Camden Crawl: Day 1 30th April 2011

The Camden Crawl is always my first festival of each year. With it being the 10th Crawl since its conception in 1995 I could tell it would be a special one. Firstly they had asked back bands of past Camden Crawls to play. Secondly they picked out new acts whom they think will make a name for themselves. This was my third crawl and for the second year running I chose to purchase a VIP ticket. Over the past two years I have seen the likes of The xx, Marina and the Diamonds, The King Blues, Eliza Doolittle and many more. All of those bands have gone on to make a name for themselves within the music industry. Whereas last year there was a mobile website which gave you the listings of who played where and when the Crawl decided to release a Mobile App for the Blackberry and Iphone. This app was £2.99 and I purchased it on my Ipod Touch as I have neither Iphone nor Blackberry. The Camden Crawl app showed you the schedule, a map showing where each venue was, a social side where you could see photos, videos and the ability to see The Camden Crawls Twitter Timeline. Plus there were nifty vouchers as well for food which would come in useful. My only disappointment about the app is the fact I had no vouchers whatsoever I just kept on getting data not available please try later and I was not updated about secret gigs which happened. Fair enough my Ipod does not have a internet connection so wouldn’t be able to update but as for the vouchers it would of been best if they were available a day before the crawl or even in the morning. They should of either created a texting service where everyone opted for this get notified about secret gigs (a la The Great Escape) or just stick with a mobile site which gives you the schedule and lets you know the queueing time outside each venue (in fact they did this back in 2009 and 2010).

So I left my place at 10.00am and arrived in Camden Town around 11.30am. So I arrived at the ticket exchange only to be told I needed to go to The Forum to pick up my VIP pack. Fair enough I should of read the ticket which at the top said I needed to go to The Forum. I decided to walk to the venue. I got to The Forum at 12pm and then picked up my VIP pack and I met Chris from the Camden Crawl who said hope you have a good one. That was a nice start to the day. This year the plastic wristbands have gone only to be replaced by the ones you get at V and Reading. Once outside I ripped open my pack and then placed everything in the lovely Camden Crawl tote bag. The one problem about the crawl is the fact so many bands clash at one time or the fact you want to see two bands straight after the other and the venues are miles apart. Still my first stop of the day was at the Summer Sundae stage which was on the Roundhouse Patio. So the first artist of the day was to see Liverpudlian Delta Maid. 25 year old Delta comes from Wavertree in South Liverpool. The type of music she sings is Blues/ Roots and the thing I most loved is the fact the set was stripped back. The set did not start until 1.15pm and for a moment I thought Marques Toliver would be playing instead. Not that I have any problems with that because Marques is simply mesmerising. So Delta took to the stage at 1.15pm and launched into the infectious Back The Last Horse. As the song is stripped back it is not as heavy when I last saw her play at The Wheelbarrow. You pick up on the blues vibe straight away and that continues throughout the set. “Thankyou” Delta said to the crowd during the applause. Next it was onto Broken Branches. The song has a steady beat and it is very blues heavy. Actually it sounded slight Country and reminded me of Dolly Parton. “I am a massive fan of blues music and this is a old and new blues song sort of intertwined”  Delta told the audience before putting her own unique take on Eric Bibb’s Don’t Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down. This cover was sung impeccably with Delta stamp of originality on it. It’s as if Delta was made to cover and sing her own blues songs. “This is a song I wrote about two or three years ago and it’s about a woman I used to work with in a hospital in Manchester” Delta said before the applause then went onto say “I wrote this song after a particular bad night I had and I was up all night worrying because I was worrying about what she thought of me”. Now Any Way I Want To is beautiful and there is a steady beat to this song. Delta sang it faultlessly and the lyrics were fantastic. “I’m going to play you a bit of a cover” Delta said before launching into her unique version of The Way It Is. This take on this Bruce Hornsby song was incredible. I love the track and the Delta twist was fantastic. “This song was inspired by the wags of Liverpool” Delta told the audience after the applause. The song being Spend A Little Time. This uptempo song was amazing and there was a country/ blues twang to it. “Thanks so much” Delta said before launching into the first single from the new album Outside Looking In. The last song was Of My Own which was a complete cracker and ended a wonderful 7 track set.


