camden gig guide

Playing in a seedy Camden venue is a rite of passage for any self respecting up and
coming band - and they've all done it
- from Madness and Sid Vicious
through Oasis and Blur to The
Darkness and Coldplay

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Barfly is a live music legend – the place that helped launch the careers of Coldplay, The Darkness, Franz Ferdinand and and of course Blur and Oasis. In the Barfly’s early days - in the now defunct Falcon pub on the outskirts of Camden in late 1996 - gig-goers flocked to hear music pounding out from the PA in the dark, dingy back room. But soon-to-be-big bands were, from day one, a key ingredient, bringing with them an endless line of discerning music fans. Ever since then, Barfly has had a committed policy of nurturing new talent. And while not all of the acts which grace the hallowed Barfly stage, which found a new home at the Monarch in 2000, will find fame and fortune, the venue’s strike rate is pretty good. As Noel Gallagher says: "Barfly is ten years ahead of anybody’s time"Barfly: 49 Chalk Farm Road,London NW1. Tel: 020 7424 0800. Map ref: E4

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dublin castle


The Underworld has been a Camden favourite for years. It has played host to such big name artists as Alabama 3, At The Drive-In, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Cranberries, Crazytown, The Datsuns, Death Angel, Frank Black, Hole, Kristin Hersh, J Mascis, The Offspring, Placebo, Queens of the Stone Age, Radiohead, Reef, Sepultura, Sheryl Crow, Silverchair, Slash's Snakepit, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Stuck Mojo, Suede, The Darkness and The Von Bondies. Need we say more? Doors 11pm - late. Underworld: 174 Camden High Street, NWI (Opposite Camden Town tube station) Tel: 020 7482 1932. Map ref: G13


Dublin Castle

The Dublin Castle IS quintessential pub giggery. A recipe of live music most nights with three or more bands on each night’s bill has brought the pub worldwide fame – that and the fact that it is attributed with spearheading various musical movements over the last 25 years. The pub is split into a bar at the front leading into the live music section at the rear. Crowded, friendly and a good place to spot the stars of tomorrow. Not a castle and not in Dublin – but still worth a visit. Dublin Castle: 94 Parkway, London. Tel: 020 7485 1773, Map ref: C13

Live music in Camden video

We'll be bringing you video clips on every aspect of Camden life. (bloggers - feel free to embed any of these videos - click on the icon at the bottom right of player for embed code)

More videos:
Black Cap drag venue   Camden Crawl   Live Music in Camden
Camden canal trip   Camden markets  

jazz cafe

Jazz Cafe

From its inception in the early nineties, the Jazz Cafe has made a point of supporting music for reasons of artistic integrity above all else. You can see some of the best live jazz in the country there - either from the dance floor or from the comfort of the balcony restaurant serving modern european cuisine. You need to book in advance for tables overlooking the stage. Jazz Cafe: 3 Parkway, NW1. Tel: 0207 534 6955. Map ref: F13

electric ballroom




the forum

The Electric Ballroom is a Camden classic and has been hostring live music for the past forty years - starting out as an irish venue hosting the likes of Jim Reeves. In the past decades Sid Vicious, Madness, The Clash, George Thorogood and the Smiths have drawn huge crowds to the venue. The most recent performers have included Kings of Leon, The Coral, Snow Patrol, The Bees, The Vines, The Hives, Outkast (Big Boy): A great venue and under threat from threat from developers: Electric Ballroom: 184 Camden High Street, London NW1. Tel: 020 7485 9006. Map ref; F11

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  Koko is the new name for one of Camden's best known venues, The Camden Palace. The venue is an old theatre and there are half a dozen bars, terraces and balconies to explore. Mostly used as a club venue but live acts do play there. Koko: 1 Camden High Street, by Mornington Crescent tube. Map ref: E18   The Forum in Kentish Town has a capacity of 2110, and since opening has featured sell-out shows from some of the biggest international acts, including Van Morrison, Prince, The Velvet Underground, Oasis, Pulp and Jamiroquai. The Forum: 9-17 Highgate Road,London NW5. 020 7344 0044

caernarvon castle  


Caernarvon Castle

As rock and roll as it gets. Seedy pub opposite the markets, spilt beer, overflowing ashtrays and wall to wall bands playing their hearts out. Live music most nights but worth a visit even when there's nothing on. Caernarvon Castle(Fusilier & Firkin) : 7 Chalk Farm Road, London NW1.



Dingwalls has, for reasons best known to itself, changed its name to Lock 17 but is still hosting bands during the week (at the weekends it is comedy club Jongleurs). Great venue in the heart of Camden Lock Market on the waterfront. Dingwalls: Middle Yard, Camden Lock, London NW1. Tel: 020 7267 1577

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