Roundhouse

Music , Music venues Chalk Farm
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(16 user reviews)
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© Annique Delphine
Coldplay at the iTunes Music Festival 2011

Constructed in 1846 as a turntable shed for the London and Birmingham railway, the Roundhouse – a Grade II-listed building – has a long and illustrious history, including spells as a liquor warehouse and long periods of disuse. But it came into its own as a legendary music venue in the '60s/'70s, hosting the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and The Doors and staging the notorious 'Oh Calcutta'. Work on the extensive overhaul/refurbishment began in 2004 and it reopened in 2006 as a modern arts and mixed-media performance space with strong community bias. The main room benefits from a high domed ceiling and Victorian metal 'ribs' and regularly accommodates a staggering variety of acts, from A-ha to Bebel Gilberto, Foo Fighters and Paul Weller.

Venue name: Roundhouse
Contact:
Address: Chalk Farm Rd
London
NW1 8EH
Transport: Tube: Chalk Farm
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Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|17
1 person listening
Hollibakes
Tastemaker

Possibly the best place to see a gig in Camden. I mean, I love Koko to death, but the Roundhouse just has such great charm and elegance, whilst being able to cope with a lot of people! The acoustics are first class, and with the stage being positioned where it is, you can see the acts from just about anywhere (except perhaps from behind one of the many pillars holding it up!)

Daniel L
Tastemaker

One of the top concert venues in London, it screams intimacy even though it is a 1700 capacity venue. Transport connections are easy and there are plenty of areas pre and post concert for drinks and food. There really is no bad seat in the house. The only problem would be the bar (took us one hour to get a drink... no joke) but that is a minor set back for an otherwise awesome night. 

Dianne H
tastemaker

South London will forever be in my heart, however the Roundhouse has made me re-evaluate my commitment to my South of the river roots.This gig venue is big and modern yet still feels welcoming as soon as you walk through the doors.With a bustling restaurant and bar as soon as you walk in on the right, you can’t help but grab yourself a gin on your way up the stairs.As far as bars go it feels pretty standard, however I don’t think it has the right vibe for enjoying a nice meal before a concert - I would definitely recommend grabbing food near Mornington crescent or Camden high street beforehand.

Top tip would be to wait until you’re in the main stage area and use the bars in there instead as there’s less of a queue.  We were standing and turned up during the warm up acts for Kodaline but still managed to manoeuvre our way through the crowds to a good position.  It has a good balance of feeling intimate while also having space to dance away.  The seating area didn’t look like they had any obvious obstructions in view which gets a thumbs up too.

Maybe a result of the round shape of the venue but the acoustics were also bang on!  Great venue for experiencing live music and will definitely be returning pronto.

Manningalive
Tastemaker

I recently went to see Suede at the Roundhouse.  It was probably the most middle class gig I've been to with both seating tickets and an interval break.  Gig aside, the venue is of course pretty spectacular to be a part of and you have to marvel in it's roundness.  It's a tad bigger than the kind of venue I like to watch bands, but a million miles away from the O2.  Try to dodge the pillars if you can so as to not impair your view of the stage.

Ashleigh Arnott
Staff Writer

Watching bands at the Roundhouse is such a pleasure. The sound's great, you can see even if you end up at the back due to tardiness/needing the loo/buying a pint, the crowd is usually of a far classier calibre than elsewhere (I don't recall ever having seen a pint glass thrown over the crowd there, though I guess it might be to do with the fanbases rather than the venue...) and the bar is not a total rip-off.

jeaniekarl
Tastemaker

The Roundhouse is amazing and offers a smaller, unique venue that just needs to be experienced compared to the larger arenas and stadiums. I was lucky enough to win free tickets to see Pharrell Williams as part of the Itunes music festival. Location is convenient and close walk to Chalk Farm station. The layout is such that even if you are standing far back you are still relatively close to the stage and there is even upstairs seating as well. There are plenty of washrooms and easy access to the bar and cloakrooms.

fedbylillie
Tastemaker

Oh, Roundhouse. I really, really want to love you and give you a big 5 stars. You're great. The interior of the main gig space is architecturally astounding, there's a decent number of watering holes dotted around the venue and there's a nice bit of outside space for all tobacco enthusiasts (or just a bit of fresh air). However, I went to see the amazing Kwabs there. And amazing is understatement for how amazing he was. The problem was that my gig partner and I were stood outside the metal arches in the gig space and sound does not carry well at all outside of the "inner circle". There were times when I struggled to hear him and he was, after all, the reason I was there. So, Roundhouse, if you're reading this, you're great but you have your flaws. Sort out your acoustics. Oh, and please ban iPads? 

Tom Bruce
Tastemaker

Camden's Roundhouse is probably the best venue I've ever been to for a gig. The unique shape and size of the space, the history attached to it, the dream location - it all adds up to something very special indeed. After seeing Plan B here, having won free tickets through the Itunes festival, I have been fantasising about coming back.It's been three years.What have I been doing? Oh yeah, pretending to 'read' Law at university.  


Plenty of class acts perform here, but one sort of feels that it has to be someone really special before you can move in and books some tickets. Going to the Roundhouse is not an ordinary experience. And when the gig is over, Camden is your oyster. 

DC
Staff Writer

This is a fantastic venue with great layout and acoustics. It's amazing to see how it has been transformed from how it used to be.

Babs - Working Girl London
Tastemaker

I won tickets to see Ellie Goulding here for the iTunes Festival. What a great venue! It is intimate but you can still pack quite a crowd in there. I was near the back but still saw everything clearly and definitely locked eyes with Ellie a couple of times ;) The staff were all really friendly, the queues to enter went down at lightning speed, drinks are average price, there are plenty of bathrooms (no long queues for the ladies) and the vibe was brilliant. I would definitely like to come back here to see other performances!

Stefan S
Tastemaker

As you can see from the photo, The Roundhouse lives up to its name as a live music and performance space. The concerts I've been to had superb sound quality. Although don't arrive late or you may be stuck behind a column! 


I'd recommend to eat and drink prior. While there are options inside (will caveat this by saying the restaurant was full when we arrived), I found the bars were over-priced and not matching the quality you can find down the road in Camden. 


But hey, chances are you're here to see your favourite band, and if that's the case, you'll have a wicked experience.

Guy Parsons
moderatorStaff Writer

This is a fantastic venue for live music and a cut above some similar mid-sized venues. The auditorium itself is a gorgeous old space with tons of character (although totally without incline - vertically-challenged gig-goers may want to book a chair on the balcony level) and the terrace out the back, which becomes Camden Beach in the summer, is a decent spot for a pre-gig, actually-reasonably-priced pint.


I saw GSYBE here and had a lovely time. The Sir Richard Steele pub up the road towards Belsize Park is a good place to visit beforehand, and Joe's, across the road, is open to 3am for after-party festivities.