Camden Rocks Festival 2017



The Damned headline Camden Rocks Festival 2017Having announced The Damned, Orange Goblin and Ruts DC amongst the first acts to be confirmed for Camden Rocks Festival 2017, today Sheffield’s recently reformed indie pioneers Milburn join the line-up, alongside Camden’s own Carl Barat & The Jackals, The Rifles, The King Blues, The Membranes and many more.

Following a sold-out fifth year in 2016, this year will see Camden Rocks Festival up the stakes again, set to host a staggering 250 bands and artists across 25 of Camden Town’s venues on June 3rd 2017.

“We can’t wait to play this year’s Camden Rocks Festival, a great line up as always and right in our own back yard!” say The Rifles.

“Camden Rocks is the weekend when Camden comes as alive as it ever was and should always be. I’m always proud to be a part of it.” Carl Barat adds.

Speaking ahead of The King Blues’ appearance, frontman Itch says, “We are ridiculously excited to be playing at Camden Rocks this year. Camden was where we cut our teeth and has been a spiritual home for us. I can’t wait for this one!”

Camden Rocks 2017 will also host a special reformation from original Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook’s The Professionals, and in addition to Milburn, Carl Barat & The Jackals, The King Blues, The Rifles and The Membranes, Andy Cairns of alt-metal mainstays Therapy? will also perform an acoustic set.

“I’m honoured and excited to be part of the burgeoning Camden Rocks festival this year,” Cairns says. “My previous experience of the event was amazing and I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck in to 2017’s chapter. See you there!”

Further line-up additions are noted below in bold.

The Damned, Orange Goblin, The Ruts DC, The King Blues, The Professionals, Hey! Hello!, Anti Nowhere League, The Urban Voodoo Machine, The RainBand, Young Kato, Stone Broken, Big Boy Bloater and the Limits, MOSES, Screaming Eagles, Imperial Leisure, Habitats, The Main Grains, Napoleon, Slydigs, Max Raptor, Losers, Cortes, Colour Of Noise, Courage My Love, Black Orchid Empire, Jasmine Rodgers, Straight Lines, Yonaka, Exist Immortal, The Anita Chellamah Band, Dirty Thrills, The Blinders, Inklings, MassMatiks, Hands Off Gretel, Fizzy Blood, Broken Witt Rebels, Louise Distras, Millie Manders & The ShutUp, Forte, Stereo Juggernaut, Black Sixteen, Lucie Barat & The Au Revoirs, HVMM, Halflives, Weirds, Frauds, Holding Absence, When We Were Wolves, Bare Knuckle Parade, Lupus-Dei, Liines, Tigress, Divides, Single By Sunday, John, Desert Planes, Happy Accidents, Brandy Row, Role Models, Tim Muddiman & The Strange, Chinese Missy, Alana Bondi, Itamar, Oxygen Thief, The Franklys, CUTE CUTE DEΔTH, Heel, The Kut, Secret Cameras, Yungblud, Kidbrother & Veridian.

Camden Rocks Festival 2017 venues include: Koko, Electric Ballroom, Underworld, Camden Market Amphitheatre, Dingwalls, Proud, Camden Assembly, The Black Heart, The Monarch, The Forge, The Crowndale, Dublin Castle, Devonshire Arms, Irish Centre, Dingwalls Canal side, Bloc Bar, Hawley Arms, Good Mixer, Brew Dog, Fifty Five, Be At One & Winnicott.

Camden Rocks Festival 2017 Poster
Camden Rocks Festival 2017 Poster

Camden Rocks Festival 2017 tickets are now available


Camden Rocks Festival – 30th May 2015, Review

Camden Rocks Festival - 30th May 2015
Camden Rocks Festival - 30th May 2015

I haven’t been to Camden Town on a Saturday afternoon for many years.  But I assume nothing has changed in that, the bars, shops and market stalls attract a cosmopolitan mix of bohemians, wannabies, has-beens  and tourists looking for fake Michael Jackson Thriller leather jackets and bootlegged music. I love Camden for all of the above reasons. Well, maybe not the leather jackets!

But on Saturday 30th May, for one day only, Camden Town is congested with more music fans than tourists looking to buy an alternative look.  The pavements are not only full of overspill from the pubs and bars but music lovers wearing Camden Rocks wristbands.

Camden Rocks Festival is a one day festival without fields, mud, enormous traffic jams down small country lanes, or the need to sleep rough (though this is optional).  One wrist band allows entry to a 20 venues in Camden where no less than 200 bands play from midday to midnight followed by an after show party.

The venues range from small bars hastily rearranged to accommodate bands and small intimate crowds  to the 1,000 capacity Electric Ballroom where the main headline is Bullet For My Valentine, who some have no doubt paid the £30 wristband entry price for alone.

Throughout the day there was a plethora of performances for a wide spectrum of rock fans.  Whether revisiting your youth with the likes of old-time punks Anti-Nowhere League, loving the big hair of Michael Monroe & Gun, reliving the sound of The Ramones 1-2-3-4 thrash with the Richie Ramone band, chicken-dancing along to the recently reformed New Model Army or looking out for something new that may just kick on to bigger things, so if nothing else you can tell everyone you saw them when they were playing a gig to a handful of punters, one in a deep sea diver outfit in a Cuban cocktail bar!

No doubt many were hoping Glen Matlock would offer up a rousing set of Sex Pistols favourites.  After all, he was responsible for writing the music for the best of Pistols songs.  But like all of us, he is much older now; and stepped onto the stage with nothing but an acoustic guitar.

