After an almighty fry-up, 3 non-stop hours of Scrapheap challenge and a bus ride from hell we stumbled back into the Roundhouse to pick up the schedule for day two of the Camden Crawl 2010. After learning from our experience the day before. We felt wiser and at ease glancing over the running order while tucking into some street food delights courtesy of Camden Market. Those Emu Burgers, Seafood Paellas, Samosas, Chow Meins, Tagine’s and Argentinian steak burgers had no chance while we were around!
Refueled ready for a long day ahead we set sail for the Outdoor stage ignoring the bitterly cold wind and the radiating warmth of the pubs. It was a pleasant surprise to find out the trip was worthwhile as we were greeted by the lively Electro Dance duo Dan le Sac & Scroopious Pip.
Dan le Sac & Scroopious Pip
These guys really brightened up the cold air and got people moving with their club friendly grooves. Although we were all a bit too chilly to party like its 1999 it was an energetic enough to encourage us to check out their set later in the evening.
One of the most intense and insane live bands I’ve ever seen were at it again on the outdoor stage as we approached, post our failure to win comedy sunglasses and an assortment of condiments at rock’n’roll bingo. These guys music can be described as a trainwreck of alternative metal ideas warped with a keyboard twist. Its brash and heavy while guitars are massively complex and slightly jazzy. Where they fail is their vocals. Their firecracker young singer, who despite being a cutesy looking girl suddenly screams nonsense with menace in her eyes, making much of the set inaccessible to most of the crowd. Their new material however brings a more electro vibe and with more angelic clean vocals this could be a turn around for these young kids.
Post having our ears pummeled by Rolo we headed up, somewhat bitterly to the Roundhouse. This is because despite paying for your ticket to the festival, what organizers leave in the small print is the fact you need to buy ‘supplement’ tickets in order to see the festival headliners! What a scam! At £7 a go and 2 headline slots per night, you could end up paying an extra £28 to see bands you thought would see for free. Anything to get more money out of the gig going public!
Good job then that standing in the historic roundhouse that the next band up made the entry fee worthwhile. These Welsh post-harcdore titans played a highly charged set of big riffings, semi-screamed-semi-rapped vocals, epic choruses and all round loud fun!
Their duelling lead singers were pinballing about stage and only broke off to ply some comical between song banter. Crowd participation was high on their agenda leading sing-a-longs to their ballads (Save Our Selves, Top Of The World) and sparking mospits on STFUppercut & Said & Done.
During a mid-song interlude the crowd were instructed to all crouch down…nearly everyone obliged, a rare feat. When the power chords struck the telling bar, thousands of people leaping into the air was a sight to behold. This was a highly entertaining set from a band who have risen to the top fast, on performances like this you can see why.
Winner of the most popular Welsh post-hardcore band though has to go to the next band this evening, LostProphets. Their uncanny knack for writing cracking pop rock tunes which are at equally at ease on the radio as they are in the mosh pits. With a huge arsenal of hits they were firing them off at all angles to the constant pleasure of the crowd. Musically they were great and you can’t fault the songs, yet I expected more.
Having seen them at Reading festival in 2007, they were the welsh band pulling the crowd interaction stunts. Their connection with their audience was not ideal but with the quality of their music it’s only a small blip on an otherwise barnstorming show. Awards for best moshpits go to Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja, the most pogo’ing goes to Last Train Home.
Here the DoesItRock.net team parted ways… as I headed upstairs at Enterprise to check out a young band by the name of Tubelord, as others went mellowly to the sweet sounds of Emily Barker.
As I waited at the foot of the stairs I pondered whether or not I’d be able to get in given the huge queue that was milling around. Worry ye not as I finally ascended to the smallest venue of the weekend thus far. A tiny area no bigger than a living room with a micro stage and a superbly old sound man who clearly knew his stuff. Tubelord look as if their skipped school to be here but were all the better for it as they produced wildly off kilter rock with a firm grounding in sweet pop melodies.
Their sound was warm, as was their vocals, but these really need to be ampified greatly. Being 2 steps from the stage and not being able to hear the singer isn’t ideal. However when the drummer provided backing harmonies they band were at their best.Everybody in Enterprise were bouncing along (probably because the floor was like that of a bouncy castle…slightly unnerving) having a great time watching this band of immense potential.
Gang of Four
It was with great anticipation that we stood awaiting the return of the 70’s political post-punk rockers who have countless bands claiming them as major influences. With more smoke than a pro-cigarette convention, four outlines could be seen. Lead guitar and vocalist were clearly original band members. Knocking on the door of becoming OAP’s they looked very old in comparison to their youthful dread locked bassist. Still they were the ones who were to bring the ensuing chaos.
They played plenty of their well know hits like Natural’s Not In It, Anthrax, Not Great Men and Damaged Goods each bringing back the spirit of the 70’s disco-rock they helped form. I will say that playing these live sounded much harsher and less pop than their studio albums. It felt that in the run up to the General Election they were venting anger with their performance.
The real talking point would be the antics of lead singer Jon King. He was clearly on something more than a couple of pints of bitter. His eyes were manic and his stumbling was as shambolic as his persistence to destroy both mic stands he had available to him. His roadies were constantly running after him clearing up his debris. During Anthrax he decided to bring out a stage box with a microwave duct taped to it. He proceeded to play percussion on it using a metal baseball bat! A hugely charged political statement if ever i witnessed one.
Just to remind us they were of the 70’s ilk, guitarist Andy Gill decided to do a Pete Townsend and fling his guitar across stage after a feedback heavy interlude. This made the show even more gripping and like a good movie, it was hard to take your eyes off in case you missed anything!
Dan le Sac & Scroopious Pip
We ended the day back where we started it with some more clubbing tunes. This time the bass was heart pounding and the good time vibe was here in abundance. With pip dishing out some serious lyrics and le Sac turning his apple mac into a dance music workshop this really was an entertaining set. They really clicked here tonight and were rightly applauded for their efforts. Without a guitar is sight, this was very different act from my usual fodder, but no less enjoyable for it.
There was a lot of great talent on display this weekend of of that melee we can safely say that we had a great time! All that was said on the ride home was…”Who’s for next year?”