By Nick Levine (@nicklevine)
When planning the itinerary for last weekend’s festival of music and culture, it is surprising that despite being a resident of Camden, I have not heard of a number of participating venues taking place at the Crawl.
The journey on Saturday starts late in the afternoon at the Electric Ballroom to see Denmark’s The Rumour Said Fire. Playing to a sparse but gradually filling up room, the band zip through songs from their debut album The Arrogant. Vocalist Søren Lilholt has something of Chris Martin about him due to his designer stubble, chord jacket, thinning hairline and battered acoustic guitar. Musically, The Rumour Said Fire are proponents with a pleasingly sound similar to that of Fleet Foxes, which may yet become camp fire sing-alongs in the future.
Next up, after a short stroll to the Monarch, Echo Lake have the crowd worshipping at the feet of their sonic cathedral. Rolling back the years to the early ninties with their shoegazing sound, they may be revivalists but when the songs are this good it doesn’t really matter. Former single ‘Another Day’ is a particular stand out, and features soaring Nico-esque vocals across a reverb heavy sound.
Over at Camden Rock, Jehst are working a pretty rambunctious crowd. If anything, they prove the naysayers wrong in their claims that the Crawl is only about indie music. With their unique blend of social dissatisfaction and Brit Hop, they are the heir to Plan B’s voice of the working class. Meanwhile, Icona Pop, the act which follows have a bratty pop sound which harks back to Mel & Kim. Despite a mixed set, future single ‘I Love It’ is a huge electro pop anthem in waiting for drunken dancefloors the land over. The night ends at The Enterprise to see the much vaunted Bastille. Squeezed into a humid and huddled venue, the band have an indie electro sound, and alongside their original material play a couple of covers of nineties Euro pop songs.
Sunday starts at The Lock Tavern to see new Wall Of Sound signing Echoes. Their big electro ballads go down with the punters as well as the Sunday roasts being served up. Heartbeat is a genuine anthem in waiting, and should be considered as a future candidate for England’s Eurovision entry. After a short stroll to St Michael’s church, we find Toy ripping through a set of prog influenced numbers. The setting is apt for them as their huge sound is complimented by the acoustics of the venue.
The Colonel Fawcett is one of the newer venues in Camden and on Sunday was hosted by Back To The Future Music. Highlights included the baggy stylings of Matter People, as well as Spacefight, a band at a very nascent stage but with their rock reggae sound definitely marking them out as an act to keep tabs on. The final stop of the evening was Micachu at the Jazz Café. Despite a very experimental sound, the room was packed to the rafters with a diverse audience. Cutting an androgynous figure, Micachu and her band played a set based on her debut Jewellery and forthcoming longplayer Nothing. Gaz Coombes at the Cuban was a show too far. All gigged out but satisfied, the only option was to return home for a much needed sleep.