Koko is not closed today. Usually it is in a Sunday, I think. But today the venue has Prince! I'm queuing with about 800 people (currently) to see one of his 3 gigs here. It all feels a little mad, Creative and funky, like Prince himself.
I generally love Koko for gigs. I've seen lots of live bands here from Fun lovin' criminals, kaiser chiefs, pop acts too. The venue used to be Camden Palace and is an old theatre. It has a great vibe for electric gigs and overall I prefer it to Hammersmith Appollo, which is a similar size (koko is slightly smaller and more intimate).
On weekends it can be a club (well it was 4 years ago) but it doesn't lend itself to clubbing I would say, much better as a live music venue.
Koko is great, very purple and funky, so really looking forward to seeing Prince here tonight.
I LOVE seeing bands at former fancy theatres like this. The Koko looks trashed from the outside, but is gloriously redone on the inside, with layers of floors (that is the only way to describe how the floors fold together and overlap and look out over each other), balconies, chandeliers, velour curtains, an outdoor upper-floor terrace, little tables tucked into corners and crevices, sofas on the basement level and multiple bars for your enjoyment.
I saw Haim here last summer and I recall the sound being pretty good. It was a sold out show and it felt like it -- we stuffed ourselves on a stair landing, but a layer of people back from the railing so saw absolutely nothing (get there early if you want a good view and you're a shorty!).
Cash only bar, and super close to Mornington Crescent or a bit of a walk from Camden Town.
Despite the enormous crowd, the side balconies were not being used, which seemed ridiculous. I imagine they're set aside and sold at a premium as a sort of VIP section, but if those tickets aren't sold, they should just open them up instead of having loads of wasted space :/
What a pile of shite. Guilty Pleasures was a total waste if money with some 40 year olds on stage pretending they could play any form of relevant music. Absolutely awful.
Love it, the line can be somewhat long and daunting but once you enter its worth it, large spacious dance area and a maze of stair leading to one of 3 different landings make it perfect for losing yourself in.
Coolest club I went to in London, it is a giant theater that was converted to a club. It is swanky and about 4 levels and is an absolute gem, the atmosphere and decor were the icing on the cake. I went with the camden pub crawl on a friday night so I got to skip the line and the cover charge which was extra nice, a must go if you are in London and are into the club scene it only gets four stars from me because the band wasn't that great when I went.
Oh hai, labrynth.
This place is seriously cool. Like, seriously. Showcasing everything from DJ nights to rock bands to their own Club NME night, you've got everything under one roof.
The architecture is more like a ye olde theatre than a nightclub or live music venue. It reminds me of the Hammersmith Apollo a little or the Royal Theatre on Drury Lane. That kind of posh box with plush velvet seating and little nooks and crannies everywhere. So hip.
We went on just a basic club night, no special event or anything and it was still amazing. It was like stepping into a time vortex. Old architecture clashing with live rock. Old fashioned cocktails mixed with techy gadgets and quirky names. It was intense.
Once we'd got our drinks at the bar, who knows where, we took a look over the balcony and decided to head down to the dance floor. Now, here's where it got tricky. We navigated a set of staircases that we thought by our crude drunken calculations should put us on the dance floor but somehow found ourselves even higher up. Go figure?
The view was incredible and we'd managed to find an empty part of Koko (trust me, it's an achievement) with loads of sofas, quieter acoustics due to the height and a chance to chill out a bit. Bliss. The problem with this place is that if you were to ask me to find it again, I couldn't. I don't even know how we managed to go up instead of down. Gah.
Once we'd finally somehow made it down to the ground floor, the party atmosphere was crazy. Everyone dancing, no one caring and although there was a healthy dose of hipster, it was genuinely hella fun.
After what felt like half an hour, we left to discover it was nearly 5am. We were facing a loonnnggg ride home but you know what? Who cares. Worth it.
Now that my favourite London gig venue has been smashed to dust in favour of a new choo-choo line (I was referring to The Astoria, in case my bitter reference went unnoticed) I am definitely on the lookout for the new contender for the title.
