Review based on it being a gig venue, rather than the club. Been to see loads of gigs here and it's a really good place to see a band. Loads of room to stand and easy to see the artist you have paid to listen to. Some other venues feel to crowded, but there is always plenty of room here.
I like that unlike some other venues there is never a huge wait to get inside. You get in quickly and without hassle and can make your way straight to the bar. One slight gripe would be the bar beer selection is pretty limited, don't expect any particularly nice or different beer options here.
Final good point is the location. You ain't stuck in the middle of no where when u come out. Plenty of decent providers of food and beer are all at hand for you to be able to carry on the night once you are kicked out the gig.
Sauchiehall Street is probably one of the best streets in Glasgow in terms of live music; you have regular gigs at Nice N Sleazy, Box, The Garage and here at the O2 ABC. Despite being a dirty corporate name, it still retains at least some of it's soul.
Heading up the myriad of stairs after your entry, and into the main hall, you realise that it's a lot bigger than you'd think looking at the entrance. I was there for a gig that was sold out, a total of 1,300 tickets and I have to say, while busy, it wasn't uncomfortably busy like some places I've been to.
There's one big bar at the back of the hall, and one small one upstairs on the balcony. If you can get a spot right at the front of the balcony, it's an excellent view of the stage and proceedings below. There's also a cloakroom off to the side (£1.50 per item) of the bar, and the merchandise stands are usually across at the far side of the door, to the left of the stage.
The staff here are quick, efficient and aren't afraid to have a chat with you if it's quiet. Have to say the choice of draft beers are a bit off, I could only see Carling and Tuborg, with a further selection of bottles and cans.
The atmosphere is usually pretty good, I've never been to a gig in here that's had a quiet reception, and they also hold wrestling events in here, as the ABC has now become the spiritual home of the BBC featured ICW promotion.
The giant mirror ball hanging from the ceiling is fantastic, too. There's certainly worse places in Glasgow to see a gig, for me, the ABC is much better than it's "big brother" doon the road at the Academy.
God this is an awful venue for live music. I get why people are saying they like it, big floor to stand on, easy to see the bands etc. But, the sound is atrocious. It is blooming awful. Latest band I saw here was Camera Obscura and the singer's voice was lost and difficult to hear. Really don't want to come back to see anyone else here but if it's the only gig you can make it to then it's a shame missing a band you like because of the shocking acoustics. Previous two gigs I went to were at the Barras and the sound is just fantastic. Poor show ABC.
This 4-star review is of the ABC purely as a gig venue. And a great venue it is too. The main room is perfect whether you want to get right up the front and jump around, or stand right back at the elevated bar area, leaning on the railing watching the action over the heads of the crowd.
Good size bars (limited beer unsurprisingly... Tuborg or Heineken I think) so it's usually OK getting served. Good staf too, even the bouncers. Certainly compared to some other Glasgow venues I've been to.
Unlike the (awesome) Barrowlands, you're right in the centre of town, so after the band's encore, you can be drink-in-hand at Sleazy's, CCA bar, or wherever within minutes!
A great venue, with the world's biggest disco ball (that may be an exaggeration, but it is pretty massive!)
I'm a sucker for a wooden roof, the ABC has one such. You get the sense that those old beams have seen plenty of goings on - gigs, films and the like. Once upon a time there would have been plenty of smoke drifting their way, but no longer of course.
This was my first visit, to see Bonobo play. A few weeks earlier I'd seen the band play at a different venue, so can do a quick comparison: the ABC...
...had none of the bass that shakes your chest
...was much quicker to get out of
...wasn't sold to bursting point, deliberately
...is in Glasgow, in the heart of Sauchiehall Street
...had average sight lines, though with everyone standing on a flat floor and quite a low stage the views weren't always great
I would look forward to another gig here, I'm sure more can be made of the place than I saw.
For gigs this place can be good. I'm not to keen on the clubs they hold and sometimes the staff can make out it's an exclusive place when it's not.
Been here more than a few times for either a night out or a gig and I love it! Always a really good atmosphere at the gig with plenty of room to move around, big toilets so minimal queuing and prices that aren't out of this world as far as venues in Glasgow are concerned.
