Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Oct 3rd 2009 6:16AM by Spinner
Come to see: Despite its fairly modest capacity this former ballroom attracts some major names into its hallowed confines. Alt-rockers, metalheads and indie kids are all catered for with an impressive array of European and international headlining acts. It also looks after its own with many legendary Scottish names, past and present, paying a visit.
The atmosphere: Bright, highly-sprung and loud as hell. Aside from Barrowland's iconic neon adorned exterior the venue is hailed for its spot-on acoustics. Back when it was a ballroom the hall had to have perfect sound for its then un-amplified bands and orchestras in order to attract decent crowds. It also has a sprung dance floor giving enthusiastic pogo-ers and mosh pits a little extra lift when they're getting down.
You saw them here first: The Barrowland's visitors' book reads like a who's who of rock and pop history. The Jesus and Mary Chain have played shows in all of the last three decades while the Clash visited three times in the '80s for some particularly anarchic nights. Also former stadium slayers in the making U2, R.E.M. and Metallica all made pre-superstardom stop offs at the Barrowland.
Claim to fame: Tracks three and eight on the Alice in Chains 'Live' album, released in 2000, were recorded at the band's Barrowland show on March 2, 1993, and Scottish stadium rockers Simple Minds shot their Waterfront video in the Ballroom. The venue has also been immortalised in song by Scottish singer songwriter Amy Macdonald. Her song 'Barrowland Ballroom' is a love letter to the place and features the line, "Oh nothing beats the feeling of the high Barrowland ceiling, when the band start to play."
You should also know: The building housing the Barrowland Ballroom was opened in 1934. As well as being a venue for music and dances it is also the focal point of the local "Barras" market. Large street-level halls are filled with weekend stalls, while the dance hall and venue is situated above.
In 1958 the building was severely damaged by fire and was largely re-built, finally re-opening on Christmas Eve 1960. Later in the decade a rather grisly story centred on the Balllroom as the serial killer Bible John was believed to have met two of his victims at dances held in the Barrowland. He has never been caught.
Booking now: Jamie T, Maximo Park, the Cribs, Editors, Echo and the Bunnymen, Black Stone Cherry, All American Rejects, Bring Me the Horizon, Biffy Clyro, Alice in Chains.