Zeus - King of Gods - ruled over Thunder and Sky. Poseidon the Sea, and Hades.. The Underworld. From watching Disney’s Hercules, we’ve all been under the impression that Hades got the bum end of that deal. That is until we came across Camden’s prolific, self-contained realm of alternative rock-n-roll: The Underworld. Underneath arguably the most famous pub in Camden - The World's End, The Underworld is practically primordial, having been around for what seems like forever, now a North London institution and hub to some of the best bands on the UK alternative circuit. Hades may well have been God of the Dead, but this Underworld is anything but. Hades, you sneaky son-of-a-gun, this must’ve been what you were planning all along.
Just outside Camden Town tube station, The World's End is one of the first things you'll see when tapping out from the tube. At the World’s End, you’ll find the entrance to The Underworld. Very clever, we see what you did there, guys. Underworld by name, Underworld by nature: its basement location below its sister venue emanates grunge and understated cool, the perfect spot for some top notch live music. The venue may not be sparkly and tied with a pretty pink bow, but it definitely has character with punky paintless walls and industrial looking ceiling pipes. The Underworld is very chilled and, well, very Camden, which we feel is an adjective in itself. There are two bars (one a freestanding island, and another larger one nearer the dancefloor) and a small but exceptionally popular corner stage for live performance. Underworld is a pretty intimate space, but there’s definitely enough room to thrash around a bit, which is what we all go to gigs for anyway right?
Music: Live, Indie, Rock, Electro, Metal, Acoustic
Dress Code: None
Train Station: Camden Town
Address: Underworld, 174 Camden High Street, London, NW1 0NE
As the Underworld is a perfect venue for live music, there tends to be bands performing ‘round the clock. There’s actually so much going on, it’s less about why to go and more of a case of when. Looking at their line-ups are a bit like reading through a lunch menu when you’re starving hungry, thinking ‘well I can’t have all of it.’ As it turns out, The Underworld is equally impressive Booze-wise, but we suppose belonging to The World's End Pub will see to that. You can expect a wide range of beers, ciders and spirits so prepare for a boozy night - musicians can driiiink. Quick tip though, make sure to bring some cash with you - they don't accept credit cards.
It might seem a bit rough around the edges and although it’s definitely not a place for suits and party dresses, if you're into your music, the Underworld is a must-visit-venue. In fact, chances are you’ve already heard of it. The Underworld is great for underground/breakthrough indie, punk, metal and alternative music having hosted bands like Placebo, Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, Fall Out Boy, Suede, The Cranberries and The Darkness. If that wasn't cool enough, some bands have been known to join in on the post-show shenanigans. If you’ve never thrown a TV out of a hotel room window before, this is apparently a great spot to find someone who might let you. Considering there will be lots of jumping (and therefore sweating) going on, you're encouraged to dress comfortably- there’s really no need to dress up. Of course if you’re most comfortable in a prom gown, then ‘this way your majesty..’
You know when you’re at a gig, you can feel the vibration of the music in your chest, and you’ve got a lovely warm buzz on so you close your eyes, surrounded by all your friends and just think ‘this is what it’s about’, momentarily catching all the feels? This is what we like to call ‘The Underworld-Effect.’ It's such a small venue, that you really feel like part of something here, and the fact that you can get so close to the band makes all the difference. Underworld isn’t remotely commercial either, so retains a really respectable reputation as a sincerely cool club. Actually, we feel almost guilty calling it a ‘club’ - it’s sort of an entity all on its own. It does get pretty crowded in there though, so it’s worth bowling up a little early to secure a great view of the stage and avoid that darn pillar which is plonked right in the middle, bringing a whole new meaning to pole position. Nevertheless, a night here is out of this world. Apparently it was the River Styx which mythologically lead to the underworld once upon a time. Lucky for us, we just have to hop on the Northern line.