Multiple floors, numerous bars, several breakout dance floors and one helluva stage; Koko Camden has established itself as one of London’s premier live music venues, catering to hoards of party revellers week in week out. Certainly not for the first time, I toddled on down to this Camden favourite to see just how Koko has managed to stay at the top of its game after a decade of dominance.
Formally ‘Camden Palace’, the venue was first and foremost, a theatre. There are various bars and smaller areas in the would-be ‘circle’ and ‘upper circle’ areas, with the stage and ‘the stalls’ being the main centre of the action. The semi circle multi-level format can be quite rightfully pretty confusing if you’ve had a few too many bevvies, but hey, that’s just part of the fun! Truly a unique set up, the venue is made for live music hence attracting the big names that it does.
Ambience and Clientele
Due to the nature of the events on offer, the clientele is always different depending on the night. For Koko’s regular Friday ‘NME’ night, you can expect a young and wild crowd. For their infamous ‘Guilty Pleasures’ club night you can expect a slightly older, but still young and wild crowd. So basically, it’s gonna be young and wild, ok? Got it? Good. Any time I’ve stumbled into Koko the crowd has always been fun, loud and unpretentious. Just the way it should be.
From cheesy rock classics on a Saturday, to the latest Indie goodness on a Friday night, the music policy leans heavily towards good, danceable tunes. Koko is perhaps best known as a live music venue, and has a healthy roster of small to big acts playing throughout the week. Even in Camden, the London home of rock and metal, Koko is held in high regard for its forward thinking and current band bookings policy.
It’s clear that Koko’s approach to party hosting works. But what’s kept the queues a’queuing over the last 10 years is undoubtedly their ability to cater to an ever changing music scene and crowd. Brash? Yes. Unruly. You betcha. Lovable? Most certainly.