Camden Rocks Festival returns to North London on the weekend of June 1-2. The now annual indie-rock jaunt around the streets of Camden is extending over two days for the first time in its history. Over 400 bands will be playing including headliners: Frank Turner (Saturday), deaf havana (Sunday), The Pigeon Detective (Saturday) and Ash (Sunday).
Spread out over twenty venues with two hundred bands per day, the festival can feel overwhelming at times, and that is the point. Turn up early and find your new favourite band while wandering the streets of sunny Camden. There may be a temptation to “rock-up” late after a lazy brunch at one of Camden’s many fabulous restaurants. However, we recommend getting there early and seeing some of the awesome bands hitting the stage before its time for a mid-afternoon snack.
Below is a guide to some of our pre-3:30 pm bands to see.
Saturday, June 1
The Collier is a band who throwback to that classic late nineties sound of British indie-rock. Their guitar riffs can fill stadiums and the vocals soothingly reminiscent of seminal voices like Gary Lightbody and Richard Ashcroft. A great way to start the Camden Rocks festival with a band overflowing with potential.
Saturday: The Lyltteton Arms @ 1:00 pm
Song to Learn the Words To: “Falling Out Of The Bed”
Rock ‘n’ Roll with a grungy pizzaz. Dutch Mustard is a mainstay of the underground rock scene in London at the moment. Their shows are high energy and engaging and singer-songwriter Sarah-Jayne Riedel never seems to stop moving. Expect to dance, jump, and cheer to one of the backbones of the local scene.
Saturday: Music & Beans @ 2:00 pm
Song to Learn the Words To: “Weeping Willow”
Bang, Bang, Romeo
Anastasia Walker, the lead vocalist for Bang, Bang, Romeo, is something to treasure. While the band’s set is full of headbanging, classic-rock which from time to time mixes in funk undertones it is on on the slow songs where she shows the range in her voice. Songs like “Adore Me” unleash the full range of Walker’s voice – a performance to be savoured awaits.
Saturday: Dingwalls @ 3:00 pm
Song to Learn the Words To: “Adore Me”
If you have seen Dutch Mustard perform, there is a good chance you have also seen Weekend Recovery. Formed in Leeds, the four-piece have a riotous yet welcoming punk sound alongside some of the friendliest fans I have met at a concert. Join the family while jumping around and enjoying loud and potent guitar-led music.
Saturday: SSR Stage/The Kolis @ 3:00 pm
Song to Learn the Words To: “Oh Jenny”
Sunday, June 2
Winners of ‘Best Alternative/Indie Act’ at the 2018 Birmingham Music Awards, Sugarthief released their debut EP in 2019. Their sound is a mixture of songs that remind you of lazy weekends by the seaside (on “Anywhere”) and playful, angsty indie-pop about unrequited love on “Provide”. Sugarthief feels like they are on the cusp of something big, and Camden Rocks is an excellent chance for Londoners to see them up close.
Sunday: The Hawley Arms @ 1:00 pm
Song to Learn the Words to: “Anywhere”
An eclectic take on indie-pop full of jangly guitars and the pop-sensibilities of Paramore’s album, After Laughter. Orchards deliver highly danceable music, and you will soon find yourself singing along and swept away in all the fun with a smile squarely plastered to your face.
Sunday: Fireball Stage/FEST Camden @ 2:00 pm
Song to Learn the Words to: “Young”
Laulia’s double A-side Burning Out shows two very different sides to the indie-rock band currently based in Guildford. Where “Machines” offers warm and emotive guitars, “Burning Out” is a heavier slice of alternative music with a huge chorus. Laulia’s music is incredibly moreish and spans each corner of the indie-pop spectrum.
Sunday: Red Stripe Stage/The Monarch @ 2:00 pm
Song to Learn the Words to: “Machines”
Cruel Hearts Club
Formerly known as LOCK, Cruel Hearts Club’s music is a grungy mixture of guitar-laced-electro with a sprinkle of synthpop. The songs Cruel Hearts Club released as LOCK were gloriously dark and the trio has been busy studio recording new music. Cruel Hearts Club have not released any of the new songs officially, so Camden Rocks is an opportunity to hear what the trio have concocted. I cannot wait!
Sunday: Fireball Stage/FEST CAMDEN @ 3:15 pm
Song to Learn the Words to: “Hey Comrade”
Tickets are still available via Camden Rocks here.
Words by Robert Alleyne
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