LOCAL VENUES, PAST AND PRESENT
The Alehouse: see Behind The Wall.
The Argyll Bar featured some bands in 1977, and was known as Silk's Lounge in 1984 - 1985. Davy Waugh ran The Happening Club here between 1989 and 1995, with two / three bands every Friday night. After this it changed it's name to Finn MacCools (1997 - 1998), with bands booking themselves, and then Fat Chewsdays in 2000 - 2001. In 2001 bands were promoted by Eskimo Promotions under the name of "Huskies". In the 2000's, under the name of Jack's Bar, there was a bit of regular activity on the live front, however it seems to have died down now. The pub has reverted to the name Argyll's.
Austins had bands between 1996 and 1997. It then re-opened as the Phoenix Bar, and had some live music in 2006.
The Barrelhouse: see the 1066 Lounge.
Baxters Bar saw the occasional band play in 1987 promoted by Eddie McKenzie, and again in 1996 as Smith's, promoted by Davy Waugh. As Smith's, it now hosts the Falkirk Folk Club on a Thursday night.
Behind The Wall was never really interested in live bands until they opened their upstairs extension / sports bar, Eglesbrech in 1994. Since then they have had a couple of bands every week, usually doing cover versions to a packed (and often indifferent) pub.
Bill & Ben's: see Fitches.
The Burlington Ballroom was a venue from the early 1960`s, and was directly across the road from where Brian Findlay`s Record shop was, above what is now Remnant Kings. It was a slightly dodgy place and was a place where girls of ill repute were to be had. It was still open in 1969.
The Burns Bar was initially a venue for folk acts to play in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Davy Waugh started promoting blues bands here in 1982, and then started a local "alternative" night in 1987. The Burns Bar turned into Firkins in 1988 and put on very occasional bands between 1997 and 2005. During this time, the pub very much became the focus of the local punk scene. In 2009 the pub began putting on bands again.
The Cabbie saw bands play on a weekly basis between 1987 and 1988. It later became the Railway Tavern and saw some bands play live in 2003 - 2004.
Cafe Noir had bands play in it's echoing interior between 1990 and 1994. It is now known as The Lane.
The Callander Arms has live music every Saturday night, usually cabaret based.
Caspers had live music in 1994.
Central Park: see Fitches.
Cheynes in Bainsford put on the odd band in the 2000's.
The Clubhouse: see Falkirk Ice Rink.
Coasters: see Falkirk Ice Rink.
The Den: Coffee bar who run an acoustic open mic night, as well as elling CD's by local bands.
Doak's Ballroom was situated at the bus station, and back in the 1950's / 1960's was the place to go for dancing (to a live band, of course). However, it was a fairly "square" venue then, and dancers were thrown out if they "smooched". In 1972 it became The Maniqui, and saw many touring punk & new wave bands playing between 1977 and 1978. It was meant to start live acts again in 1981, however being steered into a cattlemarket type nightclub called Oil Can Harry's during the 1980's put paid to that. By then it was owned by Doak's grandson, Mr Johnstone. Some local bands did play there during the decade, but mostly at private parties and charity benefits. The management were notoriously unfriendly to bands, allowing only 20 minutes to get all gear into the venue, set up, and soundcheck. Then when the band was finished they had to clear the floor within 20 minutes. Occasionally bands would play at the upstairs room, called The Penthouse, in the late 1980's. Recently the nightclub has changed it's name back to The Maniqui, and then Storm, however the future is uncertain as the venue has apparently been offered up for sale.
The Drookit Duck: see the 1066 Lounge.
The Edge: see the 1066 Lounge.
Eglesbrech: see Behind The Wall.
Elliots: see the Graeme Hotel.
The Elpidos was a place in Bainsford during the 1960's, up the street at the side of The Bluebell pub.
The Engine Room: see Pennies.
