It’s been looking suspiciously summery these past few weeks, which can only mean that festival season must soon be upon us.
Starting things in some style, next weekend sees the Camden Crawl once more descending on, a hopefully sun-kissed, North London and making hordes of jaded indie fans fall in love with Camden all over again. Bands will be performing all weekend long in any nook or cranny where there’s room to swing a guitar. From established venues like the Dublin Castle and KOKO to tiny pubs and the occasional living room, the streets will thrum with the sound of eager musos seeking out new sounds while desperately trying to avoid the queues.
After a successful debut as a participating venue last year, the Roundhouse returns to host an MTV stage this year. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that entrance is only guaranteed with an additional purchase of a 6.50 pass per show on top of the normal 34.50 day ticket, or 55 weekend option.
It’ll make use of its status as the largest available space to house the most populist end of the Crawl’s lineup spectrum. For its Saturday afternoon show, Professor Green joins that modern-day ‘Ship of Theseus’ the Sugababes and Calvin Harris while the evening show sees Plan B and Pendulum take the stage. On the Sunday, The Blackout and Lostprophets line up for the afternoon show, while Stornoway and We Are Scientists play the evening slot.
Away from those weighty, if firmly mainstream, names, Camden Town high street will host a plethora of more esoteric acts in more intimate venues, just waiting to be discovered. In total, 20 venues will be taking part, with events from midday each day until four the following morning, so it’s handy that the Monday is a Bank Holiday. As is their wont, the Crawl won’t be revealing exactly where and when any acts will be playing until the day.
We do know, however, that among the acts on Saturday will be legendary former Creation Records band Teenage Fanclub, expected to be previewing material from their forthcoming record Shadows. Also catching the eye that day are perennial art amateur Billy Childish with his Musicians of the British Empire, noise merchants Pulled Apart By Horses and folk-rock duo Slow Club. Although there’s something for everyone amongst the sprawling lineup, so perhaps Ms Dynamite or New Young Pony Club may be more to your taste?
On Sunday, there are a couple of legends heading up the bill in the shape of London’s own Roots Manuva and pioneering post-punkers Gang of Four. The line-up’s also a treat for those looking for poetic eloquence with both Speech Debelle and Lightspeed Champion waxing lyrical. However, the real joy of the Crawl is in uncovering the cult heroes of tomorrow, so it’s worth seeking out forward thinkers like Drums Of Death and YACHT.
In an attempt to ease the traffic caused by the eagerest ears in London, a host of acts will play both days. Among those offering you two bites of the cherry are Boy Better Know‘s grime superstar Skepta, presumably well-spoken songstress Eliza Doolittle and the much-hyped Crystal Fighters.
As well as the music, they’ll be lots more on offer over the weekend. They’ll be comedy and theatre as well as spoken word, including acts from the always reliable BookSlam team.
We will of course once again be there for the duration, wearing out our shoes from Mornington Crescent to Chalk Farm in search of the very best the Crawl has to offer, from established legends to up-and-comers. Why not come along and see what you can find?