Michelle Grant / Time Out
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Posted: Sat Jan 5 2013
Housed in an ornate, Grade II-listed building, this institution has endured through numerous incarnations. First opened on Boxing Day 1890, it was renamed The Camden Hippodrome nine years later, operating as a vaudeville house in which a young Charlie Chaplin trod the boards. Between 1913-40, the venue was a thriving cinema (often with supporting live acts) and subsequently (for 20 years from around 1945) a BBC theatre, which saw recordings of the legendary 'Goon Show'. In the '70s it was turned into a live music venue and renamed The Music Machine, before being taken over by Steve Strange and Rusty Egan of Visage in 1983 and undergoing yet another name change – to The Camden Palace. As such, it enjoyed a high profile on London's New Romantic club scene and hosted the very first London gig by Madonna, no less. It relaunched in the late '80s as an indie club and then - after closing its doors for refurbishment in 2004 – was rebranded as Koko. Despite the name change and major refit, it retains its indie/alternative pop/rock remit, while also embracing everything from hip hop to trance. With its colossal mirror ball as the ceiling centrepiece, its painted gargoyles and steep tiered balconies, Koko remains one of London's most atmospheric music venues.
What's on at Koko
House, techno and electro, Pop and rock, Drum 'n' bass and dubstep, Garage, Hip hop
- Critics' choice
She's got more solid DJ sets under her belt than she does curls in her ever-impressive bouffant, and her long-running AMP showcases have become essential tick boxes for many a top DJ and producer across a range of genres. Expect anything from techno to...
Political conscious, Afrocentric MC Speech brings his crew back to London for more upbeat classics from hip hop's golden age.
Def Jam-signed R&B singer Alsina sent his fans – not to mention his recent collaborator Nicki Minaj – into a panic late last year by ending up in a three-day coma after falling off stage in New York. Now he celebrates a successful recovery by getting...
Punk and hardcore, Emo
These Welsh boys have spent the last decade plying post-hardcore screamo, but now they're breaking up. Catch them tonight on their farewell tour.
Indie rock, Clubs, House music, Electro-rock, Chart pop
- Critics' choice
Overdose on this hugely popular indie/electro night that sees resident DJs Christian Laing, Lydia Butler and pals – plus special guests – unleash rockin' electro and indie-pop mash-up madness, with a scattering of cheese and student party anthems. Full-throttle...
Pop and rock, House music, Techno music
Known for his Balearic hits 'Offshore' and 'Stoned in Love' (the one with the 'Tom Jones bandit' video), serotonin-inducing producer Nick Bracegirdle is back with his live band to promote his new LP 'The Sum of Its Parts'. Let's hope his live show all...
Pop and rock
Earnest power-pop from this big-in-Ireland band, touring in support of their new album, 'Closer to You'.
Pop and rock, House music, Electro
LA EDM prankster Dillon Francis doesn't pull any punches with his brand of face-melting, bass-heavy electronica. He was an early adopter of 'moombahton', a form that mixes house and electro with the slower Latin style of reggaeton, so here's your chance...
Pop and rock
- Critics' choice
Kooky Parisian-Scandinavian duo Dan and Olivia blend Lady Sovereign-alike rap, pop-ska brass (as if lifted from an early Lily Allen single) and Americana.
Blues, roots and country
This Balkan band are always reliably funky and tonight return to their proper place; the headline slot. Endless brassy stabs and a wild show are a certainty.
Average User Rating
3.3 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:2
I saw The Band Perry at the Koko club and it was a lovely venue, it is an old theatre with all the seating taken out in the stalls (I didnt see upstairs) and has a full bar at the back. The acoustics were very good, as were the Band Perry! Would recommend! I would like to go to one of their guilty pleasures nights and club nights soon!
I agree. Not the most welcoming of places. As for the refit?? I used to go there in the mid 90's and I could not tell what they had changed since then?... Sticky carpets, awful toilets and grumpy staff. Regretfully, best avoided.
I don't get the idea here. It's a lovely building with an interesting layout, but they treat their customers like cattle. They charge insane prices for a can of appalling bitter emptied lovelessly into a thin plastic glass. Queues 10-deep at the bar. Events where the comperes verbally abuse people for needing the toilet while they're speaking (and I mean abuse, not joke about, Patrick Kielty). It's bad enough that you start to think, 'Well if you really don't want me here I'll leave.' You're just a commodity, being fleeced for as much as they can get away with. It's a shame, as it has so much potential. But it's top of my blacklist nowadays.