After Dark Edit
The Best Clubs in Camden: Insider’s Guide
Thu 19 May
IS CAMDEN THE EPICENTRE OF LONDON NIGHTLIFE? WE THINK SO
Camden has been the heartland of alternative music for decades and still buzzes with that rebellious spirit, especially during the early hours, when things can get really decadent. Proud, Koko and Dingwalls lead the way. Without further ado we give you the very best Camden haunts to dance all night in: raw hedonism guaranteed.
Proud, the former horse hospital turned burlesque venue and club is a nightlife-lovers dream. The venue hosts disco, funk, soul, hip-hop and R&B dance parties alongside an eclectic programme of variety performances promising fun, frivolity and debauchery. What’s more, the revamped terrace bar is something special – roll up for one drink and you’ll probably be there all night.
Positioned in the heart of Camden this ex timber yard has hosted live music since the 1970s (when it made a name for itself as a key punk rock haunt). The waterside location is infinitely Instagrammable, the live music is always a cut above, and the club nights are so riotous you’ll be talking about them for weeks.
Two floors, two dance floors and four bars. On paper the Electric Ballroom screams party time, and in real life it always delivers a night out to remember. For a start, the ground floor boasts a stage that’s been graced by Ocean Color Scene, The Killers, Sir Paul McCartney, Joy Division, The Smiths and Garbage. Need we say any more?
Concert venue and club Koko is a former theatre that still retains its impressive, historic architecture. In 1982 it was known as the Camden Palace and was an important destination on the New Romantic scene. It’s still achingly cool, and comes superstar approved: Grace Jones loved to party here and it was the location of Madonna’s first UK show. See you on the dancefloor.
THE JAZZ CAFE
For over 25 years Camden’s The Jazz Cafe has been attracting performances from hugely respected talents in the world of jazz and soul (think Adele, Roy Ayers, Bobby Womack and Amy Winehouse). It’s recently had a ritzy makeover: the sonic focus remains on funk, soul, R&B and electronic music and the new split level layout offers a downstairs standing area AND an upstairs stocked with bookable tables (good views always included).
This live music bolthole is the old Barfly; the vibe however is totally new. Downstairs is a lounge bar, upstairs is kitted out with a massive state-of-the-art sound system. The line-up is all about new music: think the finest breakthrough ballroom, grime, garage, ghetto house, footwork and techno artists, as well as a few very well known names. Open until 3am, it’s run by the same people that own OXYO, The Blue’s Kitchen and The Jazz Cafe – so they know how to put on a good party.