Camden Crawl – review

Various venues, Camden, London

Last year's Camden Crawl was a wash-out; this one took place in blazing sunshine. Luckily, two of the first must-see bands played outdoors, although neither – New York's hardcore punks Cerebral Ballzy and LA's controversial Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All – are nice-spring-day material. The former at least refrained from playing their celebrated Puke Song, while Odd Future nearly caused a stampede when half the audience climbed on stage, causing the police to be called.

Indoors, Brit rapper Giggs seemed tame by comparison, even if he did invite mass jogging on the spot for Hustle On, a curious response to a song about urban violence. The day's other Wolf Gang couldn't be more different from their Californian namesakes, with their Wild Beasts-style ornate indie and falsetto vocals, courtesy of Max McