It’s not quite a trip to the jungle, it’s not a tour through sparkling snowy waste, but exploring the side streets of Glasgow can be just as much a life-changing experience. It’s the music that does it, as I discovered on trips to the city in the last year. Live music happens in every street; not just in grand concert halls but in basements bars and attic clubs, in ageing art deco cinemas and old variety theatres, in subterranean tunnels where gigs are punctuated by passing trains, in vegan (yes vegan) cafes which would not look out of place in San Francisco. Live music transforms even the most battered parts of the city into an unforgettable experience – O2 Academy stands like a beached liner, a defiant dazzler on Gorbals edgelands. Barrowland is a beacon for rock bands the world over, The Arches and Sub Club rock the city underground and even the Apollo, long gone, absolutely refuses to die. All adding to the gritty, almost industrial strength of Glasgow’s cultural life. No wonder this is the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music. I explored Glasgow with the help of Walking Heads audio tours who have just produced Glasgow Music Tour as a free app.
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