KOKO - A Camden icon since 1900
KOKO is an iconic live music venue and club housed in a former theatre in heart of Camden Town. For Camden50, KOKO's Head of Music Daveid Phillips looks back at his personal highlights and shares his thoughts on the future of the venue.
Anna: What have been the highlights of the last 50 years?
Daveid: Ever since the canals were first dug, good music has seeped through the streets of NW1. Kimi Hendrix, The Doors and Pink Floyd all blossomed here and were duly followed by the next generation inclduing The Ramones and The Clash. My highlight has been being able to attach our own decade of KOKO history to the address 1a Camden High St. KOKO continues to be the place of choice for the industry and many artists when they look for a venue to do very special show. Connected to that, and even more importantly, KOKO also remains the place of choice for many fans that come here to experience those unique shows.
There is something very special in this building's DNA - you can feel it when it's sold out with 1400 people having the time of their lives and you can feel it when you're here alone locking up. I can close my eyes and rolodex a thousand amazing scenes that all happened on that black stage...
Anna: How do you envisage the next 50 years?
Davied: Over the next 50 years we hope KOKO will stay the same but with better transport links! We want to continue to hold a mirror to London and the world and create a space that reflects the ever changing landscape of contemporary music. I really hope Camden will always be a home to artists, writers, the mischievous and the music makers - and still a great night out.
The building was opened and dedicated to the people of London in 1900 as a theatre, a variety venue and later a BBC studio. In 2015 the people of London are still the real owners and a huge part of the continuing success story of 1a Camden High St.The venue is a personality in its own right and arouses great passion and loyalty amongst all its fans - we want to build on that heritage.