In a nutshell
A rowdy, beer-sloshing pub backroom that’s one of the top places in north London to see tomorrow’s rock stars.
Where is it?
Five minutes up the road from Camden Town tube. It’s where Irish navvies building the local canals and railways came in Victorian times to splash their beer money.
What’s the vibe?
Unlike some shambolic live music nights in Camden, gigs at The Dublin Castle are serious business. The staff pride themselves on sound quality, and when this place bounces, it really bounces.
What makes it a great venue?
Reassuringly resistant to change, The Dublin Castle has been family-run for three decades and has barely had a spring clean in that time. But as the venue that helped kick-start the careers of Blur, The Killers and countless newer acts, it has something forward-looking about it too. Years after the supposed death of coolness in Camden, that’s all the more valuable.
Who’s the most famous person spotted there?
Two-Tone tunemakers Madness got a weekly slot here in 1979 after pretending to be a respectable jazz band. Singer Suggs is still Castle royalty and sometimes pops in to muck about behind the bar and pour himself drinks – a prank copied by Amy Winehouse.
What’s the booze situation?
You’re in Guinness territory. Pints are £4.90, or more for something more local from Camden Town Brewery. Doubles are a fiver. A barman tells us: ‘I think we might do wine as well.’
What’s coming up?
Plenty of girl power. All-female Irish ska crew The Skatuesques visit on Saturday September 9, while September 22 brings Anglo-Japanese punk from Mika Bomb. Trash-rockers The Cannibals (who had a place in John Peel’s sacred record box) play their last ever gig here on September 30.