The gig venue guide: King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow

The club where rock legend Alan McGee discovered Oasis is a hothouse for new talent – and a go-to spot for established acts. No wonder it attracts the young, beautiful and often broke

Capacity: 300

Who plays there: Soon after opening in 1990, King Tut’s became an essential staging post for indie bands on their way to mainstream dominance: the Verve, Pulp, Radiohead and Manic Street Preachers have all played key gigs here. It’s also, famously, the venue where Oasis were spotted and signed by Alan McGee in 1993. Two decades later, King Tut’s is still a hothouse for new talent, both as a welcoming tour stop for up-and-coming bands and as a place for local bands to try out material in support slots. It also has a good sideline in intimate gigs by downsized veterans: the Sugarhill Gang, Everlast and James Walsh of Starsailor all have King Tut’s shows planned for 2014.

Cloakroom: Yes, at the upstairs bar.

Admission: £5-£15

Bar: Last year, the basement bar through which you access the upstairs gig room was extensively refitted. The Tut’s crowd is young, beautiful and often broke, so there are probably more drinks promotions than you’d usually find in a venue: bottled beers and ciders from £2.50, spirits and a dash from £2.50 – even the single-malt whiskies are just £2.50 a dram. On tap, there’s Sam Adams, Heverlee, Guinness and more, but pride of place goes to King Tut’s Lager, specially crafted by West brewery on Glasgow Green.

Food: Food is served in the basement bar from noon to 8pm, Monday to Saturday, with a menu ranging from burgers and sticky ribs to 12-inch pizzas, including The Primal Scream (spicy sausage, salami, jalapenos and chilli flakes) and The Big Country (haggis and mature cheddar). Hearty fare and all for well under a tenner.

Toilets: In the basement bar only.

Wheelchair access: Yes, though advise the venue in advance.

Sound: The Tut’s mixing desk has just been upgraded. Sound quality is generally fairly good, although the low stage ceiling and cramped room can make for an intense, internal organ-rattling experience.

Where to stand: The slightly odd L-shape of King Tut’s means that if you turn up late to a sold-out gig you can find yourself stranded by the bar with no sightline, unless you have sharp enough elbows to carve out a space in the crowd. Claim your spot early, and get as far into the room as possible – ideally stage right so you avoid fleshy ripples from the bathroom and bar traffic. Some people prefer the view from the raised section at the back of the room by the mixing desk, but the stairways usually become logjams when the venue is full. If you’re short, standing up on the benches along the stage-right wall and in front of the mixing desk are guilt-free ways to get a good view – you won’t block anyone.

Overall: King Tut’s has won awards voted for by both bands and fans – it’s a venue with a unique character and venerated history that is also a cool place to hang out during the day. Tucked away underneath one of Glasgow’s more commercial streets, it still feels like a secret rock'n'roll lair, even after almost 25 years.

Address: 272a St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5RL

Telephone: 0141 221 5279


Public transport: It is less than 10 minutes' walk from either Glasgow Central station (heading west) or Charing Cross station (heading east). And being close to the city centre makes it convenient for scores of bus routes.


Graeme Virtue

The GuardianTramp

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