King Tut's Wah Wah Hut: Glasgow, Scotland
It's not that King Tut's Wah Wah Hut is a particularly cool-looking venue. It's not that it's that old-- only being built in 1990. However, it's undeniably one of the best venues I've ever been to. It's possible the friendly Scotts have something to do with it, but not all of it. It's possible the rich history makes it extra electric but it's hard to pin point. There is something about it that makes you feel immediately at home.
We were lucky enough to visit King Tut's Wah Wah Hut just a couple of weeks ago. Stepping down into the basement, below street level you come into the main area bar. When we were there, both opening bands were eating supper and chatting away with each other and mingling with the patrons. The beer was delicious, the pub food smelled fantastic and the walls were lined with gig posters- a mix of shows coming up and illustrated posters from bands who have played there before (we'll get to that). On the back wall, a big chalk board with a large chart of the bands (most fairly unknown) coming to the venue was hung. Even cooler, all of these bands had lists of bands next to them with similar sounds- the column reading "For fans of..." It was a really cool way of teaching people about new bands I haven't seen offline before (hello analogue version of last.fm).
The venue itself is located upstairs. Travelling up the stairs you can read what bands have been at the venue during what year- and trust me, there's a lot of good stuff here. Reaching the top of the stairs, to the left is a bar and to the right is a small, small room (capacity of 300) with a small, dive-bar stage.
Photo by: Ryan Mueller
Getting to the good stuff though. Despite King Tut's being under thirty years old, it has seen a rich array of bands pass through, making it incredibly iconic. NME referred to it as "quite possibly the finest small venue in the world" and I wouldn't hesitate to agree. Oasis was signed here. It's seen the likes of The Kills, No Doubt, Radiohead, Mumford & Sons, Stone Temple Pilots, The Arctic Monkeys...need I go on?
Seriously worth the travel, King Tut's Wah Wah House is a stunning blend of charming Scottish burrs, good beer, friendly conversations and world-class music (usually before the bands make it big).
Peace, love & history.