When it comes to socializing in Glasgow, the question is always, “Did ye go oot or did ye go oot oot?”
In other words, how hard did you party, and how hard are you paying for it the next day?
This is what a proper Glaswegian night looks like.
Distill, formally known as the Ivy (and still referred to as such by regulars), is located on the trendy Finnieston strip of Glasgow. It’s considered top brass: the bar that triggered the transformation of the area into one of the coolest in Britain.
By day, Distill is the office and home of the head honchos at Lucky Me Records, the Numbers crew, Optimo, and Subculture — in other words, most of the people who are doing great things in the electronic music/fashion scene. At night, the party hosts what’s arguably and consistently the best DJ lineup of any bar in the UK. The bar serves a crazy rum selection and spectacular tequila sessions. To not have at least one tequila here is considered sacrilege, so it’s a good idea to have two.
A stop at legendary GG Brothers Off Licence in the city center for a half bottle of Bucky — Buckfast Tonic Wine, or fortified wine with caffeine, a drink very popular with the locals — will smooth out the ten-minute bus journey to the next destination.
Sacred Paws, the latest indie Glasgow band about to set the world on fire, play live on the Southside in the Rum Shack, allowing for just enough time to phone ahead and book a table at the Panther Milk Bar.
Down a shady lane next to a strip club behind an old tabac, the Panther Milk Bar has the feeling of a speakeasy and is only frequented by those in the know. Borrowing from the Catalan leche de pantera, the tavern specializes in milk-based cocktails that make bones and stomachs strong for the session ahead. The surreal staff enhance the experience in delightful ways, leading intimate discussions about button designers and magicians and other excellent nonsense.
Suitably enlightened, it's a quick taxi to the Rum Shack. Libations ordered, bustle down the front through the crowd to catch the Paws in the act. They are something special.
Party nights at the Rum Shack carry all of Glasgow’s Southside, which until recently has been fairly bereft of any decent entertainment. La Roche Rhumba is another dance party pioneer in the area.
But the main course of any night out in Glasgow is Sub Club. Electronic funk for punks, the longest running, sexiest club in the world in a little basement on Jamaica Street gave birth to every single notable artist in Glasgow. Catch Lil’ Louis back in town with residents, the noble notables Harri and Domenic. Hands on the roof.
A text will arrive saying that 2ManyDJs are playing down at SWG3 in Finnieston. It’s now 2:40 a.m., and it's mental down the warehouse. SWG3 is an arts space in an old factory building near the River Clyde filled with artists’ studios, photography studios, galleries, and multiple venues. The night goes on, finishing up with an after-hours house party. Glaswegians, after all, are a hospitable bunch.