Archive for the ‘Line-Up’ Category

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 …

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Via the very fine @thadboogie sur le Twitter

Ever since I’ve been watching the online chatter about this year’s Crawl, I’ve seen people clamouring for one band in particular: I’ve heard demands for Pete and the Pirates, or excitement about Marques Tolliver; but time and again – on Facebook, Twitter and the blogs – a lot of people have pinned The View as their ideal Camden Crawl band. I’ve been a bit sceptical of the chances that they’d get on the line-up – and yet this morning the Crawl proved me wrong. The announcements have been managed brilliantly, and timed well, too, but this is the coup de grâce: The View have loads of fans, have a new record out soon, and will get the kids in like nothing else.

Of course, the biggest online buzz is about how I guessed totally right yesterday. More properly, the buzz is about Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All getting on the bill – but let’s be frank, my detective work was pretty impressive, too. Odd Future have such buzz, and such potential, that they’re a superb booking for the festival; and Killing Joke fit on the bill as well as I predicted they would, too. (No DFA1979 or Chromeo, but 50% isn’t a bad strike rate.)

A few years ago, some friends of mine stumbled across Graham Coxon play an unannounced acoustic set at the Spread Eagle; it was their highlight of that year’s Crawl. A full set from Graham will be a different kind of treat – but a very special one all the same. He’s a Camden local, of course – and getting folks like that on the bill is part of the special magic of the festival.

A very fine final announcement … I’ve said it before, but it’s worth emphasising: they’ve excelled themselves this year. 10th birthday ahoy!

Whispers are everywhere about tomorrow’s Crawl announcements. Here’s what I’m hearing and thinking:

Long-term readers will know that I’ve been predicting for a while that Death From Above 1979 will play the Crawl: reformed at last, they’re in town at the right time – they’re playing the HMV Forum just a few days after the Crawl. They’re also a perfect band for the Crawl in other ways – especially this year’s bill, which is so eclectic and – dare I say it – so cool.

Having said that, has anyone noticed that hip hop darlings Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All are playing Reading this year? They’re also playing Primavera in Spain just days before the Crawl, and have recently done SXSW, a festival frequented by a lot of confirmed Crawl acts (and, admittedly, everyone else in the music world ever). If Odd Future are finally breaking out of LA more regularly, again the Crawl would be an ideal festival for them, focusing as it does on emerging talent and the latest sounds.

I’m also not totally abandoning my Chromeo idea: they’re playing all over, and are on at the O2 the night of the royal wedding (that is, the night before the Crawl begins) – a bit of electrofunk could be just what the bill needs, and again they’d feel spot on for the atmosphere and aesthetic of the festival.

So, too, would another reformed act, though: last year saw Gang of Four play, and, now I’ve accepted they won’t be playing again this year, there’s another similar band I’m placing my money on. Killing Joke have had a golden age since their original line-up reformed a few years ago, and they released their first new album together at the end of last year. I can’t imagine a more suitable band to please the Gang of Four crowd which is also currently available …

Further thought on who to see at this year’s Crawl: daytime-wise, incidentally, I’m already set on settling down with Magpie’s Nest on the Sunday; Saturday is up for grabs, but the Spread Eagle is always good value. Given how I’m packing out my evening schedules, I might just let the rest of my group decide what to do with Saturday afternoon. That’d be big of me, right? They’ll be grateful, I know it.

In terms of more evening acts, I’m pretty firm in still fancying Dananananakroyd (with whom the Crawl have an interview here), Piney Gir (with whom they had an interview here), and Treetop Flyers (get with the programme, Camden Crawl!); Villagers, Cate Le Bon and Frankie and the Heartstrings still seem like no-brainers, too. But how about any more for any more? The very wise Sheena over at the Ruckus has suggested a few mighty fine additions: Marques Tolliver, Dry The River, and Slow Club will all be making the right sort of sounds for my ears, too.

