Camden Crawl 2014 day one: Jack Cheshire, Ghetts, Atari Teenage Riot and many more
A grotty hole in the wall wedged between Camden Market and the tube station, the Electric Ballroom has seen many greats on its stage (U2, Prince and The Clash to name but a few). Despite its unassuming exterior, it’s a deceptively large venue, presenting the first act to open Camden Crawl 2014. Arrows of Love put on an intense opening show, a simultaneously heavy and ethereal rock band. Although most of the acts play diverse music, it’s indie rock that’s the most representing genre for Camden and its festival: both Mazes and Tall Ships impressed with songwriting and genuine references to The Smiths and Editors.
Violet Skies at the Lock Tavern had great stage presence, with her strong soulful voice rising and dipping through the small venue, backed by understated electronic beats and percussion.
At the Roundhouse Studio, Jack Cheshire and his bohemian band put on a hypnotising performance. Their folk sound enhanced by a double bass added a rich, deep background creating a smooth effect. Jack Cheshire displayed his incredible talent for guitar with a superb cover of Echo and the Bunnymen’s The Killing Moon; he is a skilful and original artist. Performing by herself at the Lock Tavern with only a keyboard, sample pads, a mic and a drumstick, Anneka’s use of layered sounds worked effectively to produce relaxed house beats with slightly doleful undertones.
Perhaps the most fun act was Ghetts, currently one of the best grime artists around. Walking into the Monarch early, a crowd was already eagerly awaiting his performance, highlighting his appeal and popularity in London. His tight lyrics and impeccable flow produced an infectious energy, with a great live band backing his tracks. A cover of No Church in the Wild by Kanye West and Jay-Z proved to be a massive crowd-pleaser, proving that Ghetts really knows how to put on a show.
A few doors down the opposite side of the street, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor played the most sophisticated set of the festival in front of the Roundhouse Studio audience. With a mix of digital and analogue electronic, his sharp and elegant synthpop is enchanting.
Atari Teenage Riot at Electric Ballroom was certainly the most intense and powerful of act at Camden Crawl 2014. A hardcore, digital electronic band, ATR’s performance was thrilling and didn’t fail to move the crowd with bass that made your blood vibrate. Following ATR, D/R/U/G/S was a far more relaxing act. Whilst the softer trance and synth beats were enjoyable as easy listening, the smooth repetitiveness wasn’t as engrossing as previous acts.
Finally, The Fauns were the final band to perform at Camden Crawl 2014, a blend of rock and indie with smoky vocals and lingering electric guitar. The Fauns put on a strong performance at Purple Turtle, bringing a fantastic Camden Crawl to a close with their magic Seven Hours.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information about the acts performing at Camden Crawl 2014 and future events visit here.