Iconic Scottish music venue named best in the UK

AN ICONIC Scottish music venue has been voted the best in the UK by rock stars who have graced its stage.

A poll by time out polled artists who have headlined across the UK on their favourites.

The Barrowland Ballroom took first place as the UK's Best Music Venue


The Barrowland Ballroom took first place as the UK’s Best Music VenuePhoto credit: Getty
Johnny Marr performs on stage at the Barrowland Ballroom


Johnny Marr performs on stage at the Barrowland BallroomPhoto credit: Getty
Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai describes Barrowland Ballroom as his best venue in Britain


Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai describes Barrowland Ballroom as his best venue in BritainPhoto credit: Getty

And Glasgow’s famous Barrowland Ballroom took first place.

The place is famous for its sprung dance floor and huge neon sign above the entrance, erected circa 1982.

The Barrowlands has hosted numerous famous music acts over the years including David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Simple Minds and Oasis.

Glasgow locals have cherished the live music venue for decades, and a Renfrewshire mum even got the iconic sign tattooed in homage to the ballroom.

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And it seems the Scots aren’t alone in their love of the place, with New Order’s Phil Cunningham naming it his favorite gig venue in the UK.

The star guitarist said: “It’s a good size with just under 2,000 seats and a sprung dance floor. It feels like the whole place bounces when you have a good crowd.”

“We played a chaotic but great show there in 2001 when I just joined New Order.

“Bernard and Hooky had a slight disagreement after the show; I can’t remember what it was about. However, a champagne bottle was thrown across the dressing room and shattered a mirror.”

“By the time we pulled ourselves together to get back on stage for the encore, the crowd had almost torn the place apart as we hadn’t played Blue Monday yet. It’s a bit more relaxed these days.”

Stuart Braithwaite of rock band Mogwai also recalled performing at the legendary venue, calling it his “favourite venue on the planet”.

He said: “My favorite venue in the UK is the Glasgow Barrowlands. In fact, it’s probably my favorite venue on the planet.”

“It sounds great and is full of history. I loved so many shows there and was lucky enough to play there too.”

“A truly legendary place.”

And Neil Barnes of Britpop electronic music group Leftfield shared his fondness for the place and commended the locals who visit for their enthusiasm.

He said: “The venue holds a special place in my heart.”

“The building is so special, it has a huge facade that looks like some kind of pleasure palace, with the biggest neon sign I’ve ever seen.

“The last time I played we were there two nights and there was a heat wave and it was like 30 degrees there.

“Celtic played against Rangers but internally the rivalry didn’t seem to matter and people just danced.”

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“Barrowlands is probably a favorite because of the people who go to concerts there. They just seem more open to the atmosphere of the music, more willing to let go and enjoy the experience.”

“They are loud and excited from the start. It’s great to play in front of people like that. That gives us the confidence to keep giving more on stage.”

The full list of Time Out’s best music venues in the UK – handpicked by UK artists

1. Glasgow: Barrowland Ballroom – selected by Phil Cunningham (New Order), by Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai) and by Neil Barnes (Leftfield)
2. London: The Palladium – selected by John Cooper Clarke and by Dani Filth, Cradle of Filth
3. cardiff: Clwb Ifor Bach – selected by Gwenno
4. London: O2 Brixton Academy – selected by Skin, Skunk Anansie
5. Liverpool: Mountford Hall – selected by Dan Haggis, The Wombats
6. London: Heaven – selected by Hannah Diamond
7. nottingham: Rock City – selected by Pauline Black, The Selecter
8th. London: New River – selected by Chris Summerlin, Hey Colossus
9. sunderland: Pop Recs – selected by Ross Millard, The Futureheads
10 London: O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – selected by Sophie Ellis-Bextor
11. Todmorden, West Yorkshire: The Golden Lion – selected by Don Letts
12. London: Third Man Records Blue Basement – Selected by Alexis Taylor, Hot Chip
13. newcastle: The Star and the Shadow – selected by Paul Smith, Maximo Park
14 London: The Hideaway – selected by Courtney Pine
15 London: O2 Kentish Town Forum – selected by Rachel Goswell, Slowdive
16 Bethesda, North Wales: Neuadd Ogwen – selected by Gruff Rhys
17 stirling: The Albert Halls – selected by Saul Davies, James

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Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

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