I really like the old school vibe of the outside of the building too as well as the box office and within is the biggest disco ball in Europe which for some reason is always a talking point! The Polar Bar is a nice wee place to take a break from the acts or catch a drink before said act comes on.
I used to like this place when I was an undergraduate.. In fact, at one point it was the only club in which I felt vaguely comfortable. There were never any hipsters, WAG-types or general arseholes dominating the club like other less salubrious establishments, rather just plainly-dressed students mucking around with their chums. It wasn't really a 'club', rather somewhere you could go to drink cider and listen to The Cure, both of which I was prone to as an 18 year old (in fact, I'm still prone to this seven years on).
Now. I'm still trying to work out whether it was just me getting a bit older or if it was students suddenly adopting 'styles' like something out of Hollyoaks (they never looked like that in my day! Honestly, I'm only 25 years old but my people were wearing ripped jeans and ironic t-shirts, a concept both horrific and unheard of in today's student unions...what happened, youth?! Why you look so hipster?!), but the ABC changed. Everyone looked barely on the cusp of puberty, and there was suddenly a lot of glitter and fake tan kicking around. And where once the DJ would play a slightly obscure record from an 80s band, they were suddenly spinning these bands' most commercial hits. Ripped jeans were now made by Abercrombie and Fitch, and the two rooms were packed to the rafters, making moving or, indeed, breathing practically impossible.
I'll take a break from moaning to say that the ABC is not a bad venue for a gig: it's much better than its sister venue, the 02 Academy, as the acoustics are much clearer. I saw TV on the Radio here last year, and that was one of the best gigs I've ever been to. But we did have to consider where we'd stand before we arrived, so we could easily see, get to the bar and the loos without getting crushed, you can't just go to a gig here without some pre-thought! Back to the ranting about the club nights, though...
The bars are understaffed and that means only one thing: you're far too sober far too long whilst in the company of, for want of a better word, complete bell ends. There are only a few select drinks deals which somewhat sours your mood further, especially after having paid 7 quid just to walk through a door on a Saturday (not having the luxury of a student card anymore...boo!).
The bouncers are arseholes, the toilets are smelly and too dark, the cloakroom is pricey (it only has one, despite the ABC having the capacity for the entire population of quite a large country) and takes ages to queue for.
The past few times I've been here for a club night I've stood in a corner (well, I've been squashed in the corner, you can't move in here on a Saturday), practically weeping with horror. I think it IS just me getting older, but the people who populate this place can be genuinely awful. I'll never get the image of the pissed rugby team shouting along to The Smiths, one of my favourite bands, with beer glasses in the air. That band saved my life as a depressed teenager, now they're just 'fucking epic' to a bunch of meat-headed twats. One reviewer aptly said that once you graduate from university, you graduate from the ABC and that seems to be spot on. I'm now doing my PhD at The Flying Duck, where I expect to pass with distinction...
I'm aware this 'review' makes me sound like a cynical old woman but hey! To quote the late, great Bill Hicks like the pseud I am, 'I don't mean to sound bitter, cold or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.' So fuck you, trendies! I hope you all choke on the fumes of each other's sweat whilst you're packed in like battery-farmed chickens.
Woah Nelly, did I feel old when I tottered in here on a Thursday night a few weeks ago.
A couple of friends and I (all mid-twenties, all acutely aware of it) happened to have Friday off work, so we decided to go out and partay like it was 2009!
We expected it to be dead with all the students going back to mummeh and daddeh's home on the range, but it was packed out! Our first thoughts on seeing the long queue was 'eh?? Ohmigodamsoold. I need fag. Why is it called Jellybaby??'
Paid our way (£6 pounds for entry, £1.50 for cloakroom - used to be £1 in my day!!|) and immediately downed some jelly shots (awesome duuuuude...well, they were awright) and some vodka to numb our apprehension, and maybe our faces so we could pretend we too were 18 and totally happenin'.
Downstairs was the very quiet indie floor, where we expected to fit in. Nae such luck. They did play some old guid, if somewhat overplayed, tunes such as The Smiths, The Cure and Foo Fighters, but there were some songs we either didn't know, didn't like or didn't get (they played some really slow tunes that NAEB'DY could dance to).
