The Black Heart, a fist clenching and fitting name for a bar in Camden don't you think? Tucked along a drafty, and somewhat suspicious alley, like any good Camden boozer should be, I snuck in to check it out.
Two floors of top notch alternative antics, expect that and no less. The ground floor boasts a central bar surrounded by the sweet wash of rich mahogany booths, candlelit tables, Mexican 'Day of the Dead' wares and raggedy stools; all imposed upon by walls smothered in band paraphernalia, idiosyncratic gig posters and a pool table for those who know how to wield a cue.
Take to the second floor and you'll find an intimate but ample gig space. It's not doused in tapestry and no, it hasn't had a lick of paint in the last six months, but it did put on a stellar show that night.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
If there's one thing I learnt from my time at The Black Heart, it's that a drink in this cool Camden tavern is comparable to that of a hug from the Don Juan of motorcycle members; and one of those hugs felt lovely. Even a gig upstairs at The Black Heart was well, heartwarming, there may be a battering of thrash metal reverberating its way through your body, but it's going to feel great.
As an alternative bar in Camden, you shouldn't expect anything less than an alt-crowd; brimming with skinny denim clad kids, mardy metal old-timers and the occasional boho clientele. The crowd at The Black Heart was as un-conforming as the beer menu they supply.
That bit when I said "lovingly daft selection of draft"? Well, I meant it. I doubt that you chaps will find any bar in Camden, aside from maybe BrewDog, that serves such a fine selection of craft beers. From a Maui Big Swell Ipa and Pressure Drop Pale Fire to the Weird Beard 5 O'Clock Shadow at £5.50, The Black Heart's bottle menu is a thing of true beauty. Whilst I was looking for a banana based beer, of which they sadly didn't stock (okay, so maybe not everything), they came up trumps when recommending another sweat treat. I'd be surprised if these guys didn't sweat the stuff too.
The Black Heart is a must for any Camden patron or alternative schmoozer, and certainly not one for the high maintenance. I loved spending a chilly evening nustled on a stool, swift drink in hand, all the while hearing the thump of live bands upstairs; many fear that Camden has lost its touch, but dally around the corner and you'll find that The Black Heart is the start of blood pumping through its veins.