I had been to Koko well over a decade ago, so my memory of the place was outdated and somewhat hazy. It is really a typical theatre come cinema come gig venue for London standards. However, I would say that the ornate balconies outdo rivals like the Shepherd's Bush Empire and the Clapham Grand. I am not sure how long ago this place was last renovated but it was maintained to a really lovely standard.
The design of the building allows great views of the stage from many of the vantage points. The staircases that are in place do however restrict your view if you are a fairly tall guy like me from standing at the rear bar and seeing the action on stage.
Although it is not my cup of tea, I do not drink pints nor draft beer but my friends were pretty disappointed that all they sell cans and bottles here. Especially for the astronomical prices that they charge. It really does turn a night out to see live music into a painfully expensive ordeal. Especially for just can of beer costing £72 million.
As a point of note I was here with a fellow drummer friend to see the astoundingly good Red Paintings with Mindless Self Indulgence. The expensive drinks can be somewhat forgiven with amazing music performed by tremendous musicians. But not totally.
You ever have one of those experiences where the universe is telling you to go to a spot? Or not just telling... demanding!
I was at work and a colleague asked me if I had been to Koko. No, I had not, tell me more about it. Apparently it's this cool event space/club/live music venue that sort of looks and feels like an old red church. Ok, that sounds cool.
The next day, I was meeting with someone and they brought up that they were at Koko the night before. Really? I just heard about this space. Ok, that's weird.
And then two days later, I get an invite from a friend working for Movember. "Want to come to Koko tomorrow for the launch party? It's going to be great."
FINE! UNIVERSE! I'LL GO TO KOKO! What the hell!
And of course I'm happy that I did. Located right across from the Morningtown Crescent Tube Station, Koko has the TARDIS effect going on where it's way bigger on the inside than it looks on the out. Multiple floors, multiple bars, giant stage, lots of room on the floor for dancing or hanging out, a good space.
And woah the acoustics. They had a hard rock band playing and you could feel the bass in your chest wherever you went (even three floor up.) That night they also had a smoke machine and lazer lights and it was just a very cool experience with great vantage points to catch it all.
The only issue I ran into was layout of the space which is sometimes maze like (we had trouble finding out way out once in) and sometimes poorly done (there's a bar on the third floor but it's so cramped if there's anyone standing in front of it, because it's right up against the railing. Really miserable trying to get a drink from here.) But overall, a cool place to hang out for the evening.
Ok Universe, you win, I went. You happy now?
Koko is a quirky London gig venue along similar lines to Brixton Academy. It has an eclectic layout with lots of nooks and crannies for you to hang out in. Easy enough to get to via tube (Northern Line Mornington Crescent) or bus and in an area with lots of good pubs and eateries to hand should you want to fuel up before you go in.
We were here to see The Airborne Toxic Event, an ideal band for a venue this size and they were, as always, superb. The set was a mix of songs from all of their albums and they had the house bouncing from the off. I like this place and will return.
For a sell out gig best to get in early as once it fills up there are some areas where the view and, more importantly, the acoustics, can be a bit ropey. Mosh pit is big enough but getting up alongside the balcony bar is probably best as you will be handy for drinks & the loo's and from the balcony you will have a view directly on to centre stage. It is also adjacent to the first floor outside terrace with a brilliant view along Camden High Street, good area to go between sets. The terrace also has a bar and wide screen TV's giving live feedback from the stage and the sound quality in this area is superb. Once the drink prices come down or the happy hour is extended then they will get their 5th star
I have to say Koko disappointed me a little bit. We went there on 1 November, Halloween Ball. It was so crowded that you couldn't even dance!! We queued for 30min for the coatroom. But they continued let people in!! Me and my friends had to end it up earlier like about 2 in the morning, not too much fun tho. Maybe we picked a "wrong time".
Saw the lumineers last night, and my faith in Koko was renewed :) They have 2.50 Bulmers and Becks before 8PM, which was quite nice. The sound quality was fantastic for the show, and the crowd was great.