We wandered upstairs, and it did feel like we were going to an entirely different club, as the people rolling out of the doors looked far more trendy than downstairs.
Inside, it was HEAVING. Like, proper heaving. Think a warehouse packed for a rave heaving. It had that kind of atmosphere too, perhaps with less drugs and more vodka, but I quite liked it up here - total cheesy/pop music (think 5ive, Beyonce, Rhianna etc) and I think I could have a fun time here on a girl's night out.
What royally p*ssed me off was how long I had to wait to be served. Both bars were definitely understaffed (perhaps they too thought all the students had left Glasgay) and we had to wait around 15 minutes each time to get served. This meant I missed out on dancing to my party piece song (Beyonce's Single Ladies, which I can do pretty well, apparently) and as soon as I'm kept fae dancing, I'm a-raging.
Meh. Students. Wannabe WAGS. Boys in checked shirts and the smell of lust mingling with cheap beer in the air. 5 years ago this would have been my idea of splawesome (thanks Chris D. for this word) but now, frankly, I'm looking forward to my bed and the Subway I'm gonna pick up before I get there. Ideal for a younger crew, but graduating from uni may as well mean graduating from the ABC and moving onto better things.
The ABC is the go to club for my friends and I. It's a far more laid back alternative to the boisterous Garage and does that rare job of catering to everyone. You don't tend to get many dicks in here, everyone is a student or was a student, it isn't obnoxious and there is a great vibe.
It's changed quite a bit since other reviewers wrote about it, Saturday night is no longer anywhere as busy and that makes it the best night to go. And as Saturday night prices go, it's very reasonably priced. If you're a student, you can get in for free with a student card before 11.30 and drinks for a Saturday night are really cheap too, better than it's rival the Garage. £1.50 for a sourz is pretty good value to me. You can also get a white russian for £3.50!
This is a place for students, however if you're older, there's a good vibe in the ABC2 upstairs where they play funk and soul music on a Saturday night.
If you're not a fan of fresh clubbers, don't go on a Thursday night "Jellybaby". It's bad. If you're not a fan of waiting 15 minutes at the bar, or an hour outside in the queue Jellybaby is not for you.
Ah the ABC, what can I say? This is where I often end up at the end of a night out with various groups of friends and I guess that's what makes the ABC so special - it seems to do the impossible by catering for almost everyone. It's not as unique or specific as some other clubs but it is often the choice favoured by the majority or at least it offends the minority.
Housed in an Art Deco building that first occupied Scotland's first cinema, it is impressive from outside and inside you will see the largest mirror ball in Europe. Although it can get cramped downstairs there is always plenty of room upstairs yet the great atmosphere remains. No squashing up against sweaty bodies unless you so wish. I particularly like the Polar bar which is just off the main area - it is quieter and good if you want a little bit of chill time.
One downside is the price of the drinks which can be expensive and the entrance fee after 11.30pm so be careful with timings. I was also disappointed when I visited one Saturday night at the end of August and the main ABC dancefloor was shut off leaving just the polar bar and a very busy downstairs for the same entrance fee. This also meant I was left to carry my jacket around with me as the cloakroom was closed - not the best for dancing! During term-time though, I have always had good, reliable nights in here.
Can't really fault the ABC!
Student entry is £5, a bit more than I'd like to pay (though I don't know what the average going rate is for cover charges, to be fair), but drinks are next to dirt cheap.
I've been twice, but both times they've had a good range of music playing, spanning from Bruce Springsteen to Black Keys to The Smiths. The dance floor is massive, which is great! And there's enough seating at the peripherals if you're one to socialize on the side.
The main bar can be quite busy, which is where the Polo Lounge comes in handy. While still bustling, the bar is usually less busy.
It seems to go in-and-out of style a bit, but ABC remains one of my favourite clubs in Glasgow.
The main rooms are: ABC1 - a huge ballroom with a massive discoball (I remember this being a huge selling point when it first opened!), a big bar and a smaller bar by the stage.
The Polar Lounge - Just off to the side from ABC1, it's a good place to hang out with friends, with shorter queues at the bar and some more dance-style music. I've found it's a good place to meet people and warm up for the rest of the night.