Falkirk Arts Theatre was a moveable venue run by Stuart Cuthell & Charlie Penn back in the 1970's. It started off by taking over La Bamba in 1971, putting events and bands on every weekend, and for a while was held at the Oddfellow's Hall in Grahams Road, Falkirk. At that time Stewart and Charlie tried to run it on Fridays and Saturdays. Fridays were nominally acoustic / folky, whilst Saturdays were the rock nights. The venue continued into 1975.
Falkirk College saw regular gigs in 1991.
Falkirk Ice Rink used to have big bands in the 1950's, which I believe were dancebands like Joe Loss & Sid Lawrence. It was known as one of the coldest venues in the country as the stage was on top of the ice! In the late 1970's it opened as a skateboard arena, and then changed to a rollerskating rink, called Coasters in 1982. At that time it was also used as a basketball arena for Team Solripe. A couple of bands did play there in the 1980's, but the size of the venue did kind of make it hard. (Pastis 51 recall playing at half-time during the basketball!). Despite potential as a national touring venue, nothing ever came of this, with bands prefering to play the attached Clubhouse. This was a disco space above Coasters Arena which played host to the odd band between 1984 and 1987. In 1988 John McLellan tried to launch it as a touring venue for small bands, but this was short lived. Now it's used as a bingo hall and indoor market.
Falkirk Town Hall has mostly been used for larger Council run gigs, however over the last couple of years three band bills of local / smaller bands have played the Lesser Town Hall.
Fat Chewsdays: see The Argyll Bar.
Finn MacCools: see The Argyll Bar.
Firkins: see The Burns Bar.
Fitches Bar was a Manor Street basement bar (1982 - 1985), which became Central Park (1985 - 1986). In 1991 it was operating as Bill & Ben's, and has since had several names, including Jinty McGinty's in 1994 - 1995. Throughout all this, it has put on the occasional band. In 2008 it was called The Metro and put on live acts, but this seems to have stopped.
Funky Munky's: see Pennies.
The Glenfinnan Suit took over from The Metropolitan Hotel as Davy Waugh's choice of venue in 1988, and had a couple of bands every week until he moved to the Argyll Bar. Nowadays it is better known as the venue for Studio 4.
Graeme Hotel was a regular haunt of Lieutenant Stardust, and has had some bands since 1997. Some people know the place as Elliots.
Jack's Bar: see The Argyll Bar.
Jinty McGinty's: see Fitches.
La Bamba was a venue during the 1960's (from at least 1964), opened by David Dillon, Ian Rule & Ian Stirling, and was originally at the Callander Park end of the High Street, before moving to a distribution depot owned by John Menzies, roughly where Beehar Carpets now is (next to Grahamston Station). It was one of the most respected venues in Scotland, and was home and regular haunt to many bands, including quite a few who later found fame. Manager in the mid-1960's was Jim Drysdale. John Leishman used to DJ there for a while in the 1970`s, using one Garrard SP25 record deck, on which he used to play 1960`s Psychedelic and west coast rock, like the Doors, Captain Beefheart, Buffalo Springfield and The Mothers Of Invention. In 1971 it became the Falkirk Arts Theatre, and may then have been called Boobs Nightclub! It re-opened as Springfield's Nightclub in 1973 by Jim Douglas.
Le Cafe Noir was the Tudor House across the road from Rosie's Nightclub, and put bands on in 1986.
The Maddox had bands playing from 1977 until 1986 when it closed and was demolished, often booked by owner Alan Tierney. The venue stood above the Charioteer Bar, roughly where the back door of B.H.S. is now.
The Magpie saw three acts a week play from 1977 until 1981, mostly local and Scottish bands. Live music could be found on Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday "double", lunchtime (very surreal being deafened in a dark smoke filled room to then walk out at 2pm into bright sunshine !) and evening by the same band. Apparently, "there used to be a lot of herbal products smoked in the Magpie, and the manager Ron hadn't a clue". In 1982 the Falkirk Folk Club moved here from the Burns Bar. Some bands played here in 2000, however that was short lived. Recently the bar has gone from three rooms to just the one.
