Destinations Magazine

Amy Winehouse's Camden

By Lwblog @londonwalks

Here’s Camden guide Judith on Amy Winehouse…
Amy Winehouse's Camden
Following the news of Amy Winehouse's death on 24 July 2011, fans gathered outside her home in Camden Square. Our London Walks Voice, David Tucker, wrote an excellent essay about her relationship to that square. Read it HERE.
David gives us fascinating details about the earlier days of the square, which was completed in 1871. Things have changed since then. From the vantage point of the 21st century and our Saturday Camden Town walk, Camden Square occupies a completely different world. It embodies present day poshness. It is almost Kentish Town.
Amy Winehouse's Camden
It's in Camden Town, gritty old Camden Town, where Amy Winehouse worked and played. We see two places where she did gigs: the Hawley Arms from a vantage point in the centre of the market, and the Roundhouse at the very end of the walk. But also in this walk we see one of her personal favourite bars, the Good Mixer in Inverness Street, whose working man's pub ambience she loved. For years she would go there especially to play a mean game of pool. And she bought her newspapers from Ilesh Patel at Camden News, 227 Camden High Street. She liked the atmosphere of Camden Town, half hustle, half village.
Amy Winehouse's Camden
Look how she responded to the Andy Warhol type image of herself on Inverness Street's crepe stall. It was set up by Serge Mbay Mateke. He and his friends painted it on the side of his crepe stall, taking almost a week to get it right. The moment it was put up, a friend rang Amy and told her she should check it out. “It's street graphic art”, says Serge, “and she loved it.” Apparently she arranged to have some pictures taken of herself posing in front of it, the photos being taken where the stall is garaged at Cavendish School. According to Serge she had crazy fun in the privacy of that venue, vamping and playing to the camera. She wouldn't feel comfortable doing that in a Camden Town street, but nevertheless in the midst of a full Camden Town crowd she would sometimes swoop by with a wave and a wink to Serge. His customers would be most impressed. “You know Amy Winehouse?” they would ask. Serge's crepe stall is still there with it's message, “Nobody stands between me and and my Camden.”

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