KOKO is a popular Camden venue featuring regular club nights and live music. The building is considered to have some architectural significance, and is a Grade II listed building.
KoKo offers a great mixture of live bands and club nights that have put it at the heart of the Camden nightlife. The huge stage, broad balconies and plush upstairs bars are a reminder of its former role as the Camden Theatre (which originally opened its doors in 1900), and the deep red colour scheme, chandeliers and gilt molding give it a decadent air that matches the rock stars who grace the stage. It has an illustrious rock ‘n’ roll history, having hosted The Clash and the Sex Pistols in the 1970s, and The Eurythmics, Madness and Madonna in the 1980s. It became a much-loved scuzzy rock club in the 1990s, before being restored and reopened in 2004.
Closed during World War II, it survived the mid 20th century, when many similar buildings were demolished, including Camden Town’s other theatre, the Bedford Theatre, largely because it became a BBC radio theatre from 1945, however some voices called for its demolition in the 1970s. Programmes recorded at the theatre included the Goon Show. The BBC moved to the Golders Green Hippodrome in 1972, and it became a live music venue, called The Music Machine, and in 1982 became the Camden Palace, and in 2004 it was redeveloped and renamed once again as KOKO, with a capacity of 1,410. The previous industrial fittings of the Camden Palace were removed and it was repainted in a dark red colour and fitted with brand new sound equipment.
Since then it has hosted concerts for bands including Coldplay, Madonna, Prince, Polyphonic_spree, My Chemical Romance, Paradise Lost, Miley Cyrus and Babyshambles and has regular weekly club nights. The video for the Placebo’s Because I Want You single was shot at the venue. Hannah Montana performed a concert in March 2007 at the venue, broadcast globally on Disney Channel under the title “Hannah Montana: Live in London” Additionally, Testament’s Live in London CD/DVD release was recorded and filmed on 8 May 2005 at KOKO. The American Rock band My Chemical Romance played an exclusive private gig here, hosted by Radio 1 on 2 April 2007.