The Maniqui: see Doak's Ballroom.
The Martell was initially a snooker club, but started putting on bands in 1991. They continued until at least 2003, with often three bands a week on a Thursday night, usually local, as well as touring national acts with a local support. Every couple of years the venue would run a mammoth "Battle Of The Bands". Nowadays, there is the occasional band, but nothing regular.
The Metro: see Fitches.
The Metropolitan Hotel saw bands play there in 1970, and was then briefly host to Davy Waugh's regular night in 1987 before he moved it to The Glenfinnan Suite. Downstairs was The Roxy, which saw a few bands play in 1986. This then became a 1970's theme bar, and is now a restaurant, just like upstairs.
The Newmarket Bar has had a couple of spates of bands, in 1992 and in 1997. It is now called the Goose On Newmarket.
Oil Can Harry's: see Doak's Ballroom.
The Orchard Hotel had acoustic gigs between 1998 and 1999.
Pennies had some live music in 1992, but then really took off as the venue for the Engine Room from 1997 - 1999. The Engine Room briefly moved to Pharaohs Climbing Wall in 2000 before returning to the venue until 2001. In 2002 The Room took over, at the re-named Funky Munkys, but this was short lived. 2007 saw an all day gig arranged here, so the venue may not be dead yet.
The Penthouse: see Doak's Ballroom.
Pharaohs: see Pennies.
Phoenix Bar: see Austin's.
Polish Club was home to the Falkirk Folk Club between 2002 and 2008. The pub has now closed.
Railway Tavern: see the Cabbie.
Reid's Nightclub was in Kemper Avenue and put on some bands in the early 1980's. It is now housing.
Rialto has had residencies from Mr Nice and On The Fly during the 2000's. This venue has in recent years become a favourite hanging out place for many bands, and hosts live music at least once a month.
Rosies Nightclub used to be Youngs, which everyone of a certain age remembers as the best toy shop in town. However, your mum would always take you in from the other side via the china department where everything would rattle as if it was about to fall. It became a bar, Rosie O'Gradies, in the early 1990's, before becoming a nightclub. There is some debate if bands ever played here. Arab Strap were meant to, but were thrown out by the bouncers from their own gig, however some people have claimed that they did play.
The Roxy: see the Metropolitan Hotel.
Silk's Lounge: see The Argyll Bar.
Smith's Bar: see Baxter's Bar.
Storm: see Doak's Ballroom.
Studio 4: see the Glenfinnan Suite.
The Swiss Lounge had live music in the late 1970's.
1066 Lounge : was the backroom at what is now The Edge, and put on bands now and then bewteen 1969 and 1984. As The Barrelhouse the frontroom saw some bands play between 1988 and 1989, and then again in 1992. It changed it's name to The Drookit Duck and had regular bands between 1992 and 1996, and re-opened as The Edge in 2002, with live music. In 2007 an alternative metal night called Ex was started.
The Union Halls were situated in Dalderse Avenue, and featured bands in the 1950's.
was a small dancehall in the late 1950's / early 1960's
in the Cow Wynd.
The International Hotel saw the Grangemouth Folk Club running gigs here in 1977. Between 1979 and 1981 Brian Guthrie ran gigs here, attracting local acts and touring national bands as well. The venue eventually stopped putting bands on, leaving Guthrie to find somewhere new, which he did, initially at the Maharatta, and then at the Bon Accord in 1982.
Grangemouth Town Hall saw Brian Guthrie promoting larger touring bands in the early 1980's.
Oxgang Hotel was host to two Grangemouth Rock Festivals in the late 1980's, as well as the occasional self-promoted live act, as well as a couple of acts in 2001.
The Leapark Hotel was a large hall where future ITV anchorman Nicky Docherty was DJ and promoter in the early 1980's. It was later the scene of the first Grangemouth Rock Festival, in 1986, but did tend to be too large for a single band to play.
