Camden, one of London’s Marmite areas – loved by some, hated by many, but undoubtedly a cultural hub that has had a fair share of creative legends and pioneers stomp (or stagger) along its infamous high street. It would be impossible to mention the north London area without speaking about Amy Winehouse, but it wasn’t just the late singer who was a regular there – since the sixties it has played host to legendary performers like The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and more with venues like Dingwalls, Camden Palace, the Electric Ballroom, Barfly, The Jazz Cafe, World’s End and many many more cultivating a rich, alternative culture in the north London district. South African photographer Robert Lang lived in Camden in the 2000s, and he documented some of his silly nights out (and silly nights in) with his trusty camera. Some of the photos were exhibited at the Doomed Gallery in Dalston, so we headed down to check it out.
‘Filthy Gorgeous Camden Town’ exhibition focuses on the exploits of Rob and some of his female friends. Hedonism has always fuelled the nightlife in Camden and Rob’s photos capture some of the amusing antics that occur when night falls and inhibitions disappear. Having been to Camden during the same era, Rob’s photos were, for DLTM, a nice way to reminisce about those days and to get some insight into somebody else’s experience.
As well as the exhibition, Rob also published two zines based on his photography – one featuring his London work and the other focused on Los Angeles, where he is now based. Overall the work is fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously and acts a great snapshot of a youthful era, when London’s wild heart was still beating strong and our culture had yet to be eroded by increasing commercialism and gentrification.