ABC2 - the smaller downstairs room, which also has a stage and operates as a venue. I've yet to see a band here, as I always seem to cotton on after it has sold out and tickets are going for 50 quid on ebay! How tragically unhip of me. I personally don't enjoy the music down here as much, but the coat room here is smaller, quicker, and in many cases easier to get to at the end of the night.
Cover charge at the door is a bit steep - free before 11pm or so, not bad for students, but up to £7-10 on the weekend for regulars. Drinks aren't particularly cheap, but also not any dearer than you might expect from other bars and clubs. Just watch what you ask for, some mixers (eg. gin vs vodka) are massively different in price. They also sell vodka slushies, which sounds rancid to me, but who knows!
I really enjoy myself here, and it's a different experience every time. Worth a visit!
"Like, T4 was totally random this weekend, but the new La Roux tune is such an epic fail. I'm sooooo loving my iPhone!"
If you can relate to the above crimes against the English language, then you'll absolutely love the ABC. Whilst it was originally an indie orientated club, it's current clientele is dominated mainly by those whose tastes are defined solely by whatever happens to be cool at the moment. Much like the diamante laden 3rd division footballers that rule the roost in the clubs at the other end of town, NME quoting Hot Chip fans are very much the dominant species at the ABC. If you don't fit that category then don't expect to feel too welcome.
That said, I suppose it is big and busy enough for pretty much anyone to blend in, and there's rarely any trouble. It's also very good for concerts and gigs, with good acoustics and a main room just the right size to feel personal but still offer some sense of occasion.
A good contender for a place to go clubbing on Sauchiehall Street at the weekend.
It's pretty expensive however, which stops me going on a regular basis. That being said, I haven't really had a bad night in here. Just several shades of 'good'.
The clientelle look a bit like background characters in Skins and have suitably compelling chat. As such, my success ratio of meeting females in here is suitably low.
It has recently established itself as a music venue with its involvement in the Hinterland festival last year and changing its name to include '02'. I think 02 are trying to brand themselves to be bound with music in the same way that Orange have managed to generate a strong relationship with movies.
They also have that big sign outside that looks like like the 02 Academy (formerly Carling Academy) that advertises the bands who are playing. It always gets your attention on and a big night when you're favourite band is playing, it helps add another level of excitement when you're queuing outside.
There's two venues that typically reflect how popular different bands are, with, occasionally, bands moving from the big hall to smaller one last minute reflecting poor ticket sales.
A good music venue, and what can be, an overpriced club.
Commanding the building which was once home to the country's original cinema, the 02 ABC is an extremely popular club and venue. A quirky, bitesize fact to tell first-timers is that the world's largest mirrorball can be found in the main hall.
Over four floors there are three bars (the Mezz, Pod and Polar) and gigs run year-round in both ABC1 and AB2, showcasing a diverse range of local, underground and acclaimed acts. In other words, the shows vary from the superb - Frightened Rabbit and Fun Lovin' Criminals - to the shite - Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Professor Green.
Voted as one of Glasgow's top clubs, you can completely understand once you have been there, and experienced one of their club nights, or gigs.
The gigs - held either in the massive ABC 1 or smaller ABC 2 - are always awesome. Most of the bands who play ABC 2 are just getting their grounding, and 9 times out of 10, they will come back to play ABC1 later in their career (if they make it, obviously). ABC1 houses more well known/popular acts - bands such as Snow Patrol and MGMT have played here at one stage or another.
The club nights make the venue what it is however. Thursday night is held in ABC2 - indie/emo/rock - with £1.50 drinks, including slush puppies (h-amazing). Fridays take place in ABC1, rock/punk/old school classics are the music of choice, and drinks, again, start from around £1.50, and it's open til 3am. Saturdays are probably most random, with a little bit of everything played in ABC1 to electro in ABC2. Decent!
Personally I enjoy Saturday's the best - from the music in the Polar bar (50s/60s) to the main dancefloor in ABC1 to the Killer Kitsch electro in ABC2, I've not had a bad night there yet. My choice of music, my choice of people and my choice of drinks. Great!
Be prepared, however, to spend a fair bit of cash - to get in it's free before 11.30, however, after 11.30, the prices are hiked up (£7 to get in on a sat night), so watch your timing
All in all it's a decent live and club venue. If you've never been, it's worth a trip, even if it's just for a vodka-blue-slush. Yum!