As with all festivals, choosing what to see and what to miss out on, is the most difficult part of the day.  That, and attempting to stick to a plan.  My plan was to get to Camden as early as possible and take in all 20 venues while undertaking short snippets of as many performances as I could and ending the day watching unsigned band The Parade @ Belushi’s and a few other headline acts.  Unfortunately I failed miserably.

Asylums @ The Cuban - Camden Rocks Festival 2015
Asylums @ The Cuban - Camden Rocks Festival 2015

I was fortunate enough to be given a heads up by a PR company that Asylums would be playing The Cuban @ 4pm and that maybe I should check them out.  I did, and definitely wasn’t disappointed.  It was unfortunate for them and the punters that were unaware of just how exciting they were, that they played to only a handful of people.  Their enthusiastic ‘ants-in-yer-pants’, pro-active and powerful performance was both exciting and mesmerising. Michael Webster (bass) and Henry Tyler (drums) keep things tight while Luke Branch (Vocals and guitar), Jazz Miell (guitar) jump about the small stage like two rabid psychiatric patients.  At one point Luke jumps off stage and on to an innocent photographer, while Jazz throws himself around, pulling contorted faces akin to Stephen Merchant being consumed by Alien.

Jazz Miell  of Asylums @ Camden Rocks Festival 2015
Jazz Miell of Asylums @ Camden Rocks Festival 2015

The songs are fast and furious.  Think Weezer meets Lemonheads.  Bubblegum punk pop at its very best.  This performance deserves a much bigger crowd today. But I have no doubt Asylums will be playing much bigger venues and sold out shows once word gets out.  Their set includes their current single, ‘Wet Dream Fanzine‘ and the familiar sounding, toe-tapping, sing-a-long ‘Joy In A Small Wage‘.

One of the best names in rock is without doubt …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. With the release of last year’s ninth album, simply titles ‘IX’ they have a large and devoted following.  They had already started by the time I had finished talking to Asylums and walked down to an almost full Electric Ballroom.  I’m not too familiar with their hardcore American rock. But judging by the size and participation of the audience, they still rock… hard!

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead @ Camden Rocks Festival 2015
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead @ Camden Rocks Festival 2015

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead were tight, heavy, loud and very professional.  This is not the kind of music I would normally listen to and certainly not see live; and that’s the beauty of an event like the Camden Rocks Festival.  It allows someone like me to walk in off the street and take it all in without prejudice to witness music and see bands performing I would otherwise not get to experience.

Headliners across 19 of the 20 venues were as followers: No Sugar @ The Enterprise, Turbowolf (upstairs) & The Hyena Kill (downstairs) @ Barfly, Skarlett Riot @ The Stillery, Jettblack (Monarch), Michael Monroe @ Proud, Menswear @ The Cuban, Red House Glory @ Hawley Arms, Funeral For A Friend (main) & IC1’s (canal side bar) @ Dingwalls, Masakichi @ Fifty-Five, B-Movie Thieves @ Good Mixer, Black Moth @ Black Heart, Skindred @ Underworld, Rob Lynch @ Brewdog, Buffalo Summer @ Purple Turtle, New Model Army @ Jazz Cafe, The Parade @ Belushi’s and Bullet For My Valentine @ Electric Ballroom.

The Parade @ Camden Rocks Festival 2015
The Parade @ Camden Rocks Festival 2015

To end the day, my original plan was to take in several headlining shows by making a quick dash between around Camden Town taking advantage of the fact that most punters would choose one or another and the route between each one would be fairly quiet.  I was keen to hear a song or two from the likes of The Parade, New Model Army,  Funeral For A Friend and Bullet for My Valentine.  But this is where the plan fell down.  Blame solely rests with The Parade for playing such an amazing set!

The Parade @ Camden Rocks Festival 2015
The Parade @ Camden Rocks Festival 2015

The Parade are an unsigned band I have seen live before. They play powerful pop ballads, full of dark storytelling tales that, like their live performances are full of grit, intensity, and edginess.  There’s a feeling anything can happen about their edgy shows.  The band includes a backdrop of bass, drums and keyboards to the sexual chemistry between Matt Pritchard (aka Lupen Crook) and Jemimah Dean. They share vocal duties while Pritchard plays guitar and Dean, percussion. They command the stage and play the songs with sexual tension that has the audience transfixed. Their set includes last year’s single ‘Connector‘ and songs from a forthcoming debut album.

Blame The Parade for playing such a wonderfully tight and exciting set that I didn’t get to headliner hop round the venues at this year’s Camden Rock Festival. But I’m glad I saw them, as like Asylums I won’t be expecting to see them play such small venues for long.

Sonic Boom Six play Camden Rocks Festival this weekend

Sonic Boom Six to play The Camden Rocks Festival
Sonic Boom Six to play The Camden Rocks Festival

Sonic Boom Six will be opening the Main Stage at this year’s Reading Festival.

The band are also performing at this weekend’s Camden Rocks festival alongside a whole host of acts at four Camden venues (The Underworld, The Barfly, The Monarch and Prince Of Wales) including Carl Barat, Pete Doherty, Ginger, Nine Black Alps and Subkicks.

The Camden Rocks Festival will be raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Sonic Boom Six have just completed a successful City Of Thieves album tour when they were joined on stage last Sunday by Itch from The King Blues.  Their genre-fusing music covers punk rock, pop, hip hop and reggae.

Listen to the new Sonic Boom Six single, The Concrete We’re Trapped Within, due to be released on 6th July and see if it reminds you of The Rezillos.

Sonic Boom Six – Saturday June 6th – Underworld – 3pm (for 30 minutes)