On the flyer for the Crawl currently wall-papering Camden, at the very bottom in coquettish, teasing orange letters, are the words: PLUS VERY SPECIAL GUESTS TO BE ANNOUNCED. This speaks to me, dear reader, of the usual Camden Crawl Surprise, the big, unexpected, hyped act from which the festival pulls a velvet throw a few days before the event itself. It’s as close to a ‘ta-da!’ moment that you get in festivals, and the Crawl have traditionally done it very, very well.
Indeed, this year’s bill is – as I’ve said everywhere on the internet – the best in years. And it’s announcement has been beautifully managed, too – lots of separate drip-feeds of acts, and all done at just the right time to maximise excitement. You almost wonder if the team behind the festival has outdone itself: the line-up has such breadth and depth, and such a high quotient of great acts already, that it’s hard to imagine another band doing the rounds that would fit the bill. I can’t imagine for a second that this year of all years we’ll get a left-field announcement of the latest bubble-gum act or shiny popster; that would be the wrong sort of surprise for this most eclectic, even edgy, of Crawl line-ups.
So where does that leave us? I’ve been doing a bit of digging on Twitter and elsewhere for bands who are around. Death From Above 1979, as regular readers of this blog will know are about that weekend; so are Chromeo. Both are acts I’ve tipped for the bill before, and particularly DFA79 could still, I suppose, be announced as the very special guest – although that might risk anticlimax. DFA79 are big amongst their fans, who’d be very excited indeed, but would it have the impact a late announcement should? Not sure.
That’s what I was interested to see this tweet from Tinchy Stryder: “Next week I’m announcing a very special very intimate one off London show. Full band. Small venue. May. Stay tuned ;-)” That would be an announcement around the right time, about a gig at about the right time. Tinchy Stryder is also the sort of act the festival might book this year – very big right now, but not without having lost his credibility. TS is one of the few acts around who could out-hype the currently boiling Odd Future hype.
Hmm. There are my thoughts so far … more listening to come …