Top 10 After Dark Venues
For most people, the name “Camden” brings to mind the musical surge of the 80’s and 90’s, when Camden Town suddenly became the epicentre of London’s music scene, with artists the likes of the Cure, Debbie Harry and the Sex Pistols rising to fame on Camden’s multiple stages. Ever since, Camden has become synonymous for a great night out. Camden’s nightlife is known to mean young, dynamic and just a little bit edgy. It is the scene of the lost, the broken and the beautiful, and is always just a tiny bit over the top. And now that the night tube is finally here, there really is no reason not to dance the night away – literally.
For those who refuse to go to bed before the first strokes of sunlight hit their faces, for those who would rather sleep when they’re dead, here is LoveCamden’s Top 10: After Dark Venues.
You haven’t lived unless you have been to Proud. With cabaret shows, an Alice in Wonderland themed terrace and, of course, their signature feature: the old horse stables that have been turned into private booths available to book, Proud is where wonder and imagination merge into a lustrous fantasy world where the creatures of the night roam freely. Proud has hosted acts like Lady Gaga and Two Door Cinema Club, and their club nights feature electro, synth-pop, R&B, hip-hop and funk.
See http://proudcamden.com/ for more information
Kings Cross has more than fried chicken huts and off-license drinks to offer at night. Just behind the station you can find Scala, a four-story space that can hold over a 1.000 people and hosts regular club nights and live performances on weekends. Scala’s programme has included big names like DJ Tiësto, Bastille, Ed Sheeran, The Killers, Bombay Bicycle Club, you name it.
See scala.co.uk/ for more information
3. Reverend JW Simpson
For those who would like to start off in style, why not visit Reverend JW Simpson, a chic and distinctive cocktail parlour that takes its craft very, very seriously and is based within a former vicar’s residency. They offer Spirited Sermons for those who would like to take a dive into cocktail history and learn a bit more about the craft, but on a Friday night, it is all about washing your sins away with their amazing cocktails before you hit the town.
See www.revjwsimpson.com for more information
Another one of Camden’s musical legends, Dingwalls has hosted performers such as Blondie, The Clash and The Sex Pistols in their early days. Dingwalls Dance Hall can be found in the heart of the market and was designed to have an unusually long bar (in fact, it had the longest bar in London at the time) and is open until 2pm. It used to be the became a favourite hangout for the likes of Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones, Dave Gilmore from Pink Floyd, jazz legend George Melly and artists David Hockney and Lucian Freud and still puts on some of the best shows in Camden, including the Foo Fighters, The Strokes and Mumford & Sons.
See www.dingwalls.com for more info.
5. The Green Note
One of London’s best spots for world, roots and acoustic music, The Green Note is a popular venue for music lovers who like an intimate atmosphere. They serve organic and vegetarian food, and portraits of famous musicians like Bob Dylan decorate the walls. A local treasure, The Green Note is run with passion and love and has everything in store for a great night out.
See www.greennote.co.uk for more info.
6. The Roundhouse
The crown jewel of Camden’s performing arts scene, this amazing venue has a divine history involving steam engines, gin, trade unions and some of the world’s most legendary performers. From large music gigs and dance to circus, film, comedy and exhibitions, a visit to The Roundhouse should be on everyone’s bucket list.
See www.roundhouse.org.uk for more information.
7. Alley Cat
Based in the old Regent’s Studio’s, where the Rolling Stones recorded their first album, and many other musicians made history, Alley Cat reopened as a bar and club in […]. With regular music performances and events, Alley Cat is the place to go for a rockin’ night.
See www.alleycatbar.co.uk for more info.
8. Camden Assembly
Formerly known as the Barfly and a popular hangout for the youth during the Britpop and grunge years, The Camden Assembly offers a variety of events, from weekend club nights with the best performers to student nights on Mondays and pub quizzes on Tuesdays.
See Facebook for more info.
9. Belle & Co
Oh, the Belle Époque! If you are not into gritty dance blubs but prefer to lavishly treat yourself to a night of glitter and Victorian glamour, Belle & Co is the place for you. Providing an opulent décor of gold leaf and velvet, this cocktail bar means business. Asides from a decadent cocktail list, the club also offers Monday Movie nights and live theatre performances.
See www.shakerandcompany.co.uk/belleco for more info.
10. Electric Ballroom
“Oh I’ll keep Camden until I move out of this world. It was the first place of my own that I had, so I wouldn’t dream of parting with it. Camden will never be sold.” Those were the words of the Electric Ballroom’s owner, Bill Fuller, after the London Underground threatened it with closure in […]. Established in the late 1930’s, this venue has seen it all, from Sid Vicious to Joy Division, Garbage and many others. It even survived bombing during WW2, and remains dedicated to bringing the best musical performances to Camden.
Editor's note: This article tries to highlight a variety of venues, but of course there is a lot more available in the borough. Don’t forget to check out these other great venues too! Koko, Jazz Café, Underworld, Pandora Saturdays at Gilgamesh, BYOC, The Hospital Club, Crobar.