Camden Crawl: Day One 1st May 2010

The Camden Crawl was the first ever festival last year. As I didn’t know what to expect I left home at 7.30am to get there for 9am. Even though I was aware of most acts I saw last year I did however discover two musical gems. This being The XX and Marina and the Diamonds. Both whom have made a name for themselves in the music industry. Fast forward a year later to May bank holiday weekend and I was to attend both days of the crawl. Now I arrived slightly later compared to 2009 the time I had left my place was 9.20 and I was in London a few minutes before 11am. So I got off the tube at Mornington Crescent and went to Koko to see no one there. As I had purchased a VIP ticket the pick up was at Koko. The doors opened at 12.10pm and once inside my food was confiscated even though I was just getting my wristband. After I had picked up the package I then collected my food then sat on the steps and sorted out what was inside. Inside was VIP laminates for Sat and Sun, passes for the Roundhouse show, USB stick and wristbands for both VIP bars and aftershow at Lock 17. Once I had sorted myself out and had the laminate round my neck it was off to Chalk Farm. When I was there I was disappointed to see that the Myspace bus hadn’t made a return journey. After having seen that there was no bus it was then back to Camden. I decided to head to the Red Bull Jam Arena on Hawley Crescent. The first band I was to see was Kasms only to find out that the whole afternoon event was running late meaning the time I had got there the first band hadn’t been on. Now the first two bands where After The Ordeal and then Dissolved In. Both of these bands were too heavy to my liking. Once Dissolved In had finished the Arena started to get busy.

The weather also was getting colder and it looked like it could rain. Kasms then took to the stage and it had been a while since I saw them last. This time they had a new member as Rory Brattwell left the band earlier in the year. Still the set was energetic and Rachel put everything into it. No jumping off stage and diving over the barrier though. Firstly the stage was too high to jump off of. The 8 song set was mainly tracks taken from the album sprayed plus the current non album single Absent Without Leave. Again the set was a rollercoaster ride with Rachel jumping up and down a lot. Also she swung the microphone round from the wire. The set featured all the singles Taxidermy, Bone You, Male Bonding (I think) and the double A side Murmur/ Absent Without Leave which rounded off the set. This was a nice set and it did ooze energy. Yes Kasms may be shouty rocky music but it is music I can stand. I honestly felt Rachel was restricted for this set. The evening appearance was probably was intense. I then left the Arena. It was getting full by this time/ Not only did Camden Crawl ticket holders have free entry under 16’s who are local to the NW1 area had the same access.

SET LIST

Taxidermy
Heart Attack
Sprayed
Bone You
Male Bonding
K R I H
Murmur
Absent Without Leave

When leaving the Arena I had purchased a wrap from one of the food stalls. So once I had eaten it I then progressed to Camden Lock. I then went into Lock 17 to see that they were recording something on the upper levels. I then made my way down the stairs to the Canalside Bar and honestly it felt as if I had stepped into somewhere I shouldn’t be. In the bar was my favourite folk duo Rebecca and Charles from Slow Club. I said Hi then made my way off to my next destination. This was to be Made In Brazil which is a restaurant and also doubles up as the location of Rough Trades Pop Up Shop. The shop which was in the basement featured some really good instores. There were 4 bands playing there each day and the space was so small it felt like a little conservatory. The first band that I saw were infact one that I was thinking of seeing in the evening. This being Veronica Falls and this four song set was special. Honestly it was like a busk and that’s what made the four songs fantastic. The songs sung were Found Love In A Graveyard and Stephen which appeared on the Found Love In A Graveyard 7” vinyl. Then there was Staying Here which appears as the flip side to forthcoming single Beachy Head. This set was beautiful pop and I loved every minute of it. I most certainly look forward to the full length EP. Once over I decided just to sit and wait to the final performance of the day.

