As any past visitors know, when Camden Rocks takes over this perennially trendy corner of North London for the day, it makes for an action-packed, exhausting and quite brilliant celebration of music. Stock up on the Red Bull this year though, as they’ve only gone and flippin’ doubled the fun – with a full second day added to proceedings.
Frankly, it’s a wonderful prospect, and one that has made this must-attend festival even more unmissable – tickets here. But with such a packed schedule, where to start?! Well, absolutely with all of the bands below we reckon….
With a steadily growing reputation for engaging, meaningful tunes, Delaire, The Liar are an exciting London duo who defy categorising, which never makes it very easy to write little bits like this. So instead, just have a listen, and make sure you go and see them… (7.30pm Sunday, Dingwalls Canalside)
Delaire, The Liar – One Of Us Is The Killer
Kier Kemp’s commitment to his art is clear for all to see, and the former Fearless Vampire Killers frontman’s Inklings incarnation has produced a rich seam of music. No matter what the schedule clashes, don’t miss this one. (8pm Sunday, The Hawley Arms)
Inklings – Ambush
Best of Enemies‘ recent EP A Fear That Comes Around somewhat set the bar for the four-piece Croydon band. Soaring melodies and thoughtful songwriting make them ones well worth your attention, explemplified by the superb Shake The Feeling. (12pm Sunday, The Black Heart)
Best of Enemies – Shake The Feeling
Thousand Thoughts might be more familiar than you think, since it’s Elswhere under a new name (goddamn copyright wrangles!!). Expect Linkin Park epic-ness aplenty from this high-octane and hugely-talented outfit. (8pm Sunday, The Good Mixer)
Thousand Thoughts – Perspectives
Pretty Pistol will bring the noise if that’s what you’re after (and if you’re not, maybe give Camden a swerve on this particular weekend after all!). The London-based garage punk/rock four-piece should be on your list to see for yourself why they’re highly-rated live performers. (3pm Saturday, The Lyttleton Arms)
Pretty Pistol – Cry Wolf
Hailing from the alt-pop mecca that is Brighton, Orchards are rapidly emerging as a band to keep a very close eye on. Fresh from a stint at their hometown’s very fine Great Escape Festival, catch them during Camden Rocks before they get the wider profile that will no doubt come their way. (2pm Sunday, Fest)
Orchards – Age of You
Emo-punk songsmith Luke Rainsford has something very special. His music captures both heart and imagination, with a warmth and humanity that reminds us of the likes of Frank Turner and Ducking Punches. If you don’t fall in love with his songs then are you even human?! (7pm Sunday, Belushis)
Luke Rainsford – Death Bed
Grunge-rock trio Soeur bring their heavy-yet-beguiling sound to Camden. Their energy and unpredictability sets them apart, with the dual female vocals adding to their distinctive flavour. Don’t miss this Bristol-based outfit’s set at Camden Rocks, part of a summer schedule full of festival shows for the band. (6pm Sunday, The Dublin Castle)
Soeur – No Show
We’ve been following the fortunes of Liverpool’s Red Rum Club for a fair while now and it’s mighty satisfying to see them starting to get the recognition that their hard work deserves. They sound great on record – check out debut album Matador for ample proof of that – but catching them live fully reveals their energy and music craft. And they’re also top chaps.
(9pm Sunday, The Hawley Arms)
Red Rum Club – Would You Rather Be Lonely
Now five albums in, Deaf Havana have enjoyed huge success with their winning alt/rock/pop blend. Founded way back in 2005 in Norfolk, the band’s strength as a live act is borne out by the release earlier this year of a frankly mesmerising live album from their Brixton Academy performance in late 2018. Take a listen – it shows just why they rightly occupy one of the headline slots at this year’s Camden Rocks. (9pm Sunday, Electric Ballroom & via ballot only for earlier show at 7pm Sunday, Boot Room)
Deaf Havana – Holy
Preview by Martin Allen / Jessica Piochon
And while you’re about it, check out our pics from Camden Rocks 2018.