We’re sad to report that one of London’s finest and funnest venues will be closing its doors very soon. The Lock Tavern in Camden, one of London’s original DJ bars and a mainstay of the city’s live music scene, has been sold for what’s rumoured to be a multi-million pound sum.
Details of what will replace the Camden institution are slim at this point. But the venue’s bookers, Lanzarote, confirmed the closure of the venue to Time Out a few days ago. A final party will be held on the coming bank holiday Monday (August 27), with doors officially closing on August 28.
A third of live music spaces across the country have shut in the past decade – a trend sadly reflected in the once indelibly musical Camden too. The Forge shut last year, Proud Camden closed in February, and just last week queer space Her Upstairs on Kentish Town Road was suddenly vacated.
The Lock has been a key spot for nurturing London talent since it reopened as a ‘rave pub’ in 2004. It was a noughties-defining venue, which made its name by consistently pulling in major name DJs, innovative promoters and a riotous stream of bands. Everyone from Franz Ferdinand, Metronomy, Mystery Jets and Warpaint to Savages, Run The Jewels and Tame Impala have graced the venue’s tiny stage. In a recent interview, Florence Welch recalled one of her earliest gigs at the Lock in 2007 – which improbably saw her and Adele supporting Kate Nash (now star of the Netflix show ‘Glow’). More recently, sax superstar Kamasi Washington played an impromptu set at the Lock after his sold-out Roundhouse show.
Back in 2011, Lock Tavern booker Casper Clark (who ran one of the venue’s most seminal parties, Bloggers Delight) spoke to Time Out, perfectly summing up the appeal of its daytime fun: ‘People will drink and dance all day, and by the time closing time arrives, they’ll be all over the furniture and coming apart at the seams. But at least they can get themselves home on the tube and make it to work the next day.’
It’s fitting that the last party on bank holiday Monday will be a one-off revival of Blogger's Delight, called The Final Encore, featuring sets from residents Casper C, Skull Juice and NikNikNik, plus Filthy Dukes, Matt Walsh and some special guests being teased too. Also, ace indie promoters Black Cat White Cat will host a free farewell party on August 23.
Let’s make sure everyone’s favourite tarted-up boozer goes out with a bang. And now, let’s gaze in sadness at this prophetic bit of loo graffiti from 2011...