The Dublin Castle

The Dublin Castle is a pub and live music venue in Camden Town, London. It was built for Irish navvies working on railways in London, but gained prominence as a venue in the late 1970s after the band Madness established a live reputation there. Subsequently, it was an important venue in the early stages of several bands’ careers and contributed to the Britpop musical genre. Amy Winehouse was a regular visitor to the pub.

Madness first attempted to secure a gig at the venue in late 1978, when they were still known as the Camden Invaders. They first performed at the venue on 16 January 1979. According to singer Suggs, the group had to pretend they were a jazz band to get a booking. Landlord Alo Conlon invited the group back for a residency at the venue, and helped to establish their reputation.

Conlon hand picked bands to play in the pub that he thought would attract an audience, and word of mouth spread so that A&R scouts would visit the pub to see what up and coming acts were available. The pub was an important venue for Britpop acts in the 1990s, as it was often the first major London gig for bands that later found commercial success, including Blur. Amy Winehouse performed regularly at the venue and occasionally helped to serve drinks to customers.

These days, The Dublin Castle is host to Redrock Jam, a spin-off of Redrock Festival, it happens every Tuesday night and sees many talented musicians and bands turning up week after week. It carries on the Redrock Festival ethos of bringing underground musicians and music lovers together to perform, collaborate and appreciate each other’s music.