Grant's Orient Express was a basement bar which hosted regular self-promoted bands between 1987 and 1990.
The Imperial hosted gigs organised by Bruce Tait & Alan Shields. Bruce says of the venue: "It grew out of the prolific band scene from Grangemouth High School, and ran for about 2 years, from 1982 - 1984. I stumbled across Marillion one night at the Tamdhu in Bannockburn and hung about with them in the summer of 1982 on their "Saliva Tears" Tour - organising their gig at the International (The Nash!) in August 1982. This was about a year before they signed with EMI and went on to big things. I met some other of the Prog bands that were around at the time and started putting them on at the Imperial, as well as the bands we were all in from high school, plus various other local bands. The first gig was Mikifin, and the second was Stealer. The Prog bands who played were all fairly big on the UK circuit at the time, but none really made it like Marillion did. They included Pendragon, Solstice and Quasar. The local bands were mostly rock - White Dwarf, Blackout, Brahnseer etc. but one fateful night we double booked Brahnseer and Dead Neighbours which ended in a big punchup - David (Rocky) Roxburgh of Brahnseer and Grant McDowell (of Dead Neighbours) ended up spending the night in Grangemouth nick (ironic as Grant went on to be a Policeman himself). The "Impy" as it was known ended suddenly when we booked a fairly big rock band called Chevy for a big fee and only got about 15 punters. To my shame I did a runner and left my partner Alan Shields to deal with 5 massive, hairy rockers wanting their money (well it was Al who booked them!)"
Montgomery's saw regular bands between 1989 and 1991.
The Ellwyn saw occasional acts in the 1980's and 1990's.
The Coachouse put on bands in 1995.
The Bowhouse Hotel saw a couple of bands playing in 2000 - 2001.
Rendezvous saw a couple of bands in 2000.
Lafferty's Bar had bands between 2001 and 2003.
The Tavern has ran bands since 2002.
The Maharatta has put on the very occasional gig over the years.
The Bond Club was run by Denis Setterington back in the 1960's.
Sloopy's was a live venue in the late 1960's.
La Fabrique was a club / cabaret venue in the 1970's.
McTavish's had bands playing in 1981.
The Kinneil Bar put on bands between 1983 and 1984.
The Wynd had bands playing in 1992.
Girsey Nicols put on bands between 1996 and 1998, and then sometimes since then.
The Jubilee put on bands in 1996.
The 00 Bar has put on gigs in 2006.
LARBERT & STENHOUSEMUIR
Grubowski's put regular bands on from 1999 until the present day, promoting new / young / unsigned bands on a Wednesday night, a jam session on Thursdays (started by the Raw Elvis guys in 2003), and usually covers bands on a Friday. The venue is owned and run by Ronnie Jenkins, who also promotes at the Dobbie Hall. The venue was to close in May 2007.
The Plough Hotel has had jazz bands since 2002, and was host to the Falkirk Jazz Festival from 2005 - 2007.
The Dobbie Hall saw regular dances (with live music) throughout the 1960's (Gene Vincent once played there!) and still hosts the occasional larger concert. In 2005 Grubowski's owner Ronnie Jenkins (along with his son-in-law, David Walker) promoted a couple of gigs.
DENNY & DUNPIACE
The Pines, Denny hosted self-promoted bands in 1987.
The Anchor Inn, Dunipace hosted bands between 1989 and 1990.
Chequers Bar ran some cabaret type gigs in the early 1980's.
The Henry Begg Disco had the some live acts in 1969.
The Crossbow ran gigs between 1977 and 1979, and then again in 1999.
Club Tomay, Brightons had many a big band playing in the 1960's.
The Claremont Inn, Polmont had regular bands between 1994 and 1995, then again in 2000.
Beat Route, Laurieston was a live venue in the late 1960's.