If you arrive in Camden Town by day, you will usually be attracted by the flashing and creative signs of the many shops. However, walk a little further and you will find a pub – which is not only a pub – called The Dublin Castle. Built in the 1950’s and run by the same family for the past 28 years, The Dublin Castle originally served as a place for workers employed on the nearby railway to quench their thirst. The pub was also popular with London’s Irish immigrants, who met there to enjoy the atmosphere of their own community and to avoid racial attacks and assaults.
In the late 70s, during the so-called Punk Invasion of London, Camden Town became a point of attraction for punks, mods and rude boys. It was in this period, in 1979, that Madness first performed live at The Dublin Castle, a show which catapulted the band to fame and helped the pub build its reputation. Later, in the 1990s, it attracted bands such as Blur, performers such as Billy Bragg and many other acts that later gained commercial success, including the likes of Coldplay, The Killers, Supergrass and The Arctic Monkeys. The Dublin Castle was also one of Amy Winehouse’s favourite places, having played there innumerable times and sometimes even helping the staff serve drinks behind the bar.
Today, The Dublin Castle is a relaxed, friendly, artistic pub. When you enter, you can immediately perceive the relaxed atmosphere. The extreme friendliness of its staff is unparalleled: if you order a Guinness, be it a pint or a half pint, you’re likely to get a shamrock drawn on your beer head! To enjoy your drink, you can share the long tables with the other customers, lounge around at the bar or peruse the many posters on the walls to get an idea of the past live shows and the history of the place. On the other hand, if you’re in the mood to go wild, you’re in the right place. Just behind a door at the bottom of the pub is a gig hall where, every night, at least four bands will be playing, with DJs following the performances on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The only thing you need to do now is to go to Camden and discover for yourself the place whose declared mission is to help people have a good time!
Edited by Sophie Walker