Back The Right Horse
Broken Branches
Don’t Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down
Any Way I Want To
The Way It Is
Spend A Little Time
Of My Own

After having seen Delta Maid it was then off to The Enterpise for the Island Life Party. Yes I could of stayed to see Marques Toliver play but they don’t call it a crawl for nothing. The band I had wanted to see was Luna Belle whom I have seen a couple of times before last year. The group have their first single Acid Book is finally being released on sevensevens records. So it was to my disappointment when I found out they had pulled out. Yes I had a inkling after they were not on the running order I had spotted on Facebook the day before. I am guessing the reason may be down to the fact that they are in the studio. In fact the gigs at The Old Queen’s Head and The Great Escape have been cancelled too. Well I can’t be too disheartend I will see them play again. Despite that I saw CocknBullKid kick off the Island Life Party. It has been a while since I last saw Anita Blay play. In fact it had been 4 months when I last saw her play at Bush Hall opening up for Clare Maguire. This was to be a 7 song set which showcased material from forthcoming album Adulthood. “Thanks for coming” Blay said before launching into the debut single One Eye Closed. I was literally blown away from the very start. Upstairs at The Enterprise does look alot different compared to when I last attended a gig there. Next song was the CocknBullKid and this song was actually quite catchy. The use of the band makes the tracks seem heavy and powerful. It was exremely loud as well but fantastic at the same time. Yellow was next and the chorus is extremely catchy and is my favourite part of that song. After a huge round of applause Anita then told the crowd “This next one you might of heard before, this was my last single”. This being Hold On To Your Misery which has a slight gospel feel to it. The upbeat Mexico was the next song of the set and then that was followed by the new single Asthma Attack. What capped off a wonderful 7 song set was the fast paced I Deserve It. I must admit I Deserve It has to be my favourite CocknBullKid song closely followed by Mexico.


One Eye Closed
Hold On To Your Misery
Asthma Attack
I Deserve It

When leaving The Enterprise it was then off to the Ray Ban Bus for a bit of Two Wounded Birds at 3pm. Only to find out I would not be getting access to this session as I arrived around 14.50pm. From what I heard only 8 people could fit on the bus which was a little strange as this was a big double decker bus. Even though I was not going to get on the 3pm performance I would get on the 4pm but I wanted to see The Staves play at 3.30pm. So I then decided to leave the queue and head over to the Rough Trade pop up shop at The Lock Tavern. The fact I missed out on Two Wounded Birds was annoying because I could of saw Fiction at 2.30pm or Jon Fratelli at 3pm. The band I had chosen to see were The Staves who I first saw at The Flowerpot Sessions July last year. These three sisters are Emily, Jessica and Camilla. The style of the music they sing is Folk Rock it actually reminded me of Laura Marling. The first song was The Fire which is infact the first song on the bands debut EP Facing West. This song had traces of Laura Marling and the harmonising was spot on. “Hello everyone we’re called The Staves and we’re going to sing some songs for you” Emily said before the band launched into Don’t Feel A Thing Anymore. This song was very gentle and mellow as well. I love acoustic music and this most certainly was stripped back. The harmonising was spine tingling. Next it was onto the title track of the EP and this being Facing West. Once this song was over it was then onto a brand new track and this being The Motherload. “We wrote this song about the gold rush of California and it’s about a gold digger“. This is another beautiful song and the lyrics make you picture the story.  After hearing this song I am anticipating the debut album release. After the round of applause it was then onto the penultimate song Mexico. This infact was the last song taken from the EP. I loved this song the lyrics were beautiful. After plenty of applause it was onto the last song. “Thankyou so much for listening”. This last song being Winter Trees. While the guitar was being re tuned there was a little bit of banter about the Royal Wedding among other things. Well as for Winter Trees again it is a lovely song. If you love your folk music you will fully appreciate The Stave. They are definately a band you must witness live


