Camden Crawl 2012 // The 405 Preview (+ Editors Picks)
It's that time of the year again, ladies and gentlemen! Time to pack up the tent, get out the raincoats, wash that sleeping bag and test your strength with ten or so crates of something cheap and alcoholic. Well, unless you’re attending the first major festival of the summer that is, where you can just storm around some warm, cosy venues in North London, all with fully stocked bars and (this is the best bit) fully working toilets!
Camden Crawl is an annual amble, shuffle, saunter, rush, push, skip and (of course) crawl around a number of venues in the titular London borough famed for its markets, locks and the late, great Miss Winehouse. If you've been before, you know the fuss and fury and wonderful fever that grips the air at this time of year. Otherwise, you might be in for a treat…The Crawl plays host to around 300 artists and events over three days and multiple venues, from quizzes to bands to singalongs to dramatic performances to impromptu street parties (perhaps not officially, but pretty much a dead cert).
A number of top bands will headline venues across the weekend, including luminaries such as The Cribs, Alabama 3, The Futureheads, Death In Vegas, Glasvegas and The Raincoats, whilst a whole cavalcade of under-the-radar artists pile up beneath them. Bands to check out this year include Icona Pop, Actress, Niki & the Dove, Charli XCX, Theme Park, Three Trapped Tigers, Two Wounded Birds, Toy, Cymbals, Veronica Falls, Blacklisters, NZCA/Lines and way too many more to mention!
As well as a superb sonic barrage of live music, there are club nights presented by the likes of Last FM, Mary Anne Hobbs and Mistajam, comedy from the likes of The 99 Club and Crack Comedy and events such as the unmissable Hip Hop Karaoke and Musical Bingo. Everyone from Artrocker to 1234 to Moshi Moshi are curating stages and make sure you check out some Hip Hop Shakespeare and the International Alternative Press Festival. So, get your gladrags on and head to Camden this weekend. Let us at The 405 know you're going and you can buy us a lovely drink for letting you know all about it!
Tickets are still available via their website, with weekend tickets priced at £72.90 and day tickets at £42.65, at www.thecamdencrawl.com.
Editors Picks: Tim Boddy
Darren Cunningham was forced to face a soul-destroying decision at the tender age of 19 years old; to retire form professional football having signed for West Bromwich Albion. Out of that, we assume, the young man form Wolverhampton threw himself into the music world, becoming an obsessive Detroit techno and classic house fan. Thus starting a long musical journey full of broad inspiration, ultimately culminating in something of a masterpiece in 2010's Splazsh LP.
You are the sum of your parts as the theory goes, and from this elective background an equally elective and layered album was produced under the moniker of Actress, a myriad of influences bubbling under a hugely textured surface, that had critics struggling to define this extraordinary sound. This month sees the release of RIP (so called as he describes as feeling 'dead' whilst creating his tunes), featuring even further genre-twisting-hybrids and amorphous beats.
Recently he has soundtracked installations (at the Tate Modern), only to then assault dance floors such as Plastic People; so it'll be fascinating to see what he'll be serving up at CC.
Neu That's What I Call Music. Yes, I have been itching to use that weak pun in ages - perhaps not so weak for our Belfast-based readers though. The krautrock-indebted troupe are something of a buzz band, whatever that means, having garnered a pedal-thrashing load of attention from the music world with just the one release. But you know what? It's deserved.
The London-based quintet known as Toy have shared the stage on many an occasion with The Horrors, whilst also sharing a musical ethos in terms of dark synth-tones and hypnotic, metronomic rhythms. 'Left Myself Behind' demonstrates this marvellously (track of the year contender much?) - and is even more breathtaking in a live setting with a classic-krauty extend outro. So don't you miss 'em - especially as this time next year they'll be moving onto larger venues no doubt. Plus you can smugly tell your friends that you saw them when they were on the verge of something special.
Toronto has been a very useful friend to the music world, and once again the mighty city what flirts with the Northwestern shore of Lake Ontario is being a generous entity - giving us Odonis Odonis. The band is the brainchild of Dan Tzenos, and they create one helluva racket, a rich and scholared racket steeped in the throws of astute noise-rock influences. A barrage of misty-noise boasting the ethos of The Pixies bathed in the feedback of The Jesus and Mary Chain frothing with the acerbic bite of Big Black scream their way to the fore.