Take a look at the theatre from the top floor balcony, it is truly beautiful!
One of my favourite clubs in London. Koko is massive, with a variety of music on different nights. The crowd is usually very friendly and up for having a good time. Good sized smoking area for when you want to have a conversation in a quieter area. The balconies give you a very nice view of the main dance floor. The top floor is quite hidden but is a little gem - it has it's own dance floor and bar, playing completely different music than the main dance floor downstairs. Expect to lose your friends and then re-unite with them at least a few times throughout the night - be warned!
- Cool atmosphere -- as reviewers below me have mentioned, it's an old theatre turned into a dance club/concert venue, so there are lots of great vestibules and balcony overlooks from which to watch the shows
- Trendy crowd
- Talented performers/good gigs
- Kebab and burger places right around the corner...they're open late
- Affordable entry (usually less than £20 for a gig, and you can either buy tickets online or at the door. trick of the trade: email and ask to be put on the guest list for Club NME on Friday nights, and get there before midnight to avoid paying cover)
- Drink prices = extortion. Drink (copiously) beforehand (and try not to slip on the dance floor/ on the balconies...there's no railing to hold onto and you will fall on your bum)
- Slippery floors (seriously, I'm not kidding, I can tell you from too many personal experiences that it's a dangerous hazard...)
- Very strange and labyrinthine girl's toilet. Not conducive to appropriate levels of drunkenness for such a venue
- Slightly creepy foreign men who like to frequent this place. I guess that's any club in London, though...
I went recently for a club night and had a great time! Good size dance floor and plenty of places to just stand on the balcony and watch everyone else dance if that is your sort of thing? (Not me, I can usually be found dancing or at the bar ;) )The drinks are kind of pricey but they do various offers, when I was there it was 3 jäger bombs for £12, and a few other offers. Really easy to get to and great night bus links too. It's the sort of place that you can turn up to in fancy dress and no one will bat an eyelid, always a plus in my book!
From the moment you enter this concert venue, you'll be seeing red: red lampshades, red bar, red furniture.
I came here to see M83 (and sadly, because of a dinner gone too long, missed the opener Maps.) My friend and I found a small spot from which we could both see the stage and dance. A combination of the sound system and the shape of the venue made this electronic music envelop us almost completely. I have a hunch music sounds better when you hear it at Koko.
Drinks were of the sort you'd expect at a club but you don't come to Koko for the quality of their beverages.
You come to Koko for the music!
Koko is one of my favourite music venues because (1) it's beautiful and (2) it's the right size to get maximum band quality with minimum distance.
The place (in)famously used to be student pulling spot the Camden Palace. A few years back, some bright spark renovated it and made it a classy, mid-range club/music venue. I've not been on the club nights (I'm a little past that), though I've heard they are good.
I have seen a lot of musical acts perform there, though. They get some secret gigs by big names (e.g., Madonna), but most of the acts they book are to be spotted on the hipster indie radar. I've seen !!!, Broken Social Scene, Neko Case, A Silver Mt. Zion, Spoon, and Sleater-Kinney here.
The fact that the building is an old theatre is enhanced, not hidden. The deep reds and golds are lush even in the dark. The three tiered levels rise steeply above the floor. Carved features and old lights cover the walls.
Downstairs is a futuristic glass bar with coloured lights, an interesting contrast with the period bits of the theatre. There are bars on the upper tiers as well. The beverages are a bit pricey, so don't plan on having your big drinking session here. Come for the tunes, or the dancing, or just to admire the room itself.
This place is where all the great bands play before they ever play in America. In other words this is the kind of place where good music is born...
Beautiful decor, beautiful people, great vibes, people dancing their socks off. You can see everything perfectly onstage from wherever you are in this place. One of the best venues I've ever been to.
Bars were a little packed but its understandable, everyone wants simply to get plastered. And there is no shame in that.
I have a love/hate relationship with Koko and you'll see why.
