During the early 1980s the Warwick Castle public house in Portobello Road seemed to be close to the centre of the world. A veritable portal of creativity, the clientele could boast diverse talents ranging from manual labour to movie making - music business to monkey business. For some it was the combative opportunities the pub had to offer. It could boast a pool team, quiz team, darts team, football and cricket team, and on more than one occasion, a Tug of War team. For others with a less competitive streak, was it the shabby chic decor, complete with Xmas decorations hanging from the ceilings, in July?
Perhaps it was the sight of Harry Dean Stanton sharing anecdotes and drinking Guinness with Keith Allen, or maybe John Lydon huddled in a corner with John Savage, spilling the beans for 'England's Dreaming' or, to sit transfixed, enjoying Joe Strummer playing an acoustic 'Junco Partner' live in there as part of an Old Roughians C.C. fundraiser.
Said ambience didn't hold much magic for Elvis Costello though. He hadn't been inside for two minutes when a fight broke out, which sent him and lady friend scuttling through the exit. Shane McGowan, on the other hand, took all this in his stride when he would come visiting with Jock Scot. He'd sup with the best (and worst) in there and, with the Warwick having an Irish accent, was always treated to a royal welcome.