Camden Crawl, Various venues, London

Various venues, London

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Camden's one-night mini-Glastonbury is no longer the preserve of the fledgling hopeful. As big names jostle with newcomers, the one thing everyone's guaranteed to catch is a queue.

But Ryan Jarman, singer and guitarist of the Cribs, has another battle on his hands. "I'm sick as a dog," he moans. "We're gonna be terrible." True, Jarman's shredded larynx turns every playful roar into a painful yelp. But the Britpop melodies remain.

Art Brut would be jealous. Bouncing around to We Formed a Band, shrieking self-reverential slogans, they demand attention. But their one-note fun is starting to wear thin.

Trapped in their own intense world, Sons and Daughters' Adele Bethel and Scott Paterson look only to each other for entertainment. They are resplendent in rockabilly attire, Bethel's quiff shaking with every shudder of her bare shoulders. Their rhythms slink like rattlesnakes, offering what feels like an illicit thrill.

You couldn't dream up Do Me Bad Things. A rock band featuring a soul diva, a singer who should be in Metallica and another sometime frontman apparently possessed by the spirit of Freddie Mercury, that's probably a good thing. Camp and confusing, they beat the Scissor Sisters for shock value, if not songs.

But tonight is all about Graham Coxon. Camden's favourite son returned to its smallest venue, the Dublin Castle, almost a decade after he last played there with Blur. He bends back and forth wrenching speeding, sharp notes from his guitar. He is in his element and it's an easy victory, not just against his young contemporaries, but old ghosts too.


Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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