That's what debut-album Hollandaze showcased from the reverb-loving trio anywhat. The above description may sound as if they are rather overt in their plundering of 80's musical history, and you'd be right; however they do it so darn well, and with a menacing sui generis twist that makes them a thing of utter brooding excitement.
Some artists tend to opt for an amorphous, vague moniker. To eschew obfuscation, if you will. Though not all; Doran Edwards of Weird Dreams chose the name as he tends to, well, have lots of weird dreams. This feeds into the sounds of work to date, the David Lynch-inspired four-piece creating hazy, powerful yet vague pop melodies wrapped in a lucid mass of cotton wool.
Yeah, it's psychedelic-60's heavy - but not in any way trite or tired as can be; a rare verve and subversive element is present, with debut album Choreography a rewarding and sublime journey into the consciousness of varied noises. Soft guitars and dreamy (duh) vocals ebb their way across a lo-fi soundscape, with the result a very promising career start for the East-London lot.
Italian Beach Babes Records know their slacker noise-pop like a slacker knows their retro consoles. They also have quite a penchant for taking my money from me - as one knows whatever they put out will very much be worth your time; and that is very much true of the recent IBB release from Novella.
Hollie Warren and Suki Sou make-up Novella - both formally of Brighton though now plying their craft in the capital of England. To date the creators of delicious pop-nuggets have shared a stage with other such awesome acts as Veronica Falls (also playing CC), Old Forest, Female Band and Male Bonding. Yup, you can tell what you're gonna get - trashy guitars, cooing melodies - though laced in a vibrant psych-wallpaper. Go listen to 'Don't Believe Ayn Rand' if you know what's good for you (and a fine sentiment the title is too)
Get the Rory Atwell-produced EP via IBB here.
Editors Picks: Adam Parker
You remember we had that ‘80s revival’ around 8 years ago or so, I bet everyone born in the 70s felt damn old at all these young whippersnappers nodding heads to 80s electric pop beats and wearing legwarmers and other Madonna-based garments. Well, it’s our turn 90s kids…
With the likes of Yuck and The History of Apple Pie bringing back the early 90s shoegaze, we have bands like Peace bringing a Britpop flavour to the table. Alas, it is a lo-fi sort of Britpop, and altogether rather awesome. Check out the Brummies this weekend, strutting their stuff like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (90s reference, check.).
Fed up of all this indie schmindie, pandy wandy moping? Wanna just scream SHUT UP MORRISSEY at every wavering band this weekend? Well, get along to †HYMNS† (little crucifix daggers and all), who may well shout alongside you. The duo spawned off of the back of Blakfish, citing themselves as an atheist rock band (despite the secular moniker).
The music, however, is certainly a stomping sort of affair, utilising pounding drums that bash alongside compulsive riffs that get stuck in the rivets of your brain for weeks to come. I have a feeling they will be LOUD…
What? Another band with West coast indie vibes that come from London and sound like a hazy hipster summer in audio form? Well, yes. But wait! They’re pretty good!
Fanzine are a quartet whose attitude to the lo-fi, old school run through their very veins, from the name of the band (with the group selling fanzines at their early shows) to bedroom brand of recording that highlights the wailing guitar licks that recall Dinosaur Jr.
The Scandinavians are coming, the Scandinavians are coming! Is what I would shout if music was a war and I were a British soldier. The combined might of Finland, Sweden and Iceland are flexing their musical muscles with a rash of acts hitting our collective consciences at the moment. Simian Ghost are a quarter who have already had a splash of fame in their home country and are beginning their UK invasion.
Their new album, Youth, is a blissful adulation of adolescent vibes captured in the heat of a sunbeam. In other words, as soon as the sun hits and the festivals start, these guys are going to soundtrack A LOT of summer mix tapes (or USBs or playlists, or whatever the kids do nowadays).
Do you ever wonder what happened to that guy, from that band? Shaun Hencher was the front man of Lovers, a fuzzy punky act from a while back, but now, he goes by a wonderful nom-de-plume of Virals. It’s not a million miles from his previous life but it’s a 60s pop nugget nonetheless.
Debut single, Magic Happens, is a slow burning beach bum of a song and his new track, Coming Up With The Sun, speeds things up a lil’ bit. Grab a chance to see him before his inevitable Drums-like spiral through something-like-indie famedom.
What are you doing this bank holiday Sunday? What does one do on a bank holiday, besides the obvious and celebrate a day off for the banks? Well, cancel your day of celebration this Sunday, and make your way down/up/across to Bristol for Simple Things festival. [read more]