The ABC offers two gig venues; ABC1 downstairs for big acts such as Lily Allen and Frightened Rabbit, and ABC2 upstairs for lesser known and local bands.
ABC1 is pretty much just a cavernous hall. If you are small like me, you better make sure you get near the stage or find a space on the raised level to the right.
ABC is much smaller with a more laid back feel. Chairs at the back allow the audience to sit and have a drink while watching the gig.
I know a few people who started boycotting this place once it was taken over by O2. They were unhappy about the fact O2 customers get first dibs on gig tickets. Which is fair enough really.
Both venues are okay, but not a patch on the Barrowlands Ballroom. I find it quite irritating that the barras doesn't seem to get many gigs these days while this place is choc a bloc.
I used to have a good time in the club night here but I haven't been in a while. I've since been told it has been taken over by the 18 year old skinny jeans crowd.
The ABC is a new(ish) addition to Glasgow's mid-sized venue roster nustling up alongside the Glasgow Academy, the Barrowlands and The Old Fruitmarket.
The venue has been restored with live music in mind and the staging and sound facilities are as perfect as can be. It is very similar in layout to many of the aforementioned venues and it fits in its place perfectly and seems to be ensuring that more of this size of gig/event now happen in Glasgow.
There appear to be a list of interesting (on the surface) club nights also at the venue, I may just pop along to check those out - though the fear of being on Sauchiehall Street late at night may stop that in its tracks.
Keep an eye on the gig listings here, thats for sure!!
I've only ever been to this place to watch bands so can't comment on the bar side of things (I'm not a student) As a live venue I really love it. It's got a good feel and you can get up close to the action. What's more I lost a rather expensive coat while leaping around to the Hives and had it returned to me the following morning complete with keys, wallet etc. so the staff get a significant nod from me.
Went to ABC once to see Nizlopi playing live. The venue itself is divided into two parts, ABC 1 and ABC 2. 1 is pretty big and offers place for up to 1000 people while ABC 2 is made for smaller audiences.
The interieur design is pretty nice, it's fresh and modern, even though it sometimes looks a little dark. Everything is rather new, so it doesn't feel like being in some filthy old concert venue... Thumbs up!
Any friday night I have visited the ABC I have had an amazing night, it's been very busy, the music mix has been superb with music from pop, soul, indie etc all mixed into one night of non stop dancing and a bit of drinking. The main floor is my favourite but ABC two is worth a visit as well.
Venue wise for gigs I have been numerous times, its small in comparison to other venues for music but I really enjoyed the cosyness and the atmosphere within the place. However, the sound quality isn't the greatest and needs some work.
Drinks prices aren't cheap which would make the night even better.
I've had some pretty good nights here on various occasions and its a good default place to go to once you've had a few vinos and are up for a dance. There's 2 rooms but I tend to go upstairs so I cant really comment on the downstairs offerings.
The music can be hit and miss and we tend to show our age dancing to music circa 2001 more than 2011 - and I don't get why they play Florence & the Machine - how do you dance to that without just flailing about?
The drinks are stupidly cheap so justifies the £5 entry charge - the house vodka is really weak so this may be a false economy, but there's cans of beer and cider for £1.50 which are good to dance with - less chance of spillage!
There is much talk about the clientèle, which I very much get. It's not that mixed a crowd but I've never felt like the oldest person there. Plus they are ripe for a ribbing, which after a few drinks who doesn't enjoy? I convinced a guy in there that his BEST FRIEND was my brother and have mocked the 'rugger buggers' almost as much as I've drank the weak vodka. Its like being 18 again, but with an added portion of cynicism which makes you able to enjoy it for what it is, and laugh at the kiddies.
It's busy but not too much that you cant find a dancing spot, its a good spot for flagging down a cab after or going getting some greasy food. Also plenty of venues to go beforehand in pottering distance.
Go on - relive your youth!
If Facebook was alive, it would be the ABC.
Boring people talking about boring subjects, with boring music distracting them from their boring lives. Usually filled with Mullets looking for there next victim to superpoke.