Back in the day when it had just opened, the very cutting edge of musical talent from around the globe descended onto Koko's freshly re-painted stage and stood alongside some of London's finest home grown talent. The place has fair acoustics and if you haven't been to many London venues before, you can get blown away by the sheer size and grandeur of the place. As months and years pass, Camden's old habbits die hard and in come the teeney boppers, city slickers "slumming it", and Essex chavs on the pull; turning this once cool music venue into a meat market hell hole. Saying that, great bands do still play, and if you can make it mid week you'll most likely avoid the scum. Harsh I know but its what you come to expect of any decent venue in London that has been around long enough for everyone else to find out its cool.
Another tale I will tell of Koko is of a Saturday night out here not too many moons ago. I went with a friend who is an air hostess. Anyone who knows an air hostess, knows that they don't go anywhere on a night out without miniatures. Taken from the cabin's mini bar, an array of spirits to lighten the evening and the burning hole in your wallet throughout the night. Having these stuffed in tights, down leggings, in puffed sleeves and more is always the most entertaining way to start a evenign. No unfortunately for us, Kokos' staff like to frisk the pretty ladies, being as wonderful as were on this Saturday night we were searched and rather than seeing the funny side of a miniature bottle of Smirnoff tucked in our knickers they made us hand them all in. Now I feel that we were so inventive that we should have at least been able to collect them on the way out!
Koko is a great stop for youngsters between 18 and 20 during a night out in Camden. The don't have any beers on tap, and the liquors are more expensive than elsewhere in Camden. Though, you don't come here to drink. You go to Koko to dance and listen to great live music. I've seen artists such as Now, Now and Club Smith for only £5. I also like that after their sets, the musicians personally sell their merchandise which is a great way to meet the people behind the music.
Top 3 club venues in Central London, hands down. (Fabric and Egg, being the other two. Ministry of Sound is a close 4th, dont worry)
This rating is strictly based on club nights. I unfortunately cant remember a whole lot about the one live music night I attended.
First off, this place is a former theatre decked out with what you would think a theatre would look like. Long, red velvet drapes along the walls. Balcony seating on multiple levels (drunk chicks conveniently flock to these places of high exposure). They could play Spice Girls all night and it would still be in my Top 3 purely because of the ambiance and decor. Ok, maybe not. But you get the point.
Crowd? Younger. And by younger I mean 25 and younger. If not younger than that. Again, based on club nights only. Surprisingly, not too much of the grunge-y Camden crowd. I guess they don't like Akon or Lady GaGa music too much. Plenty of Yankees, so fellow Americans, no need to hide the accent. In fact, flaunt it...you might meet someone from your state! Well except, you Southern folk.
Always a great night out. A safe bet when other plans fall through. Guaranteed fun.
What can I say about Koko? The absolutely beautiful, gorgeous venue and lovely music makes up for the rude, uppity staff. They set the mood for the first two hours, making me feel rather bored and upset. The girl working at the ticket office should work on her tone of voice, and the bouncer didn't have to look down on us and say, "Yes I know where" and not give us the answer.
However.... The music scene is great. I saw Little Comets here last night and they were amazing. Unfortunately, the crowd is all about finding the right spot to have fun. We're been chased by strangers who try to tap our ass, follow us to the bathroom, and grab our hands. I got smacked in the face twice, once by a couple who kept spilling beer and kissing; and another by a drunk boy who fell forward. On the other hand, I've waltzed down to a group of kids just looking to have fun. Then the party got started and it was the most fun I've had in a long timee.
To say that I got past the rude staff and still gave this place four stars speaks for the atmosphere itself.
So tips on surviving Koko's. Stand on the upper levels and looks for the group that's chilling or the group you want to hang out with. THEN proceed downstairs towards that group, introduce yourself and have a blast! Another tip: Don't dance on the edge of the crowd, draw yourself in near the stage.
p.s. Drinks are ridiculously priced here. A shot of Sourz tastes like candy, and a double shot of whiskey is 7 pounds. Everything else is canned or bottled. The cheapest beer worse than the American college staple Keystone, and that shit tastes like cardboard.