SET LIST

Stephen
I Lost My Faith
Found Love In A Graveyard
Staying Here

At 5pm it was then Nat Johnson & The Figureheads. It had originally been Summer Camp but they changed it round. So as I planned to see Nat Johnson on the Sunday I decided that I may as well stay. Well I wasn’t left disappointed with this 7 song set featuring songs from album Roman Radio, non album songs plus a cover. The cover of Teenager In Love was beautiful and the pedal used to record vocals and play then back was clever. Book Club was a really good song as well considering they hadn’t prepared anymore songs after the last one Heart Of Clay. When the set was nearing the end it started to rain cats and dogs. The roofing was like the plastic roofing you get for conservatories. Rain was coming down full pelt and it added to the effect. This was the reason why people wanted another song. The songs were both jolly and uplifting I could happily listen to their music for hours. A leak was also sprung and for a moment I thought if the rain came down even harder the roof would give in. The band consist of Nat Johnson and the Figureheads who are Kevin Gori, Chris Loftus and Emily Gunn. For some songs they all contribute and for one it was just Nat and Emily. Still I would most definitely see this band live again.

SET LIST

Careful
Teenager In Love
Dirty Rotten Soul
Envy
Oh, Face!
Heart Of Clay

ENCORE

Book Club

When Nat Johnson was over it was then a short journey to Chalk Farm to see Sugababes at The Roundhouse. It was literally pouring heavy and when I reached the venue there was a queue. So once inside everything was delayed. Sugababes were supposed to be on at 17.45pm but didn’t turn up on stage till 18.20pm. The late running of the first show at The Roundhouse caused their set to be cut short. This was the first time I had seen them live and I wasn’t disappointed. They were backed by a full band and sung a greatest hits package plus a cover of Florence and the Machine. They opened up with their first #1 single Freak Like Me. It was a bit weird hearing a completely new version of it as Amelle and Jade weren’t even members. The same applied to Hole In The Head and Push The Button. Covering Florence’s Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) was a interesting take on that song as its not meant for a band. Get Sexy and About A Girl were also songs that got the crowd worked up. The set ended with About You Now the crowd were getting rowdy and I could see plastic cups being thrown up into the air. Still it was nice to experience the Sugababes live. Hearing the old songs such as Freak Like Me, Hole In The Head and Push The Button was nice. But with only just one member who sung on those songs still in the line up, well it just doesn’t sound right.

SET LIST

Freak Like Me
Hole In The Head
Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
About A Girl
Push The Button
Get Sexy
About You Now

The Like were one of the musical gems I uncovered over the weekend. The Flowerpot was literally packed so much so that the band struggled to get onto the stage. The Like are a girl band whim are based in America. The style of music is pop/ rock but easy to listen to rock music. Still the set featured material from the forthcoming album, old material, plus single Fair Game and forthcoming single He’s Not A Boy. Now I really liked this band and I will most definitely see them again in the future. This girl band consist of Elizabeth “Z” Berg, Tennessee Thomas, Laena Geronimo and Annie Monroe. The set was a lengthy 11 songs long but I enjoyed it so much it was over in a flash. Inside was packed. I managed to get near to the front though. There were a couple of people who pushed their way through just to get near to the stage.

SET LIST

Catch Me If You Can
He’s Not A Boy
Release Me
When When
I Can See
Walk Of Shame
Fair Game
Trouble In Paradise
Wishing He Was Dead
Square One
In The End

When leaving The Flowerpot it was then back to Chalk Farm. This would be to go to see New Young Pony Club. A band I have not seen live before but I have heard good things about them. The Electric Ballroom had a queue so I was able to use my VIP status to get right in. I managed to get right to the front barrier but I was were the speakers were. The 4 piece band hail from the UK and I really enjoyed the music they sung. The set featured material from debut Fantastic Playroom and new album The Optimist. It was actually divided evenly 5 songs from each album. The band consisted of Tahita Bulmer, Andy Spence, Lou Hayter and Sarah Jones. The greatest hits set included all the bands singles to date plus 1 non single from Fantastic Playroom and another 4 album tracks from The Optimist. The night kicked of with current single Chaos which was a brilliant song to open to but it was classic song Ice Cream that I liked. This song got the crowd worked up and there was plenty of crowd participation. Singles aside my favourite song on the night was Tight Fit. The style of music that they played was indie rock. Yes it was slightly heavy but in the sense where it is still bearable to listen to. New Young Pony Club are a band that I would like to see play live again.

