"Free music at a cosy Camden pub"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Since the demise of the Hawley Arms, Camden’s pubs have all been vying for most favoured drinking hole of the rock ‘n’ roll stakes. The Lock Tavern is one such music-hosting venue, and despite reports of appalling queues and service whenever a band is on, my visit was most pleasant and might I add, very inspiring.
Despite living locally for almost a year, I had yet to venture to this pub on Chalk Farm road. Its black exterior contrasted with a pretty roof terrace had intrigued me for months, visually standing out from neighbours like the Barfly and the Monarch.
As I walked in I realised the Lock Tavern was one of those pubs that reminded me of fireplaces in winter, its red ceilings and old fashioned décor evoking the cosiest of evenings, like a glass of good brandy when coming in from the cold. The roof terrace and upstairs area where musician David Holmes was DJing for the afternoon were packed, however people were kind enough to huddle to one side of a sofa to give us space to sit, and from here we were millimetres away from Mr Holmes, who was full of smiles himself.
From Thursday to Sunday there is live music, and entry is always free. The usual pub fare features on the menu with the addition of a variety of roasts on Sundays. During my visit I stuck to drinking red wine, which was strangely enough palatable, and only £3 a glass.
Unsurprisingly busy for a free set hosted by two of the UK’s premier DJ’s, Holmes and Andrew Weatherall, I found both crowd and staff friendly and accommodating. Rather than encountering tout le Camden in emo/rock/vintage gear people were relaxed, seated on the loungy sofas in the upstairs bar or chatting over pints and cigarettes on the sheltered roof terrace, with many getting up to dance.
A perfect Sunday, perhaps it was down to the DJ, but I couldn’t have been in a better place.
Leila reviewed The Lock Tavern on Wed 17 Sep 2008