Coldplay are set to play an intimate gig at a venue where they first played 13 years ago, it has been announced via the official site today. They will play Camden's Dingwalls venue next month in a free show for BBC Radio 2. [Full discussion on this new show is at the Coldplay Live forum now (thanks Mimixxx, _Tash, SueDeNimes, twistedleksi2008]
Coldplay first played at the venue in May 1998, to raise money for the recording of the band's first release, The Safety EP. The gig takes place on Tuesday 6th December and will be broadcast the following week, on Thursday, 15th December. The free tickets for the show will be given away via bbc.co.uk/radio2 from 24-28 November. Dingwalls is the Camden venue which was hired by Coldplay's first manager (and now fifth member) Phil Harvey while he was still a student, for a Coldplay show on 25 May 1998. The money raised that night helped pay for the recording of the Safety EP.
The show will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Thursday, 15th December, which you can listen to online worldwide. The performance will also be filmed and shown live via the Red Button and on the Radio 2 site, where it will be available to watch until 22nd December.
Described by the Punk 77 website, Dingwalls is a sweaty venue in Camden NW1. Way before Camden became the hip alternative equivalent of Oxford Street the Camden Lock end was just a bunch of building and Stables just east of the Roundhouse on Chalk Farm Road. Set up by a fellow called H in 1973 when he left the Speakeasy, Dingwalls Dancehall was a venue where punters and musicians alike could mingle. Faces to be seen ranged from Eric Clapton to Mick Jones to Wilko Johnson to Frank Zappa and Bo Diddley and anyone wanting to have a drink beyond 2pm.
In punky times a number of notable events occurred; The Pistols were supposedly banned after trouble during a Ramones gig. Outside was the scene of the face off between bassists Simenon and JJ Burnel of the Clash and Stranglers respectively, that ostracised the Stranglers from the Punk crew. Blondie and Eater played there among many others and the latter met Lou Reed and his transsexual friend Rachel who probably wondered what had happened to his song 'Sweet Jane.'
But despite the onset of Punk, Dingwalls remained primarily the home of grizzled pub rock bands, Sixties survivors from the freak scene and Hells Angels, the latter who would drop in from the Carnarvon (now Fusilier and Firkin) pub opposite.
Outside views of Dingwalls