Proud is that cool older kid you’d see leaning up against the school gates, with a cigarette between its teeth and an attitude that was both defiant and terminally chill. The one that instead of a moody snarl, would shoot you a mischievous wink and you’d immediately know you’d never be that cool - and your wink would never look that effortless, even with all the practise in the mirror. Super edgy Camden institution, Proud, is an indoor live music venue, high energy club and charming, time-honoured bar, all in one fell swoop. So grab a cold one, plot up in the sun and enjoy the view of Camden in all it’s IDGAF glory from pole position at Proud.
Proud is located in the 200-year-old Horse Hospital in the Stables Market. Yes, a horse hospital. A horsepital if you will. Now no longer filled with things to nurse a poorly horse, the venue has been beautifully restored and painstakingly refurbished to create a club space. We do wonder if they had to use one of those little knee-hammers to test the the horses’ reflexes though. Lord knows we wouldn’t be first in line to volunteer for that job. Proud is split into spacious chill-out zones, the small bar area, stage space, dancefloor and DJ booth. What we particularly love though, is how they’ve retained the old stable stalls from its previous life, offering customers private booths filled with lots of colourful furnishings. Proud also have autographed photographs of rock royalty such as The Rolling Stones, Debbie Harry and Bob Dylan showcased proudly all over the walls. Too right, too. We once had a signed picture of Dave Benson Phillips from Get Your Own Back and we took that to school for weeks, we can only imagine how smug we’d be loaded with signatures of actual celebrities.
Music: Rock, Indie, Alt, Electro, Blues, Soul, Folk
Dress Code: None
Train Station: Chalk Farm
Address: Proud Camden, The Stables Market, London, NW1 8AH
A variety of Pop, Rock and Indie bands play regularly with DJs pumping out house, hip-hop, dubstep and electro beats in between. Recent performers at the venue have included Ed Sheeran, Dirty Pretty Things, Lykke Li, Moby and I Blame Coco with thanks to London’s best industry club nights. We love how the quality of the sound system is so powerful that it casts echoes through the stables. Live performances work fantastically well here- the combi inside/outside space a really interesting take on the traditional. There’s also a pretty decent selection of drinks are on offer, with all your favourite craft beers, a variety of spirits, wines and champagnes. They even mull a lovely wine in the colder months.
Proud is essentially Camden’s equivalent of the Queen Vic, the very epicentre of all the action. Because of that, Proud’s regular clientele are an assortment of colourful characters, ranging from artsy tweens to zany creatives and older folk that can still party hard enough to put any youngster to shame. Obviously, it is a magnet for muzos due to the fact it is gig space as well as a club and bar, but the atmosphere at Proud is what makes it stand out from the masses, consisting of a welcoming and fashion-forward crowd. Plus, the super social outside terrace with its array of picnic benches make striking up a conversation with a stranger feel practically organic. They also serve awesome stonebaked pizzas, sharing platters, burgers and light bites so you can further fuel your trawl of the Camden markets just outside.
Proud Camden, not to be confused with their sister venue, Proud Cabaret Camden. Trust us, you’d be suitably more embarrassed arriving here in nipple tassels, and we would know. Proud has universal appeal and is versatile enough to be an awesome venue, year round. Outside space in the summer provides ideal beer garden vibes, whereas the winter months see the place decked out with lots of twinkly lights, lighting up the stables when the air is all crisp and biting with a real old English charm. It’s a definite box to check on the Camden ‘must-see’ list, being a total Camden institution. After all, you wouldn’t go to Paris without at least swinging by the Eiffel Tower, would you? No rush though, we don’t see this popular joint going anywhere, so it would seem it’s pretty stable in more than just the one sense. Although, it has to be said. Now I have absolutely no idea where to take my poorly horse...