In honour of Independent Venue Week (25-31 Jan), we asked one of London’s most loved independent live music locations, The Dublin Castle, to share some fond memories and fun facts about the popular venue and its past gigs.
Here Tony Gleed – director of Bugbear Promotions who look after the venue – shares six titbits you’ve probably never heard about The Dublin Castle before.
1. Big bands have been discovered here
“A young west country alt rock band so moved an A and R head honcho back in 1995 that they were signed there and then in the venue. That band was Muse.”
2. The Libertines sent 5 demos to Bugbear Promotions (three as ‘The Strand’) before finally being granted a gig
“In those days – with Johnny Burrell on second ego and an 85 year old drummer in the band – they still weren’t much cop. Six months later they seemed to become jaw droppingly good overnight and started packing them in. Other venues started booking them and the rest is, as they say, sub judice.”
3. Noel Gallagher was once a regular
“To our knowledge the Oasis frontman last visited the pub around ten years ago, although he was once a regular. Noel’s unfinished jack and coke is still behind the bar awaiting his arrival should he be thirsty whilst strolling down Parkway looking for the fiver he dropped in 1995.”
4. In fact, a lot of famous names were regulars
“Other regular drinkers and gig goers have included our kid Liam (Gallagher), Sting, Bob Geldof, Robert Plant, all members of Madness, the late great Amy Winehouse and the bloke that played Max in Brookside.”
5. The Dublin Castle played a big part in the Romo movement
“A lesser known musical movement was ‘Romantic Modernism’ (or ‘Romo’) in the mid to late 1990s. Romo was a very real phenomenon and not in the least something made up by Simon Price at the Melody Maker whilst enjoying a refreshing glass of hooch one quiet Tuesday afternoon.
“Prime exponents of Romo were Plastic Fantastic, whose deranged and chaotic performances were something like Duran Duran meets The Bollock Brothers playing round Dennis Nilsen’s gaff while on that brown acid they go on about at Woodstock.
“Plastic Fantastic played numerous tiptop gigs in the DC, but unfortunately the band had to be removed permanently from the roster following a show that climaxed – very literally – with a stage invasion slash hardcore sex show.”
6. We knocked back Robert Plant
“The DC once played host to a rather tasty Led Zeppelin tribute band by the name of Let’s Zep. One Rob Plant showed up to see the band but the hapless door operative at that time only liked The Stranglers and so had no idea who this corkscrew haired rock god actually was.
“The doorman insisted on charging Plant the requisite £3.50 – or whatever it was back then – but unfortunately the musician only had a pocket full of loose change. Our hero was overwhelmed by the surreal situation and ran away into the night rather than face further indignity. If you’re reading this Robert, is it too late to say sorry? Love you.”
Visit The Dublin Castle: 94 Parkway, NW1 7AN
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Main image: adam w / Flickr / CC