This is my final review from Camden Rocks Festival 2018. You can read the rest of the reviews from the series at the following links:
Part 1 – Dirty Thrills, 10 Gauge: https://realrockandroll.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/highlights-from-camden-rocks-festival-2018/
Part 2 – Black Sixteen, Katalina Kicks: https://realrockandroll.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/highlights-from-camden-rocks-festival-2018-part-2/
Part 3 – Cavalcade, Bryde: https://realrockandroll.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/highlights-from-camden-rocks-festival-2018-part-3/
There were lots of clashes of bands I wanted to see from 5 p.m. This year’s line-up was truly incredible and I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch all my favourites.
There was one band that I really wanted to catch, however, October Drift – because I’d seen them supporting The Slow Readers Club a couple of weeks ago but had only arrived in time to hear one song. They’d made an impression on me though and I had a feeling it would be a great gig.
October Drift played at The Hawley Arms at 5.15. I had to make my way along a crowded Camden High Street after leaving The Black Heart. There are so many people out and about in Camden on a Saturday, even without the Camden Rocks Festival going on. You have to do a lot of rushing around to different venues when you’re at Camden Rocks and battle your way through the Saturday shoppers and tourists 🙂
When I got to The Hawley Arms, the upstairs venue was absolutely packed. I found a space near the back. As there’s no stage, I couldn’t see the band, just the backs of people’s heads. I could hear the awesome music being played by October Drift and even though I couldn’t see a thing, I was still happy to stay there and listen. As I looked around it made me think of other festivals I’ve been to, outdoor ones, where often you’re in the middle of a crowd of people quite far from the stage with limited views. Some people in The Hawley Arms had their mobiles up high while they filmed the band over everyone’s heads. One man had a phone with a large screen, so I was able to see the band playing on his phone while he filmed it. It reminded me of the screens that they have at arenas, and large outdoor festivals. With the ambient music being played and the sun streaming through the windows, it really felt like a true festival experience, but instead of being outside in a field it was upstairs in a pub in Camden 🙂
Everyone was enjoying the music. October Drift have such a mellow and mesmerising sound.
The singer, Kiran Roy, came out into the audience a couple of times and also stood on a bench or chair to sing sometimes so he was visible to more of the crowd. Some of the other band members were also standing on objects I couldn’t see, perhaps chairs, so that the crowd would get a view at times.
This band definitely needed a larger venue. They are very popular. I heard many people in the audience talking about them, about having seen them supporting Editors, for example, and others were saying how much they like their sound.
One of my highlights of the show was when the band played “Lost”. The singer stood on a bench for part of the time to sing that one, and also walked into the crowd. I’d never heard the song before but really enjoyed it.
This was the one Camden Rocks gig I went to where I didn’t get any photos or videos to show you, but I did manage to find a video on Youtube of “Lost” from the gig (you can see my hair in the crowd at around 0:44 -0:46 😂).
I don’t have a set list, so am not sure of the names of the songs October Drift played. They did play their excellent new single, “All Broken Down”, however. That was one I had heard before.
It was a memorable gig. This is definitely a band to watch. They’ll be filling out arenas in no time if they carry on like this. Try to catch them live if you can.
Hands Off Gretel
I was looking forward to seeing them again. They’ve added a fourth member to the band now, bassist Becky Baldwin.
They were playing at Fest (formerly Proud Camden) at 6:30 p.m. Their set was about 45 minutes long and it was fantastic. Here’s a video of one of the songs they played at the festival that I found on Youtube.
As you can see from the footage, this band are extremely popular. They always attract a large crowd when they play Camden Rocks. There were lots of people jumping up and down and singing along to the songs.
This is a band that obviously love what they do and their energy is contagious. The lead singer, Lauren Tate, has a real rock star aura. I always enjoy watching Hands Off Gretel. Each of the band members has their own unique way of adding something special to the performance, and I think the new addition fits in well and complements the band.
The band played a new song that they’ve just written. I can’t remember the name of it but it sounded great! They also did a cover of “Outtathaway” – The Vines.
I don’t have a full set list, but it included “Bad Egg”, “Be Mine”, and “Awfully Miserable”.
Hands Off Gretel are a band who always leave you with a smile on your face.
I had planned on seeing a couple more bands afterwards, but they were on the other side of town and my feet were aching from walking (and sometimes running!) up and down Camden Town, and also I was hungry because of not really stopping for any food along the way, so I decided to call it a day. It had been a wonderful day of music. Hands Off Gretel were a perfect headliner to wrap up the festival for me!
Next year Camden Rocks Festival with be on Saturday 1st AND Sunday 2nd June 2019!! A 2-day festival. You can book tickets now and there are limited Super Early Bird tickets available. Get yours here: https://camdenrocks.seetickets.com/event/camden-rocks-festival-2019/various-camden-venues-london/1233793
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