To view part one click here.
After a very exciting Saturday, Londontheinside returned to The Camden Crawl on Sunday desperate for more music, more new bands, and possibly a little less cider. First up were the wonderful PEGGY SUE in the sun on the roof terrace of The Roundhouse. Floaty, dreamy and atmospheric, it’s easy to get lost in their ethereal sound. It’s difficult to create an atmosphere at an outdoor gig at the best of times, so to achieve this so early in the day is praise indeed. Ostensibly a three piece band, they doubled in size when joined by a violinist, cellist and bassist but they are at there most powerful when stripped back to the basics of just two guitars and drums. Genuinely lovely.
7/10 – Download: ‘Yo Mama’
Immediately following them on the same stage was DRY THE RIVER and I wish there was something positive I could say about them, but unfortunately their dreary tediousness sent me into a 45 minute boredom-induced coma. Apparently they’re off to America soon. Good.
2/10 – Download: Don’t bother.
The third and final band we saw at The Roundhouse were the delightful 2.54. There is very much a vogue this year for female led psych-rock bands and 2.54 might be the best of the bunch. Led by London-based sisters Hannah and Collette Thurlow, they stand a realistic chance of being the British version of Warpaint. Hannah is a glamorous focal point and both her and Collette are genuinely talented guitarists.
8/10 – Download: ‘Creeping’
Next up we headed down to the Red Bull outdoor stage to catch Odd Future/OFWGKTA/Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, call them what you will, but just make sure you do so from a safe distance. Ostensibly three aggressive rappers and a DJ, they combine the hardcore elements of gangsta rap and punk to make easily the most visceral show of the weekend.
Working as a security guard at a gig must be a nightmare with drunk punters and crowd surfers, but working at a OFWGKTA gig must be hell on earth, with the security staff repeatedly suffering a barrage of abuse from the stage by the band who encouraged the audience to surge over the barriers and overwhelm the security, which eventually ended in a mass stage invasion. The band also have little to no regard for their own personal safety, with Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt climbing to the top of the 18-foot speaker stacks for half the set. Earl even dived from the top straight towards the crowd; it was a miracle no one was hurt, but it made for an outstanding spectacle!
Lyrically and thematically, the content is misogynistic and violent and uses language that would make Malcolm Tucker blush. Still, in the context of an intensely aggressive rap act it works and there is undoubtedly a market for it. Just don’t take your grandmother with you.
7/10 – Download: ‘Yonkers’
Fifth band of the day was the riff-tastic DINOSAUR PILE UP at Koko. Kicking their set off in emphatic style with the magnificent ‘Barce-Loner’ and ripped through most of their magnificent debut album Growing Pains. A power trio consisting of vocalist guitarist Matt Bigland, bassist Harry Johns and drummer Mike Sheils, they play good old-fashioned rock music in the mould of Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. The quiet/loud dynamic hints at a grunge influence, and with most of their songs clocking in at around 3 minutes, the set zips along at pace. Great fun and full of adrenaline, definitely one to watch this year.
9/10 – Download: ‘Barce-Loner’
Next up, we headed to the Black Cap to catch SISSY AND THE BLISTERS. A tiny stage in a cramped venue makes for an excellent atmosphere and their psychedelic garage-rock really got the crowd going. James Geard is a very charismatic frontman with a booming baritone voice and skinny flailing limbs. The spooky organ lines and retro guitar riffs built up through the set to a crescendo that found Geard thrashing around in the crowd, with the band and the audience totally immersed in what was a great show.
8/10 Download: ‘We Are The Others’
THE HISTORY OF APPLE PIE have a great reputation as this year’s next-big thing, so we went along to catch their show at the Dublin Castle. Given their online hype and the clips we’ve seen, the performance was slightly less than we were expecting. Not that they’re a bad band, in fact they’re very good, but when the buzz surrounding a band is as big as this, they need to deliver and this felt slightly lacklustre. Stephanie Min is a captivating singer, coquettish, wide-eyed innocence which contrasts brilliantly with the distorted fuzzed-out feedback of the guitars. They’ve captured the distinctive Californian sound despite being from London, and we’d definitely recommend that you catch these guys and make your mind up for yourself.
6/10 – Download: ‘You’re So Cool’
Seven bands down, three more to go, and we head to the Purple Turtle to catch Reading’s PETE AND THE PIRATES in what was one of the most packed shows of the weekend. The bar was full to capacity as vocalist Tom Sanders led his boys out to a thunderous welcome. Fans of The Futureheads will particularly enjoy their brand of indie-pop-punk, well written melodies and hooks galore.
8/10 – Download: ‘Come To the Bar’
We stayed in the Purple Turtle primarily to catch North-Eastern four piece THE CHAPMAN FAMILY, but also because by now the cider has made us feel a bit funny. Dressed all in black, the band cut a menacing presence on stage. The ferocity of their post-punk buzz-saw riffs and ferociousness with with the lyrics were delivered clearly infected the crowd, the front few rows wer as animated as any other show we saw. They whipped through most tracks from new album ‘Burn Your Town’, a particular highlight was new single ‘Anxiety’. One of the most consistently brilliant bands of the weekend, their meticulously high standards permeated the whole set. If you like your rock hard, then make sure you check these guys out on their next tour.
9/10 – Download: ‘Anxiety’
The Kentish Town forum is a wonderful venue that has hosted some fantastic gigs over the years. This was not one of them. Hadouken! were the final band of the weekend, appearing at midnight on the second day of the Crawl and not many people lasted the course, meaning a mostly empty venue and a less than electric atmosphere.
Two things became apparent tonight. Firstly that their reputation is based solely on their earliest recordings. When they became internet sensations back in 2007 they sounded incredibly relevant but now references to Myspace just sound dated. Secondly, it was also apparent how much the band depend on synth player Alice Spooner. Without her the show would have descended for merely disappointing to cringingly abject.
In their defence, the few old songs they played were well received. ‘Get Smashed Gatecrash’ is still a party anthem and the lyrics to ‘That Boy That Girl’ still sound witheringly cutting. It will take a comeback bigger than Lazarus for Hadouken! to recover their lost potential.
5/10 – Download: ‘That Boy That Girl’