Coat check is also two pounds per item. BUT you have to come heree!
I've been here numerous times for gigs and a few club nights. Funnily enough, the last three bands I've seen here (Isis, Oceansize, and Pure Reason Revolution for those interested) have gone on to split up within 12 months which has made me very sadface.
WARNING: if you go to a gig here, ALWAYS check if there's a clubnight on afterwards. For example, when I saw Oceansize here, I turned up at 8:15 and found myself half-way through the set which had to finish at 9 so they could turf us out and start the clubnight. I was not happy as there was no explicit announcement about it. Obviously, I can only blame myself for assuming that it would start at the same time as most other gigs in the world, but at the same time warning would be nice.
ANYWAY. Koko is highly spacious, multi-tiered and finished in faux-early 1900s theatre style, and the smoking balcony overlooking Camden High Street is pretty cool. I've really enoyed the clubnights here as the music selection is quite a lot different from your usual fare, and sometimes you get short live band sets which are pretty awesome. Drinks are not cheap (double G&T for £7.50), although not out of whack with the rest of London. Still, predrinks at one of the numerous cheaper bars outside are recommended. Definitely recommended if you want a slightly different night out or somewhere with a decent supply of air.
I went to see Frankmusik play at Koko yesterday. Not exactly my taste in music, but it was a friend's idea, and I really wanted to see the much lauded "Koko"!
The performance itself was pretty good, a very diverse mix of talents from playing the keyboard to beat boxing with just the mic. I can't say much for his taste of clothes though, he was wearing a shirt with a big muppet face on it (at least that's what I decided it was after being on the fence between a muppet and sponge bob square pants!).
But, more importantly, on to the venue. Wow! What a venue! The red walls complemented by a huge disco ball and the mythological looking statues make it feel as if you're really in the depths of hell, having the party to end the world in the flagship den of inequity. I felt like I could be in that well known blood party scene from the movie Blade....or trying to appropriate an illegal kidney from a nefarious hooded and cloaked all in black character sitting by himself in the corner.
The acoustics of the place are also amazing, I think helped by the fact it's fairly cozy (you could feel the base in your chest, not just your feet...a useful test of good sound :)).
Definitely worth a look.
Koko for me was like an oasis or a Monet, it looked amazing from far away but up close didn't quite keep its promise. Don't get me wrong, I love the decor, but on the ground floor (which doesn't slope to the dismay of anyone short), it took ages.... AGES... to exit once the band was done, because the exit route weaves up and through some logistically "interesting" staircases and bottlenecks everyone. If there was a fire, we'd all be dead.
The crowds will no doubt change depending on the gig, but OMG these kids these days with their cameras, ipods, and blackberries. PUT THEM DOWN! Now, I'm not short, so the un-sloped floor doesn't bother me... until everyone takes out their technology and starts recording in front of my face so I'm forced to watch the gig through a bunch of 3 inch LCD screens. Those youngsters! In my day we just had lighters! And they'd burn your fingers if you tried to be cool for longer than 30 seconds!
It is a nice size, and I'd probably return if there was a band playing that I loved, but I don't often find myself on the Koko page finding an excuse to go specifically back here.
Like many others, this is a love/hate relationship.
Shite acoustics, shite beers, high prices, but you may get good talent.
It's lovely when you come in and look 'round, then you notice that it's been done up by a couple of guys from a camper van-- spray paint done poorly. Surly staff, etc.
But you can still have a good time, depending on the act.
Fun club! Especially when you dress up and there is no theme. (Clearly you can do that sort of thing in London town). Went here last Friday - £4 special for students, which was great - and saw 2 bands (that I swore I saw play in my friend's garage in 1994), a DJ and lots of crazy lights and projected video. Wish the DJ played more, or just the hard core chick band played much less.
