Camden Crawl: Day Two 6th May 2012

Having attended the 1st day of the Camden Crawl I knew who I would of liked to have seen on the 2nd. As I had the Sunday schedule I could turn up and arrive at the pub I wanted to attend. I rather enjoyed the Saturday because I uncovered artists (Loverproof + Fear Of Men) who I had never witnessed live before. The 2nd day was rather ambitious as I had planned to see 4 bands play in 4 different locations in the evening.

My Crawl started off at Heroes in Kentish Town. This was to see a favourite of mine who I don’t get to see that often. This being Heathers who came all the way from Dublin. Just knowing that they were set to play in the afternoon excited me and made the Camden Crawl extra appealing. I previously witnessed them playing at The Spread Eagle last year as part of the Crawls afternoon line up. Ellie and Louise MacNamara are two lovely twin sisters whom I well and truly adore. This time they are backed by a band which made you see the new songs from a brand new perspective. The short but sweet set played was stripped down compared to the Barfly show. Opening up the evening performance was The Third Rail which was both a gentle and beautiful song. Both Ellie and Louise’s vocals were really soothing. This song had been superbly written as it had fantastic verses. Also this song was upbeat and rather catchy at the same time. “We’re Heathers by the way” Ellie then said to the audience. “We’re from Dublin in Ireland. We came over here today” Louise said immediately after. “So thanks for listening to us” Ellie mentioned before getting stuck into Underground Beneath. Now this song offers plenty of promise. Underground Beneath had an infectious melody and lyrics which were delivered to perfection. “So this next song means an awful lot to us. We wrote it for a friend who passed away about 2 years ago when we were beginning to write this album” Ellie then said to the packed audience. Forget Me Knots was the song in question. Both Ellie and Louise’s vocals gelled together to create something that gathered a fast pace and was rather beautiful. I actually picked up on plenty of passion and the slight tinge of emotion “It’s Alright Not To Feel OK”. It was then straight into another new song and this being Listen Don’t Speak. This number completely captivated me, I was literally hooked on every lyric. Both MacNamara sisters have something extremely special when their vocals combine you can’t help but be entranced. I found Listen Don’t Speak to be rather delicate and wonderful at the same time. “So a lot of these songs we’re playing are new songs. We spent the time before Christmas recording a new album. A lot of these songs will be on that album” Louise said before Waiter. This song again showed that both of their vocals compliment each other. Now Waiter is a soft, gentle song which was delivered with plenty of passion. It was then straight into We Burn Bridges. I loved the keyboard opening to this song. I found this sleek number to be rather strong. I look forward to hearing this brilliant song when the new album is unleashed. “This is another new song off our upcoming album. That sounds so serious when I say it” Ellie said before penultimate song Gather Up. This up tempo number was delivered powerfully. “We’re going to play one more song. Thank you so so much for watching us play. Have a lovely night” Louise mentioned to the audience before ending with Find A Way. They both belted out this fast paced song which literally was amazing. The new album can’t come soon enough.

SET LIST

The Third Rail
Underground Beneath
Forget Me Knots
Listen Don’t Speak
Waiter
We Burn Bridges
Gather Up
Find A Way

Kyla La Grange has been on my radar for quite a while now and I have been to her live shows on multiple occasions. The end of May sees La Grange embark on a short tour which culminates with a date at London’s Village Underground. Also the 30th July sees the release of the long awaited debut album Ashes which features 11 fantastic tracks (2 which are brand new). The evening schedule started at The Wheelbarrow. Now I have been to this pub to see many different acts perform and it is rather intimate. The slot opened with Been Better which was extremely heavy and powerful at the same time. There was a strong Folk vibe throughout this fantastic song. It was then straight into Walk Through Walls B Side Courage. La Grange’s vocals were stunning and very distinctive as well. I really adored Courage, its steady pace and the lyrics fitted perfectly with the melody. Actually I was reminded of a EMA song. “Thank you very very much. I’m Kyla. It’s very nice to be here. This is my 1st time playing the Camden Crawl” she then said before playing Walk Through Walls. This song which was in fact the début single oozed plenty of energy. Walk Through Walls was yet another slice of sheer brilliance. “The next song I’m going to play is really, really, really quiet. I’m not sure if that’s a good idea but we’re going to try it anyway” La Grange said before launching into Heavy Stone. I found this number to be rather gentle and Kyla’s vocals were extremely soothing. There was a steady pace to this fantastic track. I also felt sorry for La Grange because people were talking throughout this beautiful song. “I hope you could hear it OK” Kyla joked to the audience once Heavy Stone was over. It was then onto Vampire Smile which was powerful compared to prior song. Energy was flowing from this steady paced number and La Grange literally belted it out. Following on was my favourite Kyla song mainly because it is so fast in tempo and infectious as well. This track being Walk which unfortunately does not feature on the tracklisting for Ashes. “The next song we’re going to play is a bit of a bluesy one” La Grange said before I Could Be. This number first featured as the B side to Been Better. I rather liked this steady paced song, it was rather upbeat. “The next one we’re going to play is also another quiet one. So I don’t know if you want to hear it or not. Shall we try it?” Kyla then said before Sympathy. She was on the acoustic guitar again. It is ashame that there was talking. Being a fan of Kyla’s music I felt for her. The harmonising was for this song was amazing and nearer the end the song was ever so powerful. “We have 2 songs left, the next one’s loud I promise” La Grange said before getting stuck into penultimate song Lambs. This was one of the stand out songs that featured during this short set. I actually picked up on an Irish feel and the lyrics were rather luscious and extremely sweet. “Thank you so much for listening to us. I’ve been Kyla La Grange and we’re selling CDs out the back of the van if you want one. Sounds quite illegal but it’s not” she then said to the audience before signing off with another quiet ballad and this being Catalyst.

