I had an absolutely amazing time at Camden Rocks Festival. I was able to see 13 bands throughout the day! There were so many great bands playing the festival, it was impossible to see all of the ones I would have liked to see, but it was just an awesome experience.
Because I saw so many bands, I think I will review the day in a few parts so that each of the bands gets a decent mention.
I was at Camden Rocks Festival last year and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to this year’s day of rock 🙂 .
There were so many bands on the schedule that I would have liked to have seen. I made a plan before going and mostly stuck to that, but I also managed to find a new favourite band. More about that later.
Yesterday morning, I arrived at The World’s End pub to collect my wristband and the handy festival guide, which shows where all the venues are and what bands are playing where and at what time.
My first choice of band was Tokyo Taboo. They were playing at The Monarch, I was familiar with the venue as I saw Florence Black play there during last year’s Camden Rocks Festival.
I’ve been following Tokyo Taboo online ever since hearing their track “Make It Out Alive”, which I featured as Track of the Day, last August.
Before they got on stage, I managed to take a snap of the set list 🙂
They started the set with the awesome “Make It Out Alive”. This track is especially relevant in the uncertain times we live in today. One thing I love about this band’s music is how they tackle important questions and are not afraid to state their opinion on the state of the world. Dolly Daggerz (singer) was wearing a “Corbyn” T-shirt and asked anyone who wasn’t sure who to vote for to vote Labour.
From the beginning of the show until the end, the band played with ferocious energy. They definitely know how to entertain a crowd and get the party started. It was the perfect start to the Camden Rocks Festival for me.
Here’s a video of one of the songs I found on the band’s Facebook page:
For the song “Drowning”, Dolly Daggerz asked the crowd to sit down, and she ventured into the crowd and sat facing the stage. She sang the whole song while sitting there.
By the way, congratulations to Dolly and guitarist Mike, who are getting married this week! 🙂
I couldn’t have hoped for a better band to start Camden Rocks Festival. I enjoyed the whole set and would highly recommend you go and see them if you like rock/punk.
They’ll be playing a show at Camden’s Black Heart on 29th June 2017. Check out the Facebook event page for details: https://www.facebook.com/events/231542213984789
Buy/stream the album: http://smarturl.it/6SP?IQid=youtube
Follow the band:
Tokyo Taboo finished at 1 p.m., and I had to run across the road to Proud Camden to catch the next band on my list, the fabulous Sisteray.
I saw this band for the first time in April this year and loved their performance. If you missed my review you can read it HERE.
Their show at Proud Camden was fantastic. They are definitely one of my favourite live bands at the moment. Their 30 minute set included the whole of their recent release “15 Minutes”, which is exactly 15 minutes long. It’s a brilliant EP. It includes their single “Queen’s English”.
Sisteray are another band who wear their heart on their sleeve politically. One of the band was wearing a ‘Team Corbyn” T-shirt.
You can still get the vinyl version via Vallance Records: http://www.vallancerecords.com/shop
The EP is also available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/15-minutes-ep/id1220376243
Stream on Spotify.
Sisteray also played their track “Gentrification”, which was recently featured on the Northern Exposure album. This band’s music sounds great on record and live. Definitely a must-see band.
See the Facebook event page for all the details: https://www.facebook.com/events/206055389914367/
Hands Off Gretel
When I arrived at the festival to collect my wristband in the morning, someone handed me a flyer about Hands Off Gretel. Much like Alice in Wonderland, I was curious 🙂 . I had definitely heard of this band but never listened to any of their music. I knew they were popular, though. They were playing at 2 p.m. at The Underworld.
2 p.m. was one of the times in the day when there were clashes of bands I wanted to see (Bad Touch and Screaming Eagles) and I hadn’t decided which band to see, so instead I decided to go and check out Hands Off Gretel. I’m glad I did!
When I got to The Underworld I found that it was packed full of fans; I hadn’t realised just how popular this band were. They probably could have filled a venue twice the size.
After watching their performance I can totally understand why! They are like the new Nirvana with a female singer. I loved their show and will definitely be looking out for their music and any future gigs. The lead singer is amazing, a real star, and the whole band have that cutting edge quality that a band like this needs.
I wouldn’t be able to tell you which songs they played as I’m not familiar with their music but they all sounded great.
When their show finished after the alloted 30 minutes the fans were crying out for one more song. Unfortunately, due to the strict time slots at the festival it wasn’t possible.
They have an album out, “Burn The Beauty Queen”, a copy of which I’ve just ordered from their website.
It was great to discover a new favourite band at the festival. 🙂
Follow Hands Off Gretel:
This artist was one in my list that I was most looking forward to see at the festival. Willow Robinson has an amazing voice and has produced 2 awesome EPs.
I’d been planning to leave the 2 p.m. band with enough time to make it to The Hawley Arms where Willow was playing, but after being blown away by Hands Off Gretel’s performance and also having to wait in line to leave the crowded venue after their show, I was running a bit late. It had started getting hot in Camden and I ended up having to run half the way to the pub where Willow Robinson was playing! I’m glad I went, though. It was a stunning performance.
I arrived about 10 minutes into his half-hour set. I really enjoyed his gig. It was just what I needed to bring a bit of calm into the day. He has a mesmerising voice and he charmed the crowd with his guitar playing.
Follow Willow Robinson:
The only downside of a festival like this is that there is no time really to spend a bit more time at each venue and perhaps purchase a CD or T-shirt from the artists. After Willow Robinson’s performance, I had to set off for another imminent gig that was to start at 3 p.m. I’ll tell you more about that in Part 2 🙂