The layout is very similar to RubySkye, but the cliente is much more chill and a surprisingly few amount of striped shirts. Drinks are average and it's big enough to get lost, if you want to. Would love to see a good band play here - from the listings seems like there are plenty of opportunities.
Koko's calendar of events boasts a really strong line-up almost each week of any given month. Some really great bands have played here including Shellac and Enon. The most notable thing about this venue is the fact it's particularly NME flavoured. I'm not the world's biggest fan of the magazine and this venue isn't the best of the bunch either.
The interior reminds me of the Moulin Rouge. It's pretty cool and there are many floors and layers to this multifaceted venue. However, the sound isn't great and it just feels a little soulless.
Not only have I seen many a band here, I've experienced the clubbing side to Koko; it's not great. The music was really bog standard indie rock, the clientele were a bunch of students / young indie kids and it just didn't fill me with joy to be there.
I guess I prefer a more intimate setting. This venue is definitely "trendy" in a sense but if you're not one to follow the crowd then avoid this place unless there's a truly terrific band playing.
KoKo is pretty much the home of alternative music in London and features live performances from many established and up and coming acts from round the globe. Set in a converted theatre (formerly the Camden Palace) KoKo provides a jaw-dropping scene to what can be a great evening.
Sadly things are often a little hit and miss and as well as seeing some great bands here I have been witness to some fairly terrible, unoriginal performances. That said the venue itself is great and the clientele are generally nice and friendly if at times a little bit too cool for school. I've also noticed that crowds are becoming increasingly younger and at 21I'm not comfortable with the thought of feeling old at a venue.
This is a great night out with a large group of mates and a perfect way to bond with strangers in a shared love of live music.
Went to Koko with a group of friends for my birthday and had one of the bests night! The admission queue was a bit daunting as it went all the way around the corner. Not one for queueing (especially in the cold) I made my way to the guest list area and blagged my way in.
Inside the venue was packed with other clubbers keen to have a good time and dance to some house music. The music was so good I only stopped dancing to get a drink. There were no attitudes and everyone was enjoying the music.
I haven't been back since as the house might has been moved to another venue. It;s a shame because I love this venue but I guess not enough to go there and listen to 'alternative' music.
Covered in thick, red velvet everywhere reminiscent of its theatre days Koko is a great venue for a dramatic gig night. The stage is well situated with a series of rising balconies making it easy even for shorties like me to always be able to see the stage. It has a good sound system and is a great space to create a good atmosphere.
As much as I love to see gigs here, I am rather weary of their club nights which get too busy and seem to be populated by under-age school kids. I was once even asked by a boy in the queue if I could hold his hand while we walked in so that they wouldn't I.D. him! I also find the venue too big for a club night, making it really hard to find your friends back should you get separated.
Come down for the gigs, but not for the club nights!!
Wow, this is what I call a cool club! Being an old theatre but renovated to a very, very fancy place, this venue might be one of the poshest I have seen.
One of the best indie dance parties in London is the Buttoned Down Disco which takes part in here.
But KOKO is not only a club It's also a concert hall, where you can enjoy the best concerts ever, such as Block Party, Joshua Radin (26th of September!) and many more.
I made a special trip to London expressly to see Built To Spill perform "Perfect From Now On" from start to finish in November - a real treat at a very special venue that I had only heard tales of before seeing it with my own eyes. In Canada you hear things like "Madonna: Live At The Koko" but you have no concept of what or where The Koko is. Now I know.
Very beautiful and ornate fixtures, balconies and oodles of red velvet adorning the walls. I couldn't have asked for a more special evening - the sound was great, the crowd was well behaved and the experience was comfortable!
My friends and I came here a couple of years ago while staying in London. Since we had a hook-up here, we were able to skip the cover and the line -- major plus.
Inside, it reminds me of the Avalon (former Palace) here in Los Angeles. I think the crowd is dependent on the band(s) playing. The night I was there, the music was awesome and so were the people. We hung out upstairs most of the night in order to skip the larger crowd downstairs.
The only downfall is the coat check. At the end of the night, it can take forever with hundreds of people attempting to check out at the same time.