The Fire
Don’t Feel A Thing Anymore
Facing West
The Motherload
Winter Trees

After I had seen The Staves it was then off to The Red Bull Jam Arena to catch some of The King Blues set. When making my way to Chalk Farm Station I heard music on the Roundhouse Patio. I then realised Lulu and the Lampshades had a 4pm slot on the Summer Sundae stage. This five piece consist of Luisa, Heloise, Jemma and Dan. Jemma was wearing shades and was wearing a hat which she hoped didn’t blow of (as it was windy). When I got there the band just started to play LJ. Actually they sound like another version of Peggy Sue and that is why I adore this bands music. “This is our first outdoor gig so that definately makes it summer” Heloise told the packed audience before launching into Demons. This excellent song showed that the debut album needs to be released soon because they have so many cracking songs. Up next was Detour Ahead which was a Billie Holiday cover. The band made this song their own and it sounded amazing. Insomniacs followed on and this was a strong song which was delivered perfectly. Also there was a slight fast pace towards the end. After Heloise told the audience that they had two songs left and were playing at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on 5th May. The penultimate song was another newie and this being Moccasin Milk. The song that ended a fine set by Lulu and the Lampshades was Blue Tack. This was a lovely song to end on. I will most definately see them live again in the future.


Detour Ahead
Moccasin Milk
Blue Tack

After leaving the Roundhouse Patio I then decided to head to Camden Town. I saw a little bit of the Fever Fever set but left straight away as the Red Bull Jam Arena stage was packed. So I then decided to use my meal voucher at The Diner. Once there I planned my next course of action for the evening shows. There were clashes for the 19.15 slot as I did originally want to see Big Deal play at The Black Cap. But the day before the crawl I had a epiphany. The Camden Crawl is about seeing new acts don’t just see all the people you love and know you will like. So after seeing a host of artists I have seen play before on the day time line up, it was then time to spice things up for my evening. My first stop being Earl Of Camden. For some reason I found myself waiting for the pub to open even though I had the VIP card. Well I was out The Diner by 18.00 and there was nothing I could see or do in 30 minutes. I had planned on seeing Frankie & The Heartstrings play 18.15 at The Forum but decided against this due to the fact I will see them play on The Great Escape. The band I plumped for was Two Wounded Birds whom I had missed out on in the afternoon. The only reason I decided to see them play because there has been so much hype around them. Hailing from Margate Margate’s Two Wounded Birds consist of Johnny Danger, Ally Blackgrove, Tom Akers and James Shand.  The style of music is Surf Pop/ Rock and this set went down a storm.  The Earl Of Camden was a strange choice of venue as the band were squashed into a corner. Still the atmosphere was electric and yes it was extremely loud. That is what you get when you have three electric guitars and a drummer. Still the songs on the night were fantastic. Other than playing the current single they played new tracks which gave us a insight to what the debut album would sound like. When looking back on this years crawl in a years time this would be a gig you should of been at (a la The xx in 2009).

It was then onto another new act. This being Sarabeth Tucek and it was a bonus that she was playing in the venue I was already act. Now I hadn’t heard much of Sarabeth’s material prior to the Camden Crawl. I only decided to see her based on what I have heard. What I had heard was all good and I was definately looking forward to the set. Now Tucek was born in Florida and grew up in New York. The second album Get Well Soon has only recently been released on The Echo Label. Other than being a singer Sarabeth is also a songwriter and has writen some fantastic Folk/ Rock songs. Tucek’s set on the night was mainly tracks from the second album Get Well Soon and all those songs sounded fantastic. Sarabeth started the set at 20.10pm and if I am honest when she started the first song I thought she was soundchecking as artists tend to go through a song during the soundcheck. The thing I loved most was that this set was stripped back. The set was so good I will be purchasing a copy of the album. If you ever get the chance check out Get Well Soon.


