This week, we find out more about The Underworld in London's Camden Town.
We spoke to Marketing Manager, Dan Hetherton, who fills us in on what it's like to be part of one of the UK's most beloved independent venues, some of their favourite acts, and bringing Threatin back to the UK in November.
- 174 Camden High Street, Camden, London, NW1 0NE
- Established: 1990
- Capacity: 500
To get things started, tell us a little about the venue and your role there...
We are The Underworld in Camden Town - renowned for hosting the best alternative music around, and a venue which has been a part of the 'ladder' to success for so many rock / metal / alternative acts out there.
Has the venue gone through any major changes since it opened (location, renovation, style of music etc)?
Not drastically! It's underground, underneath The World's End pub (the largest in the UK!) so there's only so wild we can go with it. We've of course given it a refurb though!
How many gigs or club nights a week do you host?
Up to 9 a week! (7 gigs and 2 clubs) We're very busy, especially throughout 'Rock-tober'.
Which band that's played your venue has gone on to be the best known?
Foo Fighters, The Flaming Lips, Bring Me The Horizon, Fall Out Boy, Paramore and many more. [Camden Rocks Festival](Camden Rocks Festival) is always a huge highlight on our calendar as despite not being the biggest venue on their 25 venue lineup, we get dosed some incredible and legendary acts every year which make The Underworld a focal point of the day. And in 2019 we’ve got two days of it to enjoy! (tickets on sale here >>)
Which band that played your venue deserved/deserves to be better known than they are?
We love supporting every band that comes through and takes to our stage.
Deafeater at The Underworld.
Do you host events besides gigs and club nights?
Not usually, but external promoters have hired out the venue for film screenings and other events.
If you could change one thing about the live music industry, what would it be?
We love the live music industry, and every fan that purchases a ticket to support it! It's just a shame that venues here and there are closing due to rising rents, business taxes and other aspects.
Has your venue ever been threatened with closure? If so, what could have been done to prevent it/support you?
Not so far no, and we hope never! Touch wood!
What's been your proudest moment working at your venue?
Every successful show is a proud moment, it's great to conjure up an idea for an event and see it come to fruition.
Tell us about one of your favourite recent shows that the venue has hosted...
I wouldn't say necessarily recent, but it was amazing to have Bring Me The Horizon come down to The Underworld to do a special show ahead of their arena tour. What we noticed, and thought was funny, was
that behind the raucous band, and packed out raucous crowd, the sound engineers had a small laptop in the sound booth where you could see all of the visuals which were being rehearsed for the arena tour ahead.
It was amazing to see the focus being on the band directly on stage, and the sound they produce, just like every The Underworld show! Then, to go and see the show on an arena stage where the focus is shifted to the visual and the pre-programmed, which shows all the more reason to go see an act in a small live music venue, where what they bash out through their instruments and vocal chords, is what you get.
Are there any interesting facts/stories about the venue that people might not know, but should?!
1) We're an independent live music venue, and have a team of bookers upstairs (above The World's End) who do book acts based on how much we like the music!
2) Although you might hate that pillar in front of the stage, fortunately it is kind enough to hold up our roof...
The Underworld is also the headquarters of one of the highlights of the UK festival calendar with Camden Rocks Festival - taking place on 1st-2nd June with over 400 bands taking over 20 venues. Get your tickets here >>