The Electric Ballroom

The Electric Ballroom in Camden; just a few steps down from Camden Station. It was known first as the Buffalo Club, opened by Bill Fuller in 1938. During WW2 Bill bought the adjacent terraces, after they were destroyed by a bomb, and built the Buffalo up into a ballroom that could hold 2,000 people. By the 1970s some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll performed there, including Paul McCartney’s Wings and Led Zeppelin.

As the 70s came to a close Punk came crashing in and the Electric Ballroom became an important punk venue. The Clash rehearsed at the Ballroom for a week and Sid Vicious’ band, Vicious White Kids, played a one-off show. The gig was billed as ‘Sid Sods Off’ as it was also a way to raise Sid and Nancy’s air fares to America. The gig succeeded in raising the funds, however this would be the trip that they would never return from.

Soon after this the Electric Ballroom was forced to close down due to noise complaints. After new soundproofing it re-opened in 1979 with an opening show of 2-Tone royalty; featuring The Specials, Dexys Midnight Runners, Madness and The Selecter.

The space has also acted as a community space for the changing demographic of Camden; being both a community centre for the Irish and wedding reception venue for Greek weddings during the 1970s.

Musical Mentions:

Each week I will be sharing with you some of the music related to the venue we have looked at and some of my favourite listens of the week.

The Clash - By The Clash (this album was basically written and rehearsed in camden).

The Specials - By The Specials - Their debut album and classic.

Death in Venice Beach by The Bombpops - Been enjoying a bit of pop punk this week. It has helped lighten the mood.

Skinny Lister - reminiscing about going to a show.