Thursday, 13 May 2010

Camden Crawling Commentary and Crap... (Part Deux)

'Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.' ~Maya Angelou

Here is the much belated second part of my Camden Crawl experience, as I stumbled around on a Sunday through a heady mix of booze and bands...


Arriving at Camden around half an hour before bands were due to really kick off the evening events, we headed to the VIP bar to drink/starspot/soak up some atmosphere. I have never felt more alt-celebrity in my life. Flanked by Rox, Vivian Girls and Comanechi (trying to blag free drinks), whilst We Are Scientists played a secret, mini, acoustic set above my heads...

I could get used to this...

We headed downstairs to see Male Bonding at Dingwalls, a shabby cesspit of a venue (which is a compliment, trust me) where I had previously seen a young Miss Marling at my previous Crawl in '07.

Male Bonding fire off aggression in precise and compact blasts of music, shattering the hush of a packed room. The grunge punk ethos lies at the heart of the trio of masculine musical combatants onstage and they know how to grab attention and then punch attention in the face. Noise and movement take hold of the band with the likes of 'Nothing Hurts' rousing feelings of bile and lust in equal measure. An impressive debut album awaits on a shelf somewhere for you to go and listen...

Male Bonding's Myspace


Next up was the wonderfully named Gold Panda at the awesomely cramped conditions of the Barfly. Nothing short of a superb sonic assault ensued upon the jam packed, sweaty room, with a little space for some jerky dancing for the few taken over by the spirit of electro. Concussive vibrations and a shattering of any silence that could occur in the waves of noise that Mr Panda emanated, wearing a sinister panda hat atop his head (I WANT ONE...)

The indian base of 'Quitters Raga' imbues a dreamlike electronic sense, showcasing the talent for mixing and sampling embodied in the constantly shuffling and regenerating rota of tracks in the arsenal of Gold Panda. Great one eyed monsters of light swooped and dove over the audience as the speakers pulsated, sending the audience away dazed, confused but gloriously satisfied.

Gold Panda's Myspace


A trip to the Roundhouse with new and old friends alike to see Stornoway, an act I had checked out previously and held some small promise for after hearing a few catchy tracks here and there on the interweb. I was expecting calm melody and hum-a-long riffs scattered to-and-fro.

Instead, I got Coldplay meets Mumford & Sons minus any possibly decent hooks and interest. The band looked bored, the crowd looked bored and my interest was solely in the two drinks my best bud had decided to purchase for us. Two PINTS of white wine... [PICTURED...]

The mixture of forgettable music and slowly vanishing wine made up my mind, leading to a swift exit into the Camden night.


My last band of Camden Crawl came in the form of Veronica Falls at the nifty little Blues Cafe. The foursome trot out an impressive set of lo-fi loveliness in muffled tones and fuzzy murmurs. 'Found Love In A Graveyard' is somehow rollicking in its slow, low key fumbling method and the hopping bop and chant behind 'Starry Eyes' buzzes the Camden Crawl to a beautifully serene finale. Until next time....

Veronica Falls' Myspace


Some Mid-May Musical Moresomes (more crap basically)...

Albums out over the next week or so that you should buy include;
  • 'Sea of Cowards' by The Dead Weather [Jack White et al grind and grit their way through a second record]
  • 'Here's To Taking It Easy' by Phosphorescent [American folk that shuffles and moseys its way into your mind]
  • 'Infinite Arms' by Band of Horses [More beardy Americana, desolate and authentic]

Byeeeeeeeeeeee...keep your ears open and your mind wiiiide open....

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