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Glasgow - The UK's Indie City


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The news that Glasgow has recently been announced as one of the United Nations Cities of Music will come as no surprise to followers of indie music as the city has churned out countless great bands and has a few venues known all over the world. What other city can boast of an indie line-up such as this:

  • Jesus and Mary Chain
  • Teenage Fanclub
  • The Blue Nile
  • Primal Scream
  • The Pastels
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Mogwai
  • Belle and Sebastian
  • Delgados
  • 1990s
  • Sons and Daughters
  • The Fratellis
  • Travis

    And many more have helped to make Glasgow one of the most vibrant indie cities across the world. The numbers have also been swelled by bands that have congregated or studied in Glasgow and taken advantage of the thriving scene and vast amount of gig venues. Bands like Snow Patrol or Biffy Clyro don't hail from Glasgow but without the support and infrastructure of the city, who knows where they would be today.

    Glasgow also holds a fairly strong place in the history of Oasis. It was in the cities King Tuts Wah Wah Hut venue where Creation boss Alan McGee (himself a Glaswegian) first saw the band and offered to sign them there and then. This venue and the world famous Barrowlands Ballroom are venues that bands insist are added to their touring schedule.

    Every band usually makes a habit of saying the crowd is the best in the world but very bands make this comment in magazines. In recent years, both The White Stripes and The Strokes have declared their love for Glasgow and for the craziness that happens at gigs in the city.

    Glasgow may be primarily known as a football town but the indie scene is particularly buoyant and extremely productive for producing bands. Perhaps influenced by the number of Universities within the city, as well as the Glasgow School of Art, the city has long been a cultural hotbed that draws together a lot of influences and styles.

    It is fair to say that although Glasgow has created a lot of different styles of acts, there is a definite link between many of its bands and the Sunshine Americana emanating from America. This may be due to the amount of rain and dull skies that Glasgow suffers but bands such as The Beach Boys, Big Star and Crosby Stills Nash & Young have influenced a few generations of Glasgow acts.

    Although there is a great musical heritage and tradition in Glasgow, there are also many up and coming Glasgow bands which are threatening to make a huge impact on the indie scene this year, so it may be worth while remembering these names:

  • Glasvegas
  • Attic Lights
  • State Broadcasters
  • The Twilight Sad
  • Dananakroyd

    With the future for Glasgow looking as bright as the entrance to the Barrowlands Ballroom there appears to be no letup in the conveyor belt of musical talent coming from the city. Liverpool may have its Merseybeat, Manchester may have been rechristened Madchester but neither of these cities has maintained the consistency of bands that Glasgow has delivered to the world in the past few decades.

    Ian Dougherty is a freelance music writer and lover from the United Kingdom. Dougherty has been written for well known music magazines, Ezines, and websites for over fifteen years. For the latest in indie music and indie band reviews , visit, where bands keep more from each digital music download.

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