"Back to Black": A Trip to Amy Winehouse's Playground & Our Home - Camden Town

The release of the new biopic film “Back to Black” is our perfect excuse to take you on this cultural virtual trip - following the footsteps of the iconic Amy Winehouse in our local playground and mutual hood.

Back to Black 2024 movie poster

Image: the poster of the new biopic ‘Back to Black’ released on April 12th, 2024.


Nestled in the vibrant heart of London lies Camden Town, a neighbourhood brimming with eclectic energy, artistic flair, and a rich musical heritage. Among its cobblestone streets and colourful market stalls, one name resonates deeply with locals and visitors alike: Amy Winehouse.

For fans of the late British singer-songwriter, a pilgrimage to Camden is akin to stepping into the lyrics of her soulful melodies. It's a journey beyond the physical spaces, through the essence of an artist whose voice captured the spirit of her surroundings.


Visit Amy’s Neighbourhood and Camden's Best Venues:

‘Amy Street Art’ at Stucley Place NW1 Camden - hair and eyes by Amara Por Dios and funky lettering by Captain Kris (photo by Maureen Barlin via Flickr)

Image: ‘Amy Street Art’ at Stucley Place NW1 Camden - hair and eyes by Amara Por Dios and funky lettering by Captain Kris (photo by Maureen Barlin via Flickr)


Camden Market: What to Visit

At the epicentre of Camden's magic stands the Stables Market, a labyrinthine complex of shops, boutiques, and food stalls housed within former horse stables. Here, amidst the hustle and bustle, one can sense echoes of Winehouse's influence. From vintage clothing stores reminiscent of her signature style to record shops echoing the sounds of jazz and blues, the market embodies the eclectic spirit that fuelled her music. It is in this melting pot of culture where you will find the iconic Amy Winehouse statue marking her contribution to the cultural life of Camden, too. Just around the corner from our local home - the Psylo Camden Shop.

Amy Winehouse statue at Camden’s Stables Market (photo by Jim Linwood)

Image: the Amy Winehouse statue at Camden’s Stables Market (photo by Jim Linwood via Flickr).


The Hawley Arms: A Musical Haven

No journey through Camden is complete without a visit to The Hawley Arms, a historic pub that served as a sanctuary for Winehouse and her contemporaries. It was here, amidst the dimly lit ambience and the clinking of glasses, that she found solace and inspiration. Today, the walls of The Hawley Arms are adorned with memorabilia celebrating her life and legacy, serving as a poignant reminder of her enduring presence in Camden's cultural tapestry.


Regent's Canal: A Serene Escape

Winding its way through the heart of Camden is Regent's Canal, a tranquil waterway offering respite from the neighbourhood's frenetic pace. For Winehouse, the canal provided a quiet retreat from the pressures of fame, a place where she could reflect and find solace amidst the chaos of urban life. Walking along its towpaths, one can't help but feel a sense of connection to the soulful spirit of the singer who once called Camden home.

Ryo and George wearing Psylo Fashion on a bridge over the Regent Canal, Camden Lock

Image: Ryo and George wearing Psylo Fashion on a bridge over the Regent Canal, Camden Lock (photo by Dan Thomas Photography)


The Historic Roundhouse

First opened in 1964, the Roundhouse is a celebrated music and performance arts venue known for hosting the best artists in the world. It is also a Grade II listed building with a rich history that was declared a National Heritage Site in 2010. In July 2011, just three days before her death, Amy Winehouse performed one of her last live shows here.

The Good Mixer: A Camden Boozer

In the film, we see Amy Winehouse playing pool at this local Camden boozer. The Good Mixer gained its renown as the preferred hangout spot for emerging musicians in the mid-90s, a pivotal era when the term "Britpop" transcended mere editorial convenience, evolving into a globally acknowledged cultural phenomenon.


The Intimate Jazz Cafe

Before the skyrocketing fame brought on by "Back To Black," Amy Winehouse honed her craft in the intimate settings of smaller jazz venues like The Jazz Cafe. It was in this period before becoming a globally acclaimed star that her distinctive vocals and sound were shaped and refined. Marking the movie release, ‘Back to Black’ will be performed live in a special event at The Jazz Cafe on Wednesday, 15th of May 2024.


The Dublin Castle: Ska & Rock 'n Roll

While the new film shows Winehouse performing at this venue, the Dublin Castle has become synonymous with ska, much like Winehouse. This iconic pub is renowned for catapulting Madness into the spotlight during their weekly residency in 1979, back when they were still an unsigned band. Their unique sound attracted a crowd that mirrored their style, ultimately leading to a deal with Stiff Records. The venue played such a pivotal role in the band's journey that they successfully campaigned for a Music Heritage plaque to honour their history there.


Amy Winehouse performing at the Eurockéennes of 2007 photo by Rama

Image: Amy Winehouse on stage, 2007 (photo by Rama via Wikimedia)


Honouring Amy's Legacy

As we navigate the vibrant streets of Camden Town, it becomes clear that Amy Winehouse's presence lingers on every corner, her spirit immortalised in the fabric of the neighbourhood she called home. "Back to Black" is not just an album title; it's a mantra that encapsulates the essence of Camden's charm—a place where the past and present converge in a symphony of sound and colour.

So, whether you're a die-hard fan paying homage to a musical icon or simply seeking to immerse yourself in the vibrancy of London's cultural landscape, a trip to Camden Town is sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul—a journey back to black, back to the heart of Amy Winehouse's playground.


When you are in Town: visit our shop for your ethically handmade alternative clothing and a dose of the original Camden vibes ;)

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