Camden Crawl 2010 – Day 2

7 May
Following on from a Saturday that saw me see a lot more than I had expected, karma got its own back on Sunday.

We arrived at Camden slightly later due to watching football in a Highgate battle cruiser. By the time we got to Camden, the first bands had started. I was really keen to see Gaggle at the Electric Ballroom but realised that by the time we made it there from the Roundhouse, we’d only see one tune at the most. So, to make up for not going the day before, we went to Nandos instead. This made me very happy indeed! 

We thoroughly enjoyed our peri-peri experience but we also questioned whether the sauce bottle labels had been switched because after a few minutes, both of us were unable to speak. I like it hot but this was too hot. Nevertheless, the food eased our hangovers from the night before massively and we were ready for another night of music and fun. 

The first stop was to see Gold Panda at the Barfly but whilst there was no queue to get into the Barfly, the queue to get upstairs was stretching out into the downstairs bar and knowing the size of upstairs, Gold Panda would’ve had to have bombed so badly that he emptied the place before we could even get in. Gutted. It was the first act of the weekend that I really wanted but didn’t get to see. 

I checked the schedule for somewhere else and decided to head to the Enterprise an hour or so early in order to catch Tubelord. As we left the bar, we were treated to this indie classic: 

With our mouths still on fire from the chicken, we decided to get some chewing gum to ease the burn. Which resulted in me and my girlfriend throwing chewing gum puns back at each other. The best one? “Very inCHEWative”. But I’ll give you an EXTRA one as well… “Let’s get a wrigley’s on”. You had to be there really. 

We arrived at a PACKED Enterprise (the pub that is, not the starship) and both myself and the missus were still thinking of chewing gum puns and didn’t speak for a good few minutes. As we made our way from the bar to the queue to go upstairs, I shuffled through holding my girlfriend’s hand so not to lose her. I don’t really know how it happened but I turned around to notice that I wasn’t holding my girlfriend’s hand at all, instead, I was holding the hand of a rather scared looking lady. She loved it really though I’m sure. 

We waited for what seemed like an age for upstairs to empty so we could go up to watch Tubelord. Annoyingly, by the time we got up there, we realised that we had 45 minutes to wait and no bar available to us upstairs. So, we decided to make a move somewhere else. Waiting around in a room doing nothing for 45 minutes when there’s so much more going on elsewhere seemed a bit foolish. I’ll see Tubelord again before too long I am sure. 

So, by this point, we’d been in Camden for almost three hours and not seen anyone play! Fortunately though, because we’d crammed in so much the night before, we weren’t too fussed. 

We headed up to the other end of Camden to the Purple Turtle to catch the Birmingham trio Calories, a band that I’ve been keen on for quite a while. They have some great tunes but they seemed somewhat annoyed at the lack of crowd reaction they were receiving which impacted their performance somewhat. It was highly shambolic and the band seemed a little worse for wear – they do have a heap of energy though, I’ll give them that. It just didn’t really feel like the right venue, crowd or time for them. 

It was at this point that we decided to nip across the road to catch a bit of Roots Manuva at Koko before heading back to the Purple Turtle to catch The Jim Jones Revue for a bit of 50s rock n’ roll action. 

I bumped into a mate on the way into Koko who told me in a rather hyperactive fashion that he just met Pete Doherty somewhat non-sober (shock horror!) outside Burger King on Camden High Street having unsuccessfully managed to break into a closed McDonalds a minute or so previously. Being the pun obsessives that I am, I instantly came out with “Was he trying to buy a Big Smack?”. Oh come on, at least laugh at one of my jokes for crying out loud! 

Roots (or Mr Manuva) was one of the best performances I saw over the weekend (second to Wild Palms the night before). Koko was rammed. I’ve never seen it so busy in the countless numbers of times that I’ve been there in the past. Absolutely sterling performance as you’d expect for Mr Manuva who seemed genuinely touched by the amazing reception he was given. 

We then discussed that Mr Manuva sounds a little bit like “missed a maneuver”. Did you pass your driving test? “No, I missed a maneuver”. Again, I laughed. Nobody else did. 

As we were leaving Koko, I overheard a girl with a media pass complaining about not being able to go into Koko front entrance. All she had to do was walk ten feet to the side of the building (where there was no queue) and she scoffed “Oh, this is ridiculous, I’m supposed to be VIP”. I had no idea who she was, which I may or may not have said to her out loud as I walked by. 

Racist cocktail!

Back over to the Purple Turtle for an aggressive (and somewhat arousing) frisk and The Jim Jones Revue who were brilliantly explosive. They’re such a fun band to watch. Sure, they’re not doing anything original as such but if you want fun rock n’ roll then they are the band for you. Obviously, I was too young to go and see the likes of Chuck Berry, Little Richard and The Sonics back in the day – these guys are the closest and next best thing. 

As I was enjoying their set, I noticed a lady to my left who looked exactly like Pauline Calf. Was Steve Coogan out enjoying the Camden Crawl on the sly? I wonder… 

When they played this tune, my girlfriend asked: “Why are they singing about cheese?” Hahahaha. She’s funnier than me sometimes, she really is. 

Yuck: not as blurry in real life.

After telling the man in the gents that I had no change (a lie) we departed the Purple Turtle and headed to Camden Rock to catch the amazing and hotly tipped shoegaze indie-poppers Yuck perform a midnight set. I was somewhat surprised at how quiet the venue was considering they’ve been receiving hype from pretty much everyone recently. They didn’t disappoint. For a band that probably doesn’t have a single pubic hair between them, they sure do know how to write beautiful tunes. Yuck are doing a nationwide support with the mindblowing Times New Viking soon. If you have tickets to any of their shows, you’d be a bit of a fool not to get there early. Yuck? More like “Mmmm”. 

Obvious comparisons can be made to the likes of Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine (which is no bad thing) but they’re also a band that sound fresh and exciting. Expect big things to come from them – although, I’ve gotta admit, the name doesn’t really give the right impression. That said, neither did Arctic Monkeys… 

As we left, and being slightly drunk, I decided to make a rather cheeky comment to a girl walking towards me in the street. I had to dodge her as she stomped towards me rather aggressively. As I did a jaunty hop out of her way I said in a Russell Brand-esqe tone “Oooo, you got in my way young lady! Naughty naughty”. Her reaction was pretty hilarious. Not getting that I was clearly joking, she chased me down the road yelling abusive language and telling me that she would “fill me in”. I’m not sure what she meant by that. She looked nothing like Craig David and I look nothing like an empty baguette. Anyway, I tried to explain to her that I was joking and told her to get a sense of humour. This only angered her further and she stormed towards me. Her boyfriend came over, rolled his eyes and dragged her away given me a look as if to say “Sorry mate, she does this a lot” as they walked off. 

It made me chortle and rounded off the weekend perfectly. We had rain, queues, great music and a bloody good time. Same time next year? Yes, but only if I don’t have to pay. I would feel a bit cheated had I paid. The organisation is erratic at best and I would feel rather ripped off. I often think that the venues should overlap their times a little bit to prevent surges of people all leaving venues at the same time. I wouldn’t mind seeing ten minutes of one band and nipping somewhere else. I think a lot of people would be happy to do this as well. It would perhaps ease the queues a little bit too. 

Am I moaning about queues again? Yes indeed I am. Typical British lad me…

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