What it’s like being a bouncer in Glasgow

This is what they have to put up with

You drink a lot, get drunk and hit up the city centre to go clubbing. But because you’ve drank so much you might not be let in or be forced to leave during the night. You then complain later that the bouncer’s decision was unfair or they were way too aggressive. Everyone has those nights.

But have you ever wondered what it looks like from a bouncer’s perspective?

The Tab spoke to Gary Singh, a bouncer who’s been working in the industry for 15 years. He currently works at O2 ABC and agreed to share his stories on all sorts of things he’s had to deal with over the years.

shot of bouncer anthem

Shot of bouncer anthem video

Gary started with the biggest issue that all bouncers encounter, refusing a customer. He said: “When approaching a customer you always have to be as nice as possible but you also can’t forget that everyone is different and therefore reacts differently.”

He said: “Most of them accept it but you will get some people who will argue with you.”

The most common questions asked are: “Are you sure?”, “But I’ve not had any drink yet?” and “Why not?”.

“I usually tend to say ‘sorry guys, not tonight.’ Then explain a reason why.”


Typical queue in Glasgow.

However, the job is far from plain sailing. “I remember a guy getting so racist towards me that I still clearly remember his face. I was on the door alone and couldn’t do anything. I tried to ignored him.”

Blair Walker, a bouncer at Tingle Bar, admitted that unfortunately a lot of the time the guys that are much more problematic. He said: “They make girls feel uncomfortable by touching them and stuff, shouting, singing too loudly and being really argumentative.”

Unfortunately manners go out the window with customers rarely saying thank you after Blair opens doors or checks their ID because they see it as his job.


Blair Walker

But it’s also a problem trying to get them out. Gary told The Tab: “During the night when we see a customer has had enough for the evening, we try to take him/her to the main foyer to chat. Then, we assess if he/she should be asked to leave or still can stay but without drinking alcohol.”

“If the person gets aggressive we are allowed to use minimum force. We bear in mind they’re drunk and not in control but at the same time we have our own safety to take care of too.”

Often it’s clear when customers have had enough. Blair said: “It was ages ago and we were closing. There was one girl left in the toilet, after a while she came out and she had left a trail of poop when she was walking out.”

“The job can be very tough but we have to remember that the customer is under the influence of drink.”

Conclusion? Simple. Don’t whine when you’re too drunk and the bouncer wants you to leave. He’s responsible for your safety and what’s more other people’s safety too. Remember, they have a lot on their plate too.