Live Review: Camden Rocks Festival - June 2017
Camden Town was once a wild, music breeding playground, with bands from the Clash to the Libertines to Amy Winehouse all putting the hard work in on this small little stretch of road. The same road where the Red Hot Chilli Peppers had their first UK show, the tales of this street go deep. However over the years, Camden has been so what taken over by the 21st century. With venues turning into flats, Urban Outfitters replacing the cool leather belt market. maybe Camden was starting to fall into the world of modernism.
But then in swung Camden Rocks to save the day!
The festival itself can easily have bragging rights to having over 250 bands playing over one day. So with so many to choose from, we had to make sure we got down super early. Starting our day with newcomers Antares, the London hardcore five-piece despite being such a new band, managed to pack quite a punch for such an early set.
Panic Island were next on our list, in probably one of the hottest venues of the day. But that didn't put them off. Frontman Arron, had sweat pouring off him as he took control of the venue and engaged with the crowd.
The MassMatiks boys really know how to get the crowds attention with their unique, in your face indie rock style and exhilarating performances. After supporting bands such as Don Broco and The One Hundred, the London based group have been turning the heat up in the industry, with big riffs and meaningful lyrics getting the crowd rowdy from the off, these boys are ones to watch.
Swedish rock sensation Royal Republic tore up the Koko stage at Camden Rocks, playing their upbeat, catchy tracks. Opening with When I See You Dance With Another, closing with Baby, the crowd were singing along throughout. Their electric stage presence mixed with funny stories along the way left everybody never wanting the set to end.
Canadian band Courage My Love is a band we have wanted to catch a number of times, so when it is was announced they were playing the festival, we couldn't help but jump at the opportunity. The band clearly have the most devoted fans for the day, with a mass sing-a-long to all their songs in such a small but busy venue.
Playing mid afternoon at the Electric Ballroom, we caught Pulled Apart By Horses, despite the early set, they didn't stop the crowds coming in to see them. And the boys sure put on a show for them. With hair flying and lighting rig climbing, the lads screeched through their set like a pack of wolves.
By this point, the boiling sun, our energy levels were starting to drop, but luckily the Max Raptor lads were there to sort us out. Turning the Crowndale into a complete riot, Max Raptor throw at you with everything they have got with their laddish take on rock. We follow that up with a packed set from Skarlett Riot at the Dublin Castle, who tore it apart with their female fronted metal.
Our Propaganda were right on the outskirts of Camden Rocks for no reason at all, these Southern lads pulled of one of the best performances of the day. With all the energy in the world, they performed rock songs that make you want to dance around the room. I can see this group in much bigger venues in no time at all, hopefully a bigger stage next year!
Youth Killed It are not ones to disappoint and The Hawley Arms was absolutely rammed packed for their incredible set. Smashing through songs of their newly released album Modern Bollotics in such an intimate venue left no space untouched, the crowd were wild with excitement, lyrics were thrown back at lead singer, Jack Murphy, from all directions. If you want hyped up, indie rock tracks, catch these lads soon.
So after a long and hot day, Camden Rocks came to an end for us. And you have got to give it to them, they managed to pull it off. The line up lacked a few bigger names compared to last year, taking a more unsigned approach. Personally we had our doubts in this, but Camden Rocks has shown that it can combine the big names while also supporting the underground music scene at the same time. And with that we raise our Jack Daniel glass to you.
Photos and Review by Ant Adams Photography and Ami Ford Photography