Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

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!]

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…

The subject means two things, of course: predicting more who might play, and predicting those I might see. The more you dive into this year’s bill, the more riches there are to uncover … diverse, new music is what the Crawl should be about – this is easily the strongest Crawl line-up in years, and the team behind it should be bursting with the proudest pride.

Special Guests

Sometimes, and especially on Twitter, the Crawl team comments in some way, shape or form on my guesses and rumour-mongering – other times, the artists themselves confirm for them. I’ve had no take-up at all on either my Chromeo or Death From Above 1979 theories. I’m particularly warming to the latter, but in the absence of any word at all we can only conclude one of two things: I’m spot on or way, way off base. Will try again to drum something up on this front later…

Must-see List

Further exploration of the ‘blogosphere’ (how we must all hate that word and all its works) has led me to add a few acts to last week’s provisional list.

Treetop Flyers

For a band with a song called ‘A Long Cold Winter’, this is a band with a healthy dose of sun in their music, like a Fleet Foxes less interested in dodgy choral music. I’ve got a soft spot for mid-nineties – The Jayhawks, Wilco, Nadine – and Treetop Flyers seem to take a lot of inspiration from that movement. That means, too, of course, that you can hear strains of Mumford and Magic Numbers in there, which may or may not be as welcome – when there’s a soupcon of Heartbreaker-era Ryan Adams in the mix for good measure, however, almost anything can be forgiven. Definitely one to look out for on the running order.

Piney Gir

Sticking with the country theme for just a moment more, Piney Gir’s brand of sexed-up classic hillbilly pop is a thing of quirky beauty, and songs which sound on the surface like the stuff your grandparents listened to on the tapedeck of their Cortina in fact curl and crumple at the edges into quite different shapes. Coupled with a carefully planned stage style – like Betty Boop chanelling Patsy Cline – and you have the makings of one of the funnest sets the Crawl will host. Particularly worth your time earlier in the evening, just as you get going.


With a name designed principally to frustrate music journalists typing against a deadline, and an online fanbase willing to promote them to the rafters, Dananananakroyd will almost certainly deliver one of the festival’s most energetic, crowd-pleasing sets: all singalong choruses and verses ripe for some old-fashioned pogoing. They’re a wry little band with a sly little name – and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them play the same venue as Dinosaur Pile-up … which would be quite the double act. Get there early.

The exact venues and times have still to be announced for this year’s festival, but that shouldn’t stop you starting to think which acts you’re most eager to see. Any list you draw up right now will be subject to change due to the dreaded clashes, queues or other issues which can emerge at any festival; but, pending the release of the actual programme, why not have some fun? There are enough acts for everyone, after all.

My priorities are shifting all the time – the more I look at the bill, the more coherent and consistent it seems to be. I’ve been exploring the music of some acts I haven’t encountered before – the swirling noise of Divorce, for instance, has surprised me – and weighing up all the ones I’m already a fan of to put them in that all important order of priority. Hmm.


I’m expecting this show to be popular – and anyone who wants to see them will need to resign themselves to getting there early. (Another question for the programme: which other acts on the same bill as Villagers?) Still, the bill has some strength in breadth and depth that there’ll be no great concerns that you’ll catch a stinker by waiting. Expect a properly seminal gig from this one. An ideal headlining alternative, if you can’t get through the doors, would be The King Blues.

Cate Le Bon

Already on my must-see list, and that of most of my friends, the moody Cardiff chanteuse will, I suspect, weave just the right atmosphere at the Crawl. Slightly dark, slightly painful, her songs translate perfectly from record to live gig, coming across like a Celtic Cat Power with a side of PJ Harvey. There’s nothing not to like.

Frankie and the Heartstrings

This will almost certainly be one of the busiest and most-hyped of the mid-level sets: the Heartstrings have been getting some serious press and prominence for their debut record, and seem already positioned for that crossover move so beloved of indie bands of their stripes. To that end, it might be a gig well worth squeezing yourself into – or not. One to double check against the programme.

I could go – also listed should be Tom Williams and the Boat, Polarbear, Beth Jeans Houghton … hmm, another post soon, I think.