SET LIST

Been Better
Courage
Walk Through Walls
Heavy Stone
Vampire Smile
Walk
I Could Be
Sympathy
Lambs
Catalyst

“We’re called Ellen & The Escapades, we’re from Leeds” Ellen Smith said to the audience before kicking things off with Without You. This was the first single released on Branch Out Records in 2009. The very start of this song was acoustic and when the whole band kicked in, this toe tapping number had a rip roaring pace and was very infectious. It was then onto Preying On Your Mind and this song is taken from the début EP All Of The Times. This upbeat song felt like a hoedown. When The Tide Creeps In was next. This ballad sounded incredible and was very smooth. The vocal performance was outstanding. It actually reminded me of Mumford & Sons. “This is our very 1st time at Camden Crawl, so thanks for having us” Ellen said before starting the current single All The Crooked Scenes. It opened with a furious/ epic instrumental which lasted for about a minute. This was one powerful song which had some delightful lyrics.“We’re going to have some copies of the album with us if anyone wants one. Just come and find us somewhere afterwards. Probably outside which might look a bit dodgy” Smith said before Coming Back Home. This was a beautiful and its lyrics/ melody were rather chilled out. “This is going to be our last song so thanks very much for coming out and watching us. I hope you have a good weekend” Ellen said before ending with Cast.

SET LIST

Without You
Preying On Your Mind
When The Tide Creeps In
All The Crooked Scenes
Coming Back Home
Cast

After having witnessed one performance in Kentish Town it was then a trek for the next which was at The Monarch. This was to see the extremely talented up and coming Charli XCX. I have only seen have seen her perform twice but I love her brand of infectious goth pop. “What’s up Camden, I’m Charli XCX. How you doing?” Charli said to the audience before opening with forthcoming single You’re The One. I found this song to be upbeat, infectious and very slushy at the same time. I was completely captivated with this sublime song. You can quite easily dance about to this track. “How’s everyone doing? Good?” Charli then said before getting stuck into Feel My Pain. She put every ounce of energy into this song. I really liked the lyrics you can clearly picture what is happening. “So I literally wear tights with this dress. It’s doing it’s own thing. I’m sorry if I’m flashing anyone. Like really I am”. It was then onto How Can I. Now this steady paced song was sublime and it was delivered to perfection. The lyrics for this song were really memorable There was even a little rap nearing the end of the song. “I definitely flashed I’m sorry” Charli said before launching into power ballad Stay Away. This song was slow in pace and had some short raps. I found it to be rather smooth and it showed off Charli’s beautiful vocal range. “This one’s kind of new. So I hope you like it” Charli said before Lock You Up. Now this song had steady paced verses and a chorus which is packed with enthusiasm. It sounded a bit slushy with lyrics “I Wan’t To Lock You Up Inside My Heart”. Still this new track was a complete cracker and was faultlessly delivered. “How’s it going? Is it good? Is it f***ing good?. Well I’m glad” she then said before Nuclear Seasons. This was one huge pop song which oozed bundles of energy. The drumbeat was extremely powerful and the lyrics were rather infectious. “This is my last song so thanks for having me Camden Crawl. I’m Charli XCX. Dance to this one if you want to” Charli said before bringing the set to a close. End Of The World was an Alex Metric song which Charli featured on. Still it was sung perfection and this track actually had a dub step vibe to it. I would love to see this song feature on the forthcoming album but I have a gut feeling it wont.

