Friday, 7 May 2010

Camden Crawling Commentary and Crap....

'What should such fellows as I do, crawling between earth and heaven.' ~William Shakespeare

This update is a two parter y'all! And I promise never to use y'all ever again (unless I feel it necessary)! I journeyed to the Camden Crawl based in, hey look at that, Camden last weekend thanks to a PR based best friend and acquired some media passes, so I could do some justice to the glut of gigs and array of artists performing over the weekend at a host of venues, big and small, across Camden. I will begin, in a way that makes some sense, with the bands witnessed on Saturday!


Thanks to our superb socialising skills, we managed to befriend a VIP who passes onto us some tickets for the Roundhouse, which is a ticketed event even with the Camden Crawl wristbands. So, we thought why not begin our wonderfully eclectic weekend with a trip to see the Sugababes!

But it was not the Sugababes. A late entrance bought onstage three women who act more as a tribute band, trotting out wonderful pop songs that they had little to no part in creating. They can sing and they don't look half bad in their outfits, but i'd prefer the original 'One Touch' line up in front of me. So we make a swift exit....

'Overload' video (still the best slice of Sugababes...)


I have always had an affinity for the 1960s school of pop rock, circa The Byrds, The Zombies et al. Psych pop group Race Horses bring back the memories of flowery shirts and flouncing rhythms in a wondrous form, performing at the Jazz Cafe.

The Kinks style 'Cake' and the delightful falsetto that rings through 'Pony', with the frontman Meilyr Jones squealing 'I want to be your poooony', are so joyous, it is hard not to bop a limb somewhere along the way. I want someone to give them their own TV show and see them become the new Monkees. Dedicating songs to the merchant navy, screeching through a vocoder and strumming up some cosmic bleeps, there is nothing Race Horses won't delve into, and it all comes together rather remarkably at the finale of every track.

'Goodbye Falkenburg', their debut album as Race Horses is out and I will be making a purchase asap.

Race Horses' Myspace


Remaining at the Jazz Cafe, a venue that bleeds unadulterated bliss and cool, for Best Coast, we took some balcony based seats to gain an overview of the venue, stage and band.

The stark, dark Best Coast are all attitude and they mostly pull it off. West coast dusk settles over the Jazz Cafe as they pile their way through the low key, lo-fi 'Make You Mine' and a wonderfully dreary cover of 'That's The Way Boys Are'. They stumble along with a high effort laziness and sleaze, reminding me of a 1950s grunge movement that never happened.

The grumbling voice of Bethany Cosentino sidles alongside the rumbling music to craft a sound that will, fingers crossed, produce an amazing upcoming album release. And for some reason, perhaps encouraged by the 50s emotion sweeping throughout the band, I can smell a burger bar, cooking up delicious west coast quarter pounders...I had to make do with McDonalds...

Best Coast's Myspace


We stayed put for a few ditties from the duo Slow Club, hearing good things and being suitable impressed by the simple but effective harmonies concocted within the softly spoken indie pop jangles. A drunken audience ruined some of the atmosphere of the quiet Slow Club, who deserved more hush. Oh and Charles wore an awesome Steve Zissou hat...

We moved on to catch Teenage Fanclub, deciding to catch Slow Club at their own gig soon, which promises a jawdropping line up of new bands in Veronica Falls, Spectrals and Summer Camp.

Slow Club's Myspace


Teenage Fanclub are a band with something of a historical alt rock following, so I feel somehow ashamed to admit I knew little of their work before investigating them prior to the Crawl. Working on their ninth album, they headlined at the Koko, although it wasn't quite what I expected.

I listened to a few songs before heading to the capital city and fell into a mini-lust with their original EP 'Everything Flows'. However, I suppose 19 years can change a band and the group onstage didn't show the oomph I was looking forward to after hearing the 1991 ep. Moments of emphatic exuberance burst forth from the tremendous Koko stage but it was all a little dull at times, despite the packed house. I feel some of the sound lost its way through the crowds and framework of the building and the laidback attitude didn't quite notch itself up to exciting music.

We trudged back to catch a last train in the rainfall that beset Camden on the Saturday eve, soggy and shattered from the crawling (and drinking) we undertook...


Some non-Camden based Musical Moresomes (more crap basically)...
Albums out over the next week or so that you should buy include;
  • 'Total Life Forever' by Foals [math rock gone all literary and rogue (and better)]
  • ''Nothing Hurts' by Male Bonding [party metal fuzzing along with a growl]
  • 'Together' by The New Pornographers [Canadian supergroup powerpop indie]
  • 'The Latin' by Holy Fuck [Meandering electronica experiments...]

Thats about all we have time for boys and girls but tune in next time (sometime next week) for the second part of my Camden Crawling Crap special!!!!!

Peace out homeboys (and girls)

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