SET LIST

Chaos
Get Lucky
Dolls
The Optimist
Lost A Girl
Ice Cream
Tight Fit
We Want To
The Bomb
The Get Go

After leaving the Electric Ballroom it was then a short walk to my next destination. Where as my 2009 crawl ended in Chalk Farm my 2010 Saturday crawl was to end in Camden Town. The winner of my 10.15 slot was not The Drums, Eliza Doolittle, I Blame Coco nor Cornershop. The band I had chosen to see was the extremely talented Slow Club at the Jazz Café. Now Charles and Rebecca are two of the nicest people I have ever met and the music that they sing I completely adore. Having visited the Jazz Café earlier on in the year to see Paloma Faith I knew that gigs at this venue were not to be missed. As I love Slow Club they were a must see even before the time table for the event was released. When I arrived at the Café there was a small queue and my VIP pass came into action again. So once inside it was packed out and it looked like that I would be no where near the front (I was originally in 2nd row). I then spotted a little gap where no one was standing. So I slipped in and stayed there till the very end. Yes the view was right in front of Charles’s microphone but I was at the front and couldn’t be too picky. The one thing I love about this band is the fact that the songs are infectious, they are fun (you gather that from all the energy they put into each song) and they always make you smile. The set which was only 9 songs long showcasing both new and old songs. I love the fact Rebecca still can’t believe that people would come to see Slow Club “so Cornershop was full then” and the fact they thought no one would turn up as in their slot they had the big hitters playing at other venues. Slow Club are an amazing band and they deserve every single bit of success. The set kicked off with new song Rotten Mouth and I really like this song. The lyrics and melody is perfect. Rebecca puts in a marvellous performance on the drums that she is on. I Was Unconscious, It Was Dream is mainly sung by Charles and Rebecca harmonises. It is a steady paced song which sounds beautiful. Following on was If We‘re Still Alive which is up tempo and is delivered strongly. The packed out Jazz Café were then treated to another new song. I am not sure on the name of the song so I will call it Marshes. This was a beautiful song one that I will love to hear again and again. If the new songs showcased are on the follow up album it will be a complete cracker. Because We’re Dead is like a rollercoaster ride. It is very pacey and the lyrics are infectious. Also they throw everything to give a energetic performance of the song. It Doesn’t Always Have To Be Beautiful is again another fast infectious song. Even I sung along and I simply love this song. Gold Mountain is a nice new song which the majority is sung by Charles. I would love to hear it again and I am guessing I will on 1st June. The final two songs were the forthcoming single Giving Up On Love and its b side Willow Tree. My favourite moment had to be the upcoming single Giving Up On Love which oozed energy. There was a man who came down onto the stage and crowd surfed. This moment had Rebecca laughing. The man also came back onto the stage and kissed Charles then eventually left to go back upstairs. Willow Tree impressed me as well later on I discovered it will be the B Side to Giving Up On Love. For this song Rebecca left her drum set to share Charles’s microphone. This song was completely beautiful and I can’t wait to hear the recorded version of it. Slow Club are playing to Koko which Rebecca said come and the fact Summer Camp who were also playing later that evening were supporting. Also Rebecca will be wearing a Sheffield Wednesday dress and was not to optimistic about the Sheffield Wednesday Crystal Palace relegation decider.

SET LIST

Rotten Mouth
I Was Unconscious, It Was A Dream
If We’re Still Alive
Marshes
Because We’re Dead
It Doesn’t Always Have To Be Beautiful
Gold Mountain
Giving Up On Love
Willow Tree

OVERALL: The 1st day of my Crawl went well. I saw new bands (The Like, New Young Pony Club, Nat Johnson, Veronica Falls) plus the old favourites (Kasms, Slow Club). My favourite venue of the day had to be Made In Brazil. Those two instores were fantastic the rain added to the effect. The set by Veronica Falls sounded like a busk and Nat Johnson’s music was lovely. I did get a bit wet when making the journey to The Roundhouse after Nat Johnson. I was literally soaking when I saw New Young Pony Club my hair was dripping wet.

Every venue I went to I managed to get to the front. Not dead centre but still it was front barrier. My VIP Pass came into play twice and the longest queue was for New Young Pony Club. For that gig I just went in straight away. Still it was a really good day despite the rain.

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