A View
The Fireman
Things Left Behind
State I Am In
Exit Ghost
Get Well Soon

Tucek’s set was over around 20.40 and then I hopped on the tube to Kentish Town which would be the place where I end my first crawl. I decided to head to The Forum to catch a bit of the set by Miles Kane. As there was no way I would get to the front when standing I then decided to use my VIP seating card. I then went down to the first row of seats and had a perfect view from the balcony. There were plenty of people down below and people nearer the back even threw beer towards the back. “This is our new single out on Monday it’s called Rearrange” Kane said before playing the song. Everyone loved Rearrange and there was a rapture of applause after the song had finished. Now Quicksand was up next and this song was uptempo which I liked. The crowd erupted with applause once the song had finished. Telepathy was the next insight to what expect from the forthcoming album. Now I liked this song there was plenty of power delivered in the chorus. In fact I am reminded of Beady Eye. “Are you looking forward to The View” Kane told the audience before launching into Counting Down The Days. Now this song went down well with the crowd. Invisible followed on straight after. The set ended with popular hits Come Closer and Inhaler  which ended the fantastic set. “It is a pleasure playing for you” Kane told the packed Forum before launching into the energetic Inhaler.


Counting Down The Days
Come Closer

After having seen Miles Kane play I immediately darted off to The Bull & Gate next door. I was under the impression that the set would be starting but when I arrived the set hadn’t started. The artist whom I chose to see was the enchanting Marques Toliver. He is a pro when it comes to playing the auto harp and violin. In fact I last saw him at the New Players Theatre supporting Alex Winston. Marques performed that set with no microphone which sounded amazing and spine tingling. Unfortunately this set was blighted by technical difficulties and the set was only 4 songs long. It was ashame as I would of loved to heard a full set by Marques but there is nothing you can do when you experience difficulties like this. Opening up the set was Try Your Best which gave us a insight to Marques’s enchanting world. The song does not appear on the forthcoming EP Butterflies Are Not Free. Just the thought of hearing a full length EP is a exciting prospect. After plenty of applause Marques picked up the auto harp for the next song. This being the spine tingling Step Back And Remember which sounded incredible. Marques has such a powerful voice. Once the song finished Marques informed the crowd he wanted to stop singing but picked up his violin for Sitting In My Room. Now the use of the violin made this song sound so mellow and dreamy. Ending the 4 song set was Anniversary which is the last song on the EP. The lights were turned down. “Let’s pretend we’re on a hilltop, there’s a metoer shower going on”. The lights were gradually turned on for this hilarious song. Towards the end Marques ad libbed which got a few laughs. There were even a few lines of Beyonce’s Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It). Once over everyone was left wanting to hear more.


Try Your Best
Step Back And Remember
Sitting Up In My Room

Once over it was time to walk down the road to Annies Bar. A venue I had never set foot in before. The act I had chose to end my first day in Camden were Sweedish band Those Dancing Days. I was aware of the band but I had never seen them live before. This 5 piece girl band consisted of Linnea Jönsson, Lisa Pyk, Rebecka Rolfart, Mimmi Evrell and Cissi Efraimsson. The style of the music played was Indie Pop, it was also very load as well. This 12 song set went down a storm and I enjoyed every single second of the performance. The energy was simply electric. Well what was sung was a mixture of new and old material. The old being from the debut album In Our Space Hero Suits and the new being from the recently released Daydreams and Nightmares. It was really hot inside and the atmosphere was simply buzzing. When this fantastic 12 song set was over I then made my exit. I was tempted to stay for Mercedes at 12.20am but decided to make a move for it.


Reaching Forward
Those Dancing Days
I’ll Be Yours
Run Run
Keep In Your Pocket
Help Me Close My Eyes
Can’t Find Entrance
Forest Of Love
I Know Where You Live Part 2
One Day 4ever


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