After having got my weekend wristband the day before I was able to leave slightly later. The time I wanted to be in Camden was 12pm as there was an artist I wanted to see play but I did not know the time she would be playing. So I left my place at 10.30am and I was in Camden by 11.50am. So I made my way to the first stop of my Sunday Camden Crawl journey. This was to be the Constitution. So once outside I spotted a flyer which displayed the times each artist was playing. The first artist I wanted to see was Coco Sumner AKA I Blame Coco. I had wanted to see her on the Saturday but she was playing in the dreaded 22.15 slot. Now why I say dreaded is because that was the time the big bands were playing. So after seeing she would be playing at 13.15 I had to wait for the doors to open at 12.30. Only the doors did not open at 12.30 they opened 30 minutes later. Outside it was raining and it was bitterly cold. When they did open I made my way downstairs and sat on a stool. This was the first time I had been downstairs at the Constitution and it was so tiny, you could say it was like a small basement. Before going on stage Coco was just walking round strumming the guitar and sound checking. When the time neared more people trickled in. Once 1.15 came Coco and the other three members of the band went onto the tiny stage. It was so cramped up there but they still managed to fit on. The set was only 6 songs and it showcased songs off the forthcoming album plus the cover Only Love Can Break You Heart which she did with Fyfe Dangerfield. Only this time she sung it solo. There had been a few sound issues and there was even a moment when the guitar string snapped and it was then swapped with a replacement. When this was happening Coco was strumming the Grand Prix music. Well songs that were sung included Self Machine, Spirit Golden, Only Love Can Break You Heart ,Quicker, Turn Your Back On Love and Summer Rain. Even though Summer Rain is a beautiful song it was Turn Your Back On Love which impressed me the most. This was the second time I had seen Coco live but I was a fan of hers before she released debut song Caesar. Abandoning her Ska roots she then decided to change to Pop music. Even though I liked the Ska material the new pop songs are tremendous. It is always incredible to see an artist that you love playing in such a tiny intimate venue. When I heard that I Blame Coco was to play at the Island Records Party I was a bit sceptical as they were playing in Glasgow in the evening as the main support for La Roux. When Coco herself tweeted to confirm that she would be jetting off after I made it my prerogative to be there and I wasn’t left disappointed.
Only Love Can Break You Heart
Turn Your Back On Love
Made In Brazil had to be my favourite venue of the day. The instores were intimate and special at the same time. This time it was wonderful folk music by Smoke Faries. I had wanted to catch them the day before but with the fact that they clashed with other bands made this a must see. Smoke Fairies are Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire. For this instore it was just the two. There is a band that would of been backing them for the evening slot. The girls were going to be flying to America the next day to support Laura Marling on the US leg of her tour.
As for the songs that were sung during this set were beautiful and it showcased material on LP Ghosts. I enjoyed it so much I am even tempted to pick it up on 12″ vinyl at some point. Each song was brilliant and the vocals were incredible and slightly haunting. My favourites had to be Gastown and Hotel Room.
Still they are a band worth checking out if you have not heard of them before. They sing perfect haunting folk music. Just hearing them without a backing band was truly special and I look forward to experiencing them again at Hyde Park on 1st July.
When You Grow Old
Strange Moon Rising
After seeing the wonderful Smoke Fairies it was then back to Ice Wharf for the Emerging Talent Awards. I wanted to see Gaggle whom won best new band and it was fully deserved. So I was inside by 4pm and I watched The October Game whom weren’t my cup of tea. One member arrived late due to the tube trains. The band were running late and this meant the 30 minute set by Gaggle was cut short to just 3 songs. Gaggle made their way into the area the awards were taking place. It seemed like it was packed and this was down to the fact Gaggle consists of 20 girls. Just seeing them get excited when handing out free Cider to one another was quite cute. They were all in robes and they had their hoods up. So they got up onto the stage all 19 of them. Deborah Coughlin was conducting the choir. You could see her as chief Gaggle the person who holds the group together. The three songs on of the evening consisted of debut single I Hear Flies, their unique take on Marina and the Diamonds Mowgli’s Road and I Like Cigarettes which was the b side to I Hear Flies. The reason why I like Gaggle is because there is no one else in the same category they are in. they are a 20 strong female choir whom can sing amazing pop music. All the vocals gel together and Coughlin conducts as members sing different parts. The thing I like is that you can easily home in on one part of the song and it was exactly that for I Like Cigarettes. After Deborah was presented with the Award for Best New Band, they then all made their way to the Electric Ballroom where they played a longer set. Gaggle are also playing at Bush Hall on 17th June which is a must see.
