Aiberdeen’s Music Scene
Ower the years Aiberdeen has acted as a cultural hub for the North East of Scotland. Fae Annie Lennox tae the AECC, Aiberdeen is certainly familiar tae the music world, but the cultural history runs much deeper. In the city centre there are a number o’ iconic venues that have attracted musicians from across the globe over the years. By rolling back the years a rich history of music and arts can be found in Aberdeen, as the granite city was a melting pot for different local styles from Aberdeenshire and beyond. In this strange time that prevents us from getting out and enjoying the city, let’s tak a look at some of these iconic venues from past and present.
Fit div The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who, and Cream aa hiv in common? They’ve aa hid tae face the famous North Sea haar doon by the iconic Beach Ballroom! Een o’ the mist iconic venues in Aiberdeen’s history, the Beach Ballroom has seen mony a famous fizog in its time, as weel as hosting some o’ the city’s finest weddings, conferences an gaitherings on its muckdle dancefleer ower the years.
The Music Hall
Aiberdeen’s Music Hall has tae be een o’ the mist bonnie buildings on Union Street. Originally opened back in 1852, designed by Archibald Simpson, iss famous site his hosted aa kinds o’ musicians fae classical and ballet tae glam-pop and rock legends like David Bowie. The Music Hall has grown tae stand for much mare than just a concert hall in Aiberdeen, it’s a cultural symbol at the heart o’ the city centre.
One of the mist popular and versatile venues that Aiberdeen has tae offer. The Lemon Tree has something fir aabody, even the bairns, offering a range of shows fae music to comedy and theatre. The Lemon Tree has been attracting crowds since 1992 wi’ its intimate an creative performances fae local groups an beyond.
Aiberdeen’s Blue Lamp offers something different to punters wi’ a dedicated group o’ musicians delivering jazz nights. After the sad passing of legendary landlord Sandy Brown last year the Blue Lamp is set to reopen once restrictions allow. This rare wee venue is the epicentre of Aiberdeen’s jazz scene and is worth a visit once aahin reopens.
As we tak a lookie at some of the mare modern venues we just hiv tae mention Drummonds. Sitting on bonny Belmont Street, Drummonds is hame to some o’ the maist exciting bands (young an aul) in Aiberdeen. A meeting ground for the best alternative music fae the North East, the Aiberdeen music scene jist widnae be the same without Drummonds.
Een of the maist up and coming venues in Aiberdeen, well kent by students and the like, is Tunnels. Providing sweaty club nights and pounding dance music aroon the back o’ the green and underneath the bustle of Union Street. Tunnels is the independent gem of Aiberdeen’s music scene, now attracting bigger and bigger bands wi’ its unique atmosphere and rare soondszystem.
What would a list of Aiberdeen’s finest venues be wi’ no mention of a pub that celebrates traditional Scottish music. Located on Castlegate across fae the Sherriff Court, the traditional feel of Blackfriars’s is a welcoming sight aifter a land days graft. Running weekly open sessions that are welcome to aabody, sometimes ye just canny beat a traditional Scots music nicht.
Since 1985 the largest venue in Aiberdeen was the AECC, or the Aiberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Located oot at Bridge of Don, the AECC acted as the main attraction for gye famous faulk like Oasis, AC/DC, Dolly Parton, Rihanna and the Foo Fighters. Haen such a large centre has put Aiberdeen on the map, without it oor city may not have seen such a variety of world class musicians. Aifter 34 years o’ service to the North East, the AECC closed its doors for the final time back in June of 2019.
Mony faulk will hae gye fond memories of concerts ower the years but the time came for a move to the brand new P&J Live, which opened just a couple o’ months aifter the AECC shut doon. The new structure, which is the largest indoor venue in aa o’ Scotland, has already hosted some huge names fae the music world and we can only expect mare to come in the future!
Please share any musical stories or memories that you have from Aberdeen. Whether you saw Oasis at the Exhibition Centre or played at the Blue Lamp we want to hear from you.