and cut outs of all the bands that are worth listening to. Local bands got a chance to play every weekend and best of all it was free. Go in with your mates, have a couple of cheap drinks (jager was basically on tap; that made it a win for me) listen to some good bands from your local area and have an all round good night. There was something for everyone, whether you wanted to sit up near the back for a laugh with your mates, hop to the corner to play some arcade games and surf the net or sit up near th
e front and dance along with whoever was on the stage or have a guitar hero tournament on the big screen. The one failing of Crow Bar was after a while people stopped coming, and eventually it closed down. The venue was good and when a crowd was in the atmosphere was jumping, so what happened?
I think there just aren’t enough people in the area who are into live bands enough to go out and see them every week. After a while the novelty wore off for them and they moved on to the next new thing that caught their eye. It’s hard to sustain a live venue when no-one is interested in live music.
The next promising arrival is from the Cosmopol group (already known for Cosmopol in Glasgow centre). Taking over the old night club Club T, Cosmopol is Clydebank’s newest live music venue; well it was until it closed for “renovation”.
Cosmopol originally started a live band night on Fridays and Saturdays advertising entry for a fiver and cheap drink, after the opening gig which was pretty packed and had a bouncing atmosphere the crowds started to dwindle. The entry prices were scrapped to compensate but to no avail.
When Cosmopol reopens its doors in a month or two it’s out with the live local music and back in with the tracksuit wearing, Buckfast drinking locals jumping along to the bass heavy tunes that sound like a woodland creature is singing.
I feel like I’ve witnessed the death of all of my local venues. Cosmopol in Glasgow Centre is still going strong so evidence suggests that it’s the atmosphere outside the city centre that’s killing it. It makes it harder for both gig goers and local bands who are just starting out and need some home support, and I feel especially gutted about having to haul my guitar on a train into town every time I play now. Hopefully one day a live venue outside the centre of town can survive longer than a few months.