Another major plus though for the danger dog vendors outside of the club. After a night of drinking, those bacon wrapped street dogs become little snacks of heaven!
I've been to Koko for a number of "club nme" nights and recently went to my first gig at the venue. I never really enjoyed the club nme nights as the venue felt too big, but I thought this would good for seeing music. Sadly I felt it lacked a bit of atmosphere.
Yeah I mostly love Koko!
The thing I love the most? Midweek gigs. Flippin great venue. You can choose from floor level with good views, balcony with good views and if you're lucky you might go for the VIP voyeur balcony with, you've guessed it, good bloody views.
It's got more bars than you shake a cocktail stirrer at and it's just so bloody interesting! I've been lost in here on a number of occasions!
The other thing I *like*? The nights out in here. Be it NME night or Buttoned Down Disco, you're always going to have fun. It's in Camden too so it's in a very useful part of town. Why don't I *love* the nights here? Well I used to until the masses found out about it and every tom dick and harry creates a line round the corner. Little buggers, I was here first! Sorry, rant over. I still love it really.
Always ton of fun here. Typically get gigs that are enjoyable to go to even if you are not a fan/don't know the performers.
This place is most known for its classy feel. Just go once and have a good time! A little price so bring a little extra money.
The venue is massive. Its essentially an massive theatre that probably showed dramatic plays in Victorian era that's been transformed into a music venue. It still has the same decor from yesteryear but has a few rock edges thrown in. Mainly glowing signs that remind you that you're at Koko just in case you were totally off your face when you entered and forgot.
Drinks here are quite pricey. I suppose that you'd expect that at a concert venue. But seriously. paying £4.50 for a beer is a bit much.
If you come to see a gig here, I recommend making your way to the second balcony and pitching up a space at one of the tables. You'll not only have a great view, you'll also be close to a bar and to the loo.
This may be my favorite music venue in London. It's absolutely the perfect size, with not one, not two, but THREE balcony tiers that provide refuge from the ground-floor moshers. The red and gold gilded walls and ceilings make you feel like you're in some ancient gothic palace, and there's a cute little smoking roof on the first floor for air.
I love that Koko draws such awesome acts, but in the event that I'm looking for something utterly ordinary to do I almost always check out the club night here. They are bound to have some sick drum and bass/dubstep act for a fairly reasonable price.
On my first visit to Koko I'd arranged with my friends that we'd all meet 'upstairs'. Little did I know that 'upstairs' went on forever! This mega-club has used every wing of its old theatre facade and with every set of stairs climbed and every bar discovered, there is always another. So my advice, if you're heading here to meet friends, arrange a better meeting place than I did. After a whole nights of texting we were only reunited in the coat queue...
I've mostly visited Koko on its famous Friday NME night. Often they start this evening with a couple of live performances. Sometimes these acts can be great and sometimes just mediocre. Occasionally, the best thing about these sets can be the comments posted on the text wall behind the stage. Following an awful performance by some metal/emo band the other week all that this wall displayed was abuse. I think the politest text read, 'I would rather listen to my parents have sex than hear another song by this band'.
When the DJ starts Koko really gets going and the dance floor gets mobbed. Dancing away under the biggest disco ball in the world (it must be!) is a lot of fun and I rate this as the best part about the club. If only Koko's drinks were a little cheaper I would have given this place four stars! Alas...
I really love this Camden venue which is one of the best I have been to for for live gigs. The space reminds me of an old fashioned concert hall and indeed, it is a big venue but also has many cubby holes and coves dotted around the upper level. The layout is such that sometimes you do struggle to get a good view of the stage, particularly if the gig is a popular act or band. The atmosphere is always buzzing however and there is something quite special about the place.
I recently went to see McFly as part of the itunes Festival and had a brilliant time - the bar staff are on the ball so you don't tend to wait hours to get served! The general club nights at the weekend are good fun although encourage a slightly younger crowd. This is definitely a venue which is more suited to live music.
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