I’ve seen British Sea Power live a couple of times now, and they’re great – but do you check out a band you’ve seen before at a festival full of acts you haven’t? Maybe not. I love Miles Kane’s work with Last Shadow Puppets, but will he clash with Villagers? Those Dancing Days, Tom Williams and the Boat, and Let’s Buy Happiness will all be worth seeing; but what about leaving room for the surprises you’ve never heard of?

Roll on the programme, people …

Heading to Camden ...

Some very fine announcements about the Crawl today – although I notice not from them. Xfm have been given the scoop, although I humbly submit that it was this very blog which first had it: Razorlight, Guillemots and Slow Club are all indeed on the bill. No mention of Death From Above 1979, alas, but also announced are Miles Kane and The Lemonheads. Wolfgang are also a new name on the bill.

This looks to me like beginning to bring the full picture into view. There’s almost certainly a few announcements left – and no doubt online and offline sources are already abuzz with rumours – but the character of this line-up is already set: eclectic, energetic and diverse. I’m seeing a lot of positive comment about this choice, since it’s so obviously the niche the Crawl should fill in the festival season – loads of new acts supported by the best, most creative of the more established bands and artists. There are must-sees on this bill than you could possibly see in a single weekend, and that is a sign of a very good bill indeed.

I started out on this blogging project unsure whether I’d have enough content, and how the Crawl would tackle booking this year’s acts. On the first front, I’ve been pleasatly surprised … on the second, blown away. Hyperbole? I think not! Kudos, Camden Crawl. Kudos.

On Twitter, the Crawl team have confirmed that this week will see a slew of new announcements. They’re playing these ones very close to their collective chest, which suggests some big names may be included. Last week, I heard whispers that both Razorlight and Slow Club would be announced; will these be proved right this week? The Crawl’s bill so far is monstrous, and rumours doing the rounds online and offline suspect it’s only going to get better – loads of cherries still to come for this particularly delicious cake. As I’ve already written, there’s a real depth and breadth to the bill this year, which is surely the best and most eclectic in years: lots of genres represented, music brand new and established, and yet no sop to the stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb commercialism of  V-type booking. Very excited.

So Razorlight and Slow Club would fit right in here, as would another act I figured out over Twitter last week is pretty much certain to announce: Guillemots wound up joining in a conversation about getting booked for the Crawl which involved both Slow Club and Razorlight; even if none of them actually said ‘yes we’re playing’, the vibes were farly obvious. So look for those names coming out from the Crawl this week – and don’t forget my Death From Above 1979 and Chromeo suspicions. They haven’t been mentioned anywhere else, but you never know …

We’ve all known the Crawl are keeping acts back – they do it every year, but this year I think to even greater effect. The bill so far announced is easiest the fullest, most eclectic range of music and artists the festival’s played host to in years, and really embodies what this festival should be about. Anyone who’s ever been tempted to do the Crawl should choose this year to go – there’s a raft of ace bands, new music, and sounds for absolutely everyone. But, but, but – there’s always room for more, right?

The rumour mill that’s served me sort of OK in the past (it fingered the Comedy Crawl stuff, and not a few of the bands prior to the official announcements. So I’m confident that the below are correct, and will be announced by the Crawl in due course. Let’s see:

Slow Club

This one’s a no brainer – the band have pre-announced their appearance on their MySpace, despite the Crawl keeping decidedly schtum. Everyone’s favourite boy-girl duo (yes, I’m including She & Him) will bring a certain relaxed chic to the festival, and if the rumour’s proved true – and, let’s be honest, it’s practically official – they may well be immediately promoted to my must-see list.

Razorlight

Fresh from their appearance in a remake of Time Bandits for tall people, Razorlight are going to play the Crawl. No, I’m telling you: Razorlight will be on the bill for this year’s Camden Crawl. Really, seriously. As with everyone else (except for some of the Koko announcements – British Sea Power etc.), I’m not yet sure *where* they’ll be playing, but this is a rumour I’m pretty much sure about.