The Dial Inn
The Dial Inn was one of the most popular live music Venues in the centre of Glasgow which was loved by fans and musiciains alike.
The pub had a band playing most nights of the week and at its peak most afternoons so live music lovers could watch a band for free playing a full set of usually original songs, this format made it the perfect conduit for bands to get their music heard and performed to a live audience, it also made it possible for bands to sharpen their skills and build up a decent fan base.
The venue was also perfect for the punters as they could regularly get to see the best local bands Glasgow could offer for free.
The licensing laws have changed since then which is why young bands today have to go through the drudgery of selling tickets to get a gig up and running usually having to play on the same bill as three to four other bands on the same night making it much more difficult for them to to get a decent fan base or get their material heard.
Having spoken to loads of musicians while putting together Glasband 80 over the years nearly everyone chose This Venue as their favourite place to have played live in Glasgow, so at long last here is a page dedicated the Legendary Dial Inn.
Below...The Henry Gorman Band Live at The Dial Inn
Henry Gorman... "My favourite Glasgow Venue is probably The Dial Inn then The Burns Howff 2nd and The Bungalow Bar 3rd".
Below... The Henry Gorman Band
Above...I love this photo, it really captures the atmosphere and intimacy of the Venue.
Below... The Dolphins
Cammy Forbes..."It must be The Dial Inn it was one of the only places you could play in the afternoon, leave your gear set up then come back and play again that night and it was always packed, the crowd were always very forgiving, ready to accept new material and ideas, it just had a great atmosphere".
In July 1982, The Dolphins played every song in their set which lasted for over three hours as a tribute drummer Davy Edgar who was leaving the band, Below is a rare CD of the some of the tracks played from that gig.
Cammy Forbes from 2007..."We had been playing The Dial Inn for about two to three years by then and we knew Davy Edgar was leaving and Harry Denmark was coming in as drummer so we decided to play every song Davy knew as a kind of send off and when Harry came in we were going to up market and go for places like The Mayfair etc… so it was really the end of The Dial Inn for us although we did still play there but not as much, it had been our regular gig playing there about two to three times a week.
The gig lasted about Three and a half hours and opened early at six o'clock with people queuing outside to get in".
Below... Red Ellis
Below...The building now, the Main Bar area was the door on the right, The door on the left went downstairs to the basement this is where the bands would have played.
Below... Shoot The Moon
"Ronnie Davidson... With Shoot The Moon our best gig was The Dial Inn ,on a Saturday afternoon in The Dial Inn about seventy percent of the audience were guys from other bands it was like you were playing to your peers so you always tried to be as good as you could, meanwhile the crowd are giving it “aye well you were ok” you knew you were under a bit of pressure at those gigs, that is probably one of the things that made this period so good, a bit of healthy rivalry".
Brian Coyle (The Dolphins)... "We had some great gigs there, The Dial Inn was great for seeing groups, magnificent in fact bit it was the death of many for not being "trendy".
Cris Radford and Mike Baxter in The Cupboard Dressing room, below.
This was my wee band playing at The Dial Inn from March 1982, we were not bad but not great either more young and nieve hence me in my reindeer jumper, but this photo was taken at the exact time almost to the moment when I found out how good some of the other Glasgow bands were at that time, I had been gigging for about two years at that point and was just discovering great bands such as The Dolphins, Scheme, Henry Gorman and China White before Stevie Doherty went on to form Zero Zero.
I bore the crap out of some of my younger friends to this day telling them about venues like The Dial Inn, some of them don't believe me when I tell them that I used to go watch a great band at 12.30 in the afternoon kick about Glasgow having a few drinks go home have my dinner then go back out to watch a top notch band at night again playing brilliant original material and sounding beyond great, and for free but that was a glorious reality back then and I am glad I got the chance to experience it.....Tommy Devlin.
Anyone who has any photos or stories to add to the The Dial Inn page please let me know via my Email address email@example.com , my Facebook page or leave a message in the Guestbook below.
At 2 minutes 22 seconds into this video of The Dolphins below is rare footage of the band playing at The Dial Inn from a News report on Licensing Laws in Glasgow.
I was a bouncer at the Dial Inn between 1978 - 1979, but I wasn't the wee fat one! I think his name was Henry and he was a major pain in the arse. We also had Jimmy Addison, an albino who was a great guy. The photo of the exterior is different from the way I remember it - the left door led down to the main bar where the bands played. The right led upstairs to the restaurant where you could phone the dj from each table with your record requests, hence "The Dial Inn". On Saturday lunchtimes anyone was allowed downstairs, but Fri/Sat nights it was "couples only" or single women - that was when we earned our bouncer pay!
Andy, Bouncer at The Dial Inn.