Well, I wasn’t at the Odd Future show, which is already the big legend of this year’s Crawl – but I hope you all had as great a weekend as I did. I didn’t do very well at keeping up with Twitter during the Crawl, but what I did see was amazingly positive – everyone seems to have had a blast. I set this blog up to follow the hype, and in the event the festival was a total pay-off to the pre-event buzz. That Odd Future stage invasion was just the icing on the cake of a crazy, eclectic, full-on weekend. Well done to all involved, and especially to the bands themselves.

There won’t be much more hype to record, I suppose, except to make a record of the reviews:

The Times (£)

Virtual Festivals

The 405 [Saturday | Sunday]


Line of Best Fit Photo Review


My headliners of choice so far would be:


Becoming A Jackal is simply one of my favourite records of the last few years, and I’ve yet to see Conor O’Brien live, so this one’s a no-brainer.

Graham Coxon

Always such good value, and in something of a purple patch right now by all accounts, everyone needs to make it to this show, surely?

British Sea Power

Simply one of the most exciting, joyous live acts on the circuit right now … and full of raucous intelligence to boot.

Have I missed off your favourite? Enlighten me!

Brave souls with the app, I call on thee! Comment on this here post, and tell us all when and where these fine artists, all of whom are veritably bursting with virtues worthy of your shell-likes, are playing …

Tom Williams & The Boat

Beth Jeans Houghton

Those Dancing Days – Saturday, Annies, 10pm

This is going to be such a very good festival, my friends …

Who To See When

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Planning
Tags: , ,

Twitter is starting to think about who to see and where at the Crawl, which is of course just ten days away now. This process is made easier by the release of an official phone app for the festival, which includes the schedule – times, venues, and all that good stuff. I don’t yet have that (bad fan, bad!), but friendly Twitter types have been giving out info for free. So, for instance, two entries on my Ones To See List:

Cate Le Bon: Saturday, 21,25 @Barfly; Sunday, 14:00 @ Ray Ban Session Bus, 19:15 @ Dubling Castle

Dry The River: Saturday, Jazz Cafe, 20.20

Jonquil: The Monarch [other details uncertain – pester the PRS Foundation!]

The Crawl’s Twitter team are going giveaway crazy – in fact, the whole of Twitter seems to want to give us as many chances as possible to win tickets to the festival. That’s ignoring the News of the World, Love Camden, Punch Bowl and Gaymers itself, all of which are offering their own competition to win weekend tickets.

You might remember the good old days of Facebingo, when I had to turn over Facebook to find small pictures to cut and paste onto a form; these new competitions require no such gargantuan effort – the News of the World’s is a ‘put your name in the hat’ sort of thing, whilst Love Camden just want you to list your favourite bands. I like these sort of competitions.

The Crawl, meanwhile, are asking fans of particular artists to retweet a given string of 140 characters on Twitter (yesterday the fanbase in question Lethal Bizzle‘s); on Facebook, they’re asking you to leave your name as a comment beneath a given wall post (it was on Hadouken’s page yesterday). Very, very easy ways to win tickets to the best Crawl line-up in aaaaaaages, as I’m know to call it – and it looks like they’re planning to keep it up for the next few days at least. So tune in, and enter … I have my tickets already, but I already have …

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 …

Making a list ...

There’s too much on the bill to listen to everything – though Twitter types like @mclerce have been drawing up Spotify playlists like these, which really help. But given this year’s bill is the best the festival’s had in years, and that even in the small print it has bands that deserve to be on your must-see list, it’s been a bit daunting getting up to speed on everyone. The obsessive perfectionist in me, of course, wants to ensure I see not just the bands I know, but the bands I should know – discovering new music is part of going to the Camden Crawl, so investigating the tunes of bands you haven’t heard of before, much less heard anything by, seems the respectful thing to do.

Bands I’d not listened to before, but now really need to see, include Treetop Flyers, Dry The River, and Tom Williams and the Boat. I’d hardly been familiar with the music of Marques Tolliver, Divorce, or Bear’s Den, either – but they, too, are fighting for their place at the top of my itinerary. Much of this is dependent on receiving the programme, obviously – but hearing new music is never a waste of time, right? Who else has made new favourite band discoveries via the bill?

Incidentally, one new entry into my putative wishlist is Young Dreams, who have an exclusive track posts on the Fan Only area of the Crawl’s Facebook page. It’s called ‘Silly Love’, and it’s a bit beautiful. Go over, have a listen – and add more bands to that long, long list…