UPDATE: Eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters tackled the flames at Koko in Camden High Street, north London, after being called shortly before 9pm on Monday.
London Fire Brigade said 30% of the building’s roof had been alight and warned people to stay away from the area. The blaze was brought under control in the early hours of Tuesday, but the cause is not yet known.
Koko, formerly known as Camden Palace and the Camden Hippodrome, had been closed for refurbishment and was covered in scaffolding. It was set to reopen in spring 2020 after a “major state-of-the-art” revamp, following the purchase of two adjacent buildings.
Fire crews from Euston, Kentish Town, Islington, Soho, Holloway and surrounding areas helped tackle the blaze at the historic north London nightclub, which is close to Mornington Crescent Underground station Firefighters will remain at the scene throughout the day.
The iconic Camden venue hosted acts including Madonna, Ed Sheeran and Prince, and legendary club nights such as Feet First, Delerium, Clockwork Orange and Frantic.
Koko opened as The Camden Theatre in 1900, with music hall and operas until it was closed during World War II.
Post war, it was used by the BBC and the Goon Show and Monty Python’s Flying Circus were recorded there.
In the 1970s iconic punk and new wave acts had legendary gigs at the venue, including The Boomtown Rats, The Clash and The Jam.
In the 1980s, clubbing legends Steve Strange and Rusty Egan of Visage broke many new acts at Feet First on Tuesdays.
The venue has an iconic place in dance music history, with DJs such as Colin Faver and Eddie Richards making their mark at Delerium in the late Eighties and the legendary weekly House night Clockwork Orange during the Nineties with Andy Manston and Danny Gould.
Leader of Camden Council Georgia Gould said: “Heartbreaking watching the Camden Palace / Koko up in flames this evening, a building that holds so many memories and means so much to us in Camden.”
MP for Holborn and St Pancras Sir Keir Starmer echoed Ms Gould’s statement on Twitter.
Sir Keir said: “Awful news in Camden tonight. Incredible response from our firefighters. As Georgina Gould says, we owe them so much.”
Formerly known as the Camden Palace and the Camden Hippodrome, the venue had been closed for refurbishment and was covered in scaffolding at the time of the fire.
It was set to re-open in spring 2020 after a “major state-of-the-art” refurbishment, after the purchase of two adjacent buildings.