Great for gigs, but club nights are a drag.
Great club nights (esp. Jellybaby & Propaganda), and a superb dancefloor, I love going to gigs here as well. The floor space gets packed and great to jump around in, but the layout means you can stand on the sides or back and still get a great unperturbed view. They get some big names here too, so it's definitely worth going whenever!
It's my own fault thatI've not been here for a long time. Everything was so fresh when it first opened. From the neat cash registers to the giant disco ball in the main hall, the newly opened ABC looked like an instant winner.
Overtime it has turned from a popular club to a hot main destination for students and twenty-somethings looking for an eclectic mix of electronic, soul and rockpop.
Unfortunately, at times, it feels almost too popular. Ridiculous waiting times at the clockroom and bar have had me search elsewhere for after hour drinksc.
For the most part, I think the staff and management really make the most of the facilities they've got and there are always plenty of bar staff on, but I've still found myself waiting half an hour in a sweaty, crammed queue for a beer.
I also feel as if the crowd you would usually find in a nearby cheese disco have slowly made their way down to the ABC with the odd undercover hen party.
Still, there is loads of choice in four different styled rooms, all with their own special atmosphere.
Not too bad a club, but I can agree with other reviewers that the general age of people in there is a bit young. Not experienced it as a music venue yet, but they seem to have some good acts on.
Great venue-one of glasgows better ones. Easy to get too.Big bands sometimes play here.On one of the main streets so there is not much parking-you are better parking on one of the side streets and walking five minutes to the venue.
I like the ABC in Glasgow. It's at a central location on sauchall street , past the shops. The sound is good at this venue and I have seen some really great bands play here. there is a bar here. It's a small venue but I like that shows that people who go are real fans. Worth going to.
I like the ABC1 as a venue, it's a good size to see a band although it does lack a bit of atmosphere if the gig is not sold out and the venue is half empty as it is pretty big with high ceilings. Not been to see gig in the ABC2 but believe it is a much smaller room. The club nights here are also very popular and can be very long queues to get in on a Saturday night.
I've been to quite a few gigs in the ABC and always found it to be a great night.It's not a huge venue.maybe hold about 2000 max but I prefer this as it means you have less chance of getting crushed or cramped in too much.Concerts always finish pretty early so it means your not too late in getting home aswell.ABC is also great on a Friday and Saturday night if your looking to go clubbing,it's one of my favourite clubs to go to in Glasgow and has the best selection of music.Drinks aren't too expensive but beware as the bar is always very,very busy and waiting there for about 10 minutes before being served is normal.They have a few levels for different music tastes aswell so that there is something to please everyone.I have never had a bad night out at the ABC.
as a club, the abc is a middle of the road venue, only suitable when a diverse group of friends can't agree on anywhere else to go. fun can be had lurking in the corner, and making fun of all the teeny-boppers
however, it shines as a live music venue, whether it be the more intimate surroundings of ABC2 or the grandeur of ABC1. both rooms have great sound and suprisingly good visibilty. recent highlights include the mighty children of bodom (with support from the ever amusing cannibal corpse) on what can only be described as a st valentine's day massacre!
this is only my opinion, but my friend and i went to abc on a friday night, for a bit of a laugh, and at 10 minutes to midnight, the place was dead! I actually had to take a photo on my phone,it was that quiet! I also felt like i had walked into an under 18's. im only 24, but i felt so old in comparison to the other 12 people that were there. Music wasn't that geat either, nothing that you could dance to. it was more indie music, which is fine, but not what you expect when you go out to a night club.
Went to a concert last night and on arrival asked steward at the door which Q we needed to be in if we wanted to purchase tickets at the door, he directed us to the required Q. I the confirmed this with another steward who was walking up and down the line and he confirmed that this was the correct Q. When we eventually got inside the steward taking tickets said that we had to go outside and join the other Q and when I tried to explain he became extremely aggressive. When we got to the box office to purchase the tickets which were £15 each we were also charge an extra £2 per ticket booking fee even though we did not purchase online. Once inside the venue I purchased 4 cups of Cola which were not from a can but a syrup dispenser which I know costs around 2 pence a shot, we were charged £10.40. I found the whole experience a complete RIP OFF and I will never be back.
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