The Days When You Could Catch A Roundhouse Show For 40p

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 15 months ago

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The Days When You Could Catch A Roundhouse Show For 40p

When Camden's Roundhouse opened as an entertainment venue in 1966 — then going by the moniker Centre 42 — it was never going to be your run-of-the-mill entertainment venue. Transformed from an old train engine shed and gin warehouse, the first night saw the debut performance of a then-little-known band... Pink Floyd.

Note Pink Floyd billed as "The Pink Floyd"

It's been through several incarnations since then, including hosting week-long raves in the '90s. It still hosts concerts from big acts, alongside a programme of poetry and spoken word events and its Young Creatives programme, which helps 11-25 year olds to develop their performance skills. But that doesn't mean it's lost its spunky edge: the upcoming And Now What? season promises to be a provocative one, "tackling the social and political issues of our times, inspired by the Roundhouse’s heritage of debate and counterculture".

Take a look back at these posters and fliers for some of the more notable past performances and events at Roundhouse.

This poster for Andy Warhol's only play, Pork, which was performed at Roundhouse in 1971, comes with the disclaimer: "If you are likely to be disturbed, please do not attend". It's a long way from Campbell's soup.

Then there's this event, for which all tickets were just 40p:

The Beatles were involved in this one, combining a tape prepared by Paul McCartney with a light show featuring projectors playing onto 60ft high screens. Trippy.:

This was The Doors' only UK performance:

Circus isn't new to Roundhouse — although the mention of a dragon is intriguing:

The Ramones played their first British concert here in 1976. The next night, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The Clash all met in Dingwall's club in Camden, giving the fledgling UK Punk scene a boost.

The Ramones played Roundhouse in 1976. Photo: Danny Fields

Patti Smith performed at Roundhouse in May 1976 — and again almost forty years later in 2015.

Feminism was on the Roundhouse bill as far back as 1979:

If this has whet your appetite, take a look at the And Now What? programme, which cover topics including immigration, Brexit and mental health, through theatre, spoken word, music, film and audio.

And Now What? runs at Roundhouse 3 October-27 November 2017. See individual events for price and booking details.

Last Updated 28 September 2017