SET LIST

You’re The One
Feel My Pain
How Can I
Stay Away
Lock You Up
Nuclear Seasons
End Of The World

After having been at The Monarch in Chalk Farm it was then straight to The Black Cap in Camden for Foe. Now Foe is a band fronted by Hannah Clark. Actually I expected it to be packed as Foe was one of the many headline bands on the night. But this wasn’t the case. I easily went straight to the front. Foe sang a superb 9 song set and the style of music is Punkish Pop with a hint of Rock. Taking to the stage at 10.30 Hannah Clark was wearing a dress which I assume she made herself. On the front you had two eyes and on the back was Foe in red. Clark is one talented singer songwriter who already has released debut album Bad Dream Hotline early this year. “How’s it going?” Clark said to the audience. The set kicked off with the upbeat Genie In A Coke Can. Even though this song features on Bad Dream Hotline it also appeared on the Hot New Trash EP. This song was belted out powerfully and I loved the songs middle 8. After a short interlude it was then onto the fantastic iTunes only song One Man Down which oozed plenty of energy. Another interlude followed on then it was straight into the infectious Mother May I? This song was extremely upbeat and the lyrics were superb. The song itself was delivered with plenty of passion. “My name is FOE, this is my band. Thanks for coming. Are you nice and drunk. Have you had a good festival. Coz I am. This song is about a girl who broke my heart” Hannah then said to the crowd that had gathered. This was a steady paced grungy song which had extremely clever lyrics. Once over there was yet another interlude which led into A Handsome Stranger Called Death which is the current single. At first the song was gentle as Hannah was playing her keyboard then the drums kicked in, then the song became rather powerful. Once over it was onto a short interlude before The Black Lodge. In my eyes this song has to be a single because you are drawn in from the very moment Hannah starts singing this pacey upbeat infectious number. Its lyrics were superb and plenty of energy was flowing from it. The Black Lodge, is named after a fictional setting in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. “This is a new song” Clark said before My Baby. Now this number was rather powerful and the lyrics were sublime. I look forward to hearing the mastered version of this amazing new track. “Two more songs. Thank you so much for coming” Hannah then said to the audience before launching into Get Money. This song carried a message “Get Money, Die Young, Live Fast, Die Young, Get Money, Get Numb, Get Numb, Get Numb”. There was a beat to this track and it was literally belted out. “This is our last one. Thank you very much” Clark said before ending my Crawl with Tyrant Song. Even though this song features on Bad Dream Hotline it also made an appearance on EP Hot New Trash. There was a ferocious pace to this song and the lyrics were luscious. The one line that stood out was “Are you ready for the next big thing?” and I reckon Foe is the next big thing.

SET LIST

Genie In A Coke Can
One Man Down
Mother May I?
Ode To Janey Lou
Handsome Stranger Called Death
The Black Lodge
My Baby
Get Money
Tyrant Song

OVERALL: The past 2 days had been amazing which involved me seeing my favourite bands as well as discovering new artists who I look forward to hearing more from.

Heathers were fantastic. I adore the indie/ folk tunes that both Ellie and Louise sing. Just the fact a band backs them makes you see them at a brand new perspective and it worked wonders. The set they performed were mainly tracks from the upcoming untitled 2nd album which is due out this summer. I for one cannot wait to purchase my copy and see them again when they are in London.

I have fallen in love with Kyla La Grange’s music ever since I saw her play at Beyond Retro as part of The Great Escape last year. Kyla made full use of the time she had and played for just over 40 minutes. What was performed was a showcase of material from the debut album Ashes. La Grange’s vocal range is spine tingling it’s like she’s channelling Kate Bush.

Ellen and the Escapades are a band I can’t praise enough. Début album All The Crooked Scenes was released this year which included some fantastic tracks. The set performed was only 6 songs but what was chosen were 6 of the best. Without You had a ferocious pace while Coming Back Home was both soft and smooth. Each song was smothered with folkness and I look forward to seeing them play in the future.

Charli XCX is one talented singer/ songwriter (she even wrote I Love It for Icona Pop). What I love most about Charli is the fact her songs are damn infectious and you can easily have a good dance to them. The energy from this performance was full flowing and Charli does get into it. I am surprised she didn’t trip up in the shoes she was wearing. Still the tracks showcased were pure quality and the new song Lock You Up was outstanding. I really wish that the début album was released write now.

My night ended up with Foe and what was showcased was utter class. Hannah Clack is a lyrical genius as well as being a fantastic singer. It was a joy to hear the songs played out live again and the new song My Baby sounded amazing. Out of the songs that were sung my favourite had to be The Black Lodge. I was actually surprised that Cold Hard Rock did not feature.

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