I Hear Flies
I Like Cigarettes
Once Gaggle had finished I then made my way to what was a packed Cuban Bar. Even though it was packed I still was able to get right down to the front. One of the bands were sound checking. I managed to slip into a little gap in front of the sound desk. The way it was organized was poor. Nearing 6.30pm a security guard came onto the stage to tell everyone to move back and the fact the show would not start till everyone had done so. Also the security guard threatened to eject people who did not move and cut off their wristband. The reason why people had to move back was to allow the photographers to be at the front to take photos for the first two songs. Once they had gone no one was able to move forward as security guards did not allow it even though there was a gap at the front. The artist I had chosen to see was Eliza Doolittle. Even though this was the first time I had seen her live I was well aware of her as I had both EP and Record Store Day 7” Pack Up both on vinyl. I was surprised that the bar was filled to capacity. I mean Eliza is fantastic but she has not made a substantial impact on the music charts. Still the 6 song set featured songs which will most likely feature on the debut LP. The 30 minute gig kicked off with Missing and songs which followed on included Moneybox, A Smokey Room, Go Home, Rollerblades, current single Skinny Genes and it closed with Pack Up. This was pop music at its best. I would say the style of music is happy, cheery, uplifting pop. All the songs give off bright sunshine colours. Well Eliza is definitely someone to keep your eye on as she is a real talent. The next time Eliza is playing in London will be at Dingwalls supporting Scot Alex Gardner. I wonder if she will pop into the Cuban Bar for more Apple Crumble? Apple Crumble is a cocktail that tastes like Apple Crumble and someone got one for her. Well I really liked this set it went by so fast. The songs are what I would hope to be a taster of what is come from the debut album. My favourite song from the set had to be opener Missing.
A Smokey Room
After having left the Cuban Bar it was then off to The Black Cap. This had previously been my first stop for my 2009 crawl as I opted to see The XX. This time I was off to see Chew Lips a band that I love and have seen live quite a few times. The VIP Pass came into play again as the queue stretched past a couple of shops. Once in I was able to get to the front even though I was on the side of the stage. It was pretty handy having the toilet right at the back, because when making your way to the front you could be making your way to that and no one actually knows you want to be at the front. The set showcased songs off of debut album Unicorn plus a couple that did not make the album. Opening the night was Eight. I have seen Chew Lips quite a few times before and this is always the choice of song to open on. It is a nice gentle song with beautiful lyrics. The line I like is “It’s like a high speed chase on your wedding day”. Following on was Play Together which had a electro vibe. After it was Toro which again has an electro vibe but it gels well with the song. The lyrics and melody were perfect. Hearing Rising Tide was nice as this did not make the album and was offered as a free download to any one who subscribed to the mailing list. Seven had a beat to it and I really liked it. Slick had had lyrics which were strong and powerful. The pace of the song was steady and it is one that grows on you the more times you hear it. Two Years which was taken from the album is a song that the band only recently started to play. I actually really liked that song. It was then onto Salt Air the bands second single which does not feature on the album Unicorn. This is a mid tempo song with catchy lyrics which you can sing along too. I was actually singing along to the infectious chorus. Karen followed on and it is the bands current single. It is a really nice song and it is a grower. I completely adore this song. Hearing Two Hands was the first time I had heard the song live. It is a nice song one that I hope I will hear live again. The first single Solo was next and it went down well. In fact when Tigs announced Solo there was a squeal of delight from one girl at the front. Closing the set was the energetic Gold Key which I adore and it would make a good single release. Having seen the set list the last song was infact Piano Song.
Once the set finished it was then a struggle making my way outside. So after a lot of pushing my way through the crowd I managed to get outside. My next stop was to be The Earl Of Camden. This would be to see the fantastic Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo. There was only 2/3 of The Red Clay Halo Anna Jenkins and Gill Sandell. The missing member was Jo Silverston. But this didn’t make a single bit of difference as I thoroughly enjoyed the set. The material sung spanned over both albums plus some new songs and one cover was added into the mix. Kicking things off was Nostalgia which featured on the BBC Drama Wallander. Fields Of June was a duet with Dom Coyote which was a real treat. The new songs on the night were Little Deaths and Ropes. Even though I had heard them before it was a real pleasure hearing them again. Also Emily told the audience Little Deaths will be the next single released in October. They will be going into the recording studio to work on the 3rd album which will be out in January 2011. The Neil Young cover Look Out For My Love was a real treat and Emily added her own folk twist. A instrumental between Fields Of June and the final song Disappear was amazing. The closing song was Disappear and it rounded off a brilliant set. Emily is someone I adore and the music is perfect. I for one am looking forward to the new album in 2011.
Look Out For My Love
Fields Of June
My final band of my two day journey was actually recommended to me by a reader of this blog. What my Austrian friend said was basically this wasn’t a band to be missed. Contrary to what had been said I was surprised to find the venue near empty. By this point my legs were completely aching so I sat on the edge of the stage. The venue I was at was Underworld and the band being Young Marble Giants. This post punk band hail from Cardiff and consist of Philip and Stuart Moxham, Peter Joyce and Alice Statton. What made this special was the fact just seeing them live is a extremely rare event. They split in 1980 after touring Colossal Youth which was the bands only record. I am guessing gigs by this band wont be as frequent compared to the newer bands on the music scene. One the band aren’t getting any younger and two they only have limited material having released only one album. They have also been on the circuit for 30 years and the material was a mixture of unreleased songs and songs off of Colossal Youth. As the set went on more people came in. It never reached full capacity but there were fans both old and new who came just to witness them play. I really enjoyed this gig which was 15 songs long. I reckon this event was a one off. Would I see them again maybe I would but I cant see that happening. The main reason I went to this gig was out of curiosity and the fact that I can say I was there.
Ode To Booker T
Music For Evenings
The Man Amplifier
Include Me Out
Searching For Mr Right
Brand – New – Life
Credit In The Straight World
OVERALL: Whereas my 2009 Crawl ended in Chalk Farm. This time it ended in Camden Town. All in all over the two days I have seen new artists plus my favourite artists. On Day 2 my favourite moments had to be I Blame Coco at The Constitution, Eliza Doolittle at the Cuban Bar and Young Marble Giants at Underworld.
The countdown to the 2011 Crawl starts now.