Last Saturday it was time for the annual party of great rock music, Camden Rocks Festival was one the cards!
The rock music festival takes over the whole of Camden Town with over 250 bands performing in 25 venues all over London’s most rocking borough.
First gig of the day was seeing London lads THECITYISOURS tear up the Devonshire Arms on Kentish Town Road.
The alternative four piece had quite the crowd in the small venue and especially considering the time of the day, the place was packed. THECITYISOURS (TCIO) went straight in for the kill and performed some material from their freshly released ‘Hollow Hope‘ EP.
New single ‘Can’t Forgive‘ and oldie but goldie ‘A Reason‘ went down extremely well with the Camden Rocks punters that even started some moshing action and got rowdy right at the front.
THECITYISOURS were on great form and the lads gave it their all. Sam Stollidays screams in harsh contrast to the amazing vocals of Mikey Page were on point and are the essence of every TCIO song! So if THECITYISOURS is coming to a city near you, you better get down and get rowdy with the boys!
Next up were WEIRDS at the Dublin Castle who graced their fans with a loud wall of noise that if listened closely is a mixture of cleverly crafted grungy psych rock tunes! The Leeds lads hit you with an energetic show that draws you in, and no matter how hard you try to resist the intense looks from singer Aidan Razzall, there is no escaping from the WEIRDS world.
Having just released their debut album ‘Swarmculture‘ the band was dishing out their hits. New single ‘Phantom‘ went down well with the packed venue. Towards the end of their set Weirds performed ‘Blood Test‘ which saw Aidan run around amongst the crowd and scream his heart out. One thing is certain, WEIRDS live up to their band name, their gigs are worth checking out as their sets are anything but ‘normal’.
After that it was time to head over to Camden Market, to catch Max Raptor play an energetic set at the Dr. Martens store.
‘We haven’t played the UK for over a year. We have just been playing Europe – while we still can. It’s good to be back!’ lead singer Wil Ray announced to the crowd. The Dr. Martens store was completely rammed, with fans spilling out the doors, desperate to get in.
If you have ever seen Max Raptor perform live, you know you’re in for a good time. The four-piece from the Midlands opened up their first set of the day with ‘Evangeline‘ and set the whole store into a meltdown. The crowd was well up for a party and so were the lads of Max Raptor. The energy levels were high and singer Wil Ray just couldn’t hold still as he constantly went straight into the crowd, performing half of the set surrounded by fans.
‘Obey The Whips‘ was another highlight of their powerful set and had the fans singing along and moshing in the small venue. Max Raptor closed their set with an epic performance of ‘The King Is Dead‘, to which all members of the band (except drummer Pete Reisner) jumped straight into the crowd resulting in proper mayhem. Everyone leaving the store left on a massive high, fueled for the rest of the night by the geniuses that are – Max Raptor!
Make sure to catch them live!
At the other end of Camden, North Yorkshire quintet Avalanche Party was getting ready at the Be At One Bar. Mastering the art of garage rock Avalanche Party set off to a great start at the crammed bar. Front man Jordan Bell’s stage presence is captivating simply not allowing you to take your eyes off the stage. The band’s energy is unreal as they perform their tracks ‘Let’s Get Together‘ and ‘Solid Gold‘. The raucous songs are filling up the place and constantly lure in more people to witness the magic of Avalanche Party.
Front man Jordan makes the most of the place and decides to jump on to the bar, causally continuing the set. Avalanche Party’s new single ‘I’m So Wet‘ sounds incredible live and gives a taste of what’s to come from these boys in the near future.
One could say that their gig hits you like an avalanche, but that would be too easy and a really lame pun. So go and check these lads out if you get the chance and make up your own mind!
Across the road, Belushis was hosting another Camden Rocks Stage which False Advertising were about to conquer. The Mancunian trio lit up the venue with their infectious pop punk tunes. Jen Hingley’s voice comes along really refreshing after a day of just male vocalists and she easily pulls of songs like ‘Not My Fault‘ and ‘Scars‘. Halfway through the set False Advertising surprise everyone by Jen and drummer Chris Warr swapping places just to throw some more fuzzy pop tunes at the crowd.
False Advertising come across super nice and you instantly just wanna be friends with them so that you always get to hear the new music first. Thankfully the three treated the whole of Camden Rocks Festival to a performance of their newest tune ‘Wish‘. And hell yeah, that one sounds proper good! If you are in the need of some feel-good pop rock tunes, make sure to check out False Advertising, as they’ll hold the answer!
Last band of the night were Asylums. It took me two years to finally catch these four live – and what can I say? It was so worth the wait!
Heading up the stage at the famous Hawley Arms Pub, Asylums were up for a wild one. The small space upstairs was packed as the four-piece from Southend-On-Sea kicked off their crazy set.
Right from the start there was utter carnage, moshing, jumping, fans singing along – the lot. Lead singer Luke Branch jumps into the crowd during ‘Necessary Appliances‘ to dance with the fans and guitarist Jazz Miell showed off his quite impressive dance skills and even more impressive crazy guitar faces.
The Camden Rocks punters were loving the crazy antics of Asylums and the band seemed to feed of the energy from the crowd and simply went crazier by the second. Another highlight was ‘Joy In A Small Wage‘, when Luke casually climbed on top of the bar just to attempt some crowd surfing in the small place, which resulted in knocking down my shades and smashing them.
But oh well, more severe things have happened at gigs and I just simply reveled in the joy of finally seeing Asylums live.
I urge you to check out those four loveable nutters during one of their live shows – it will be worth it!
Camden Rocks Festival was a massive success, I had a blast checking out so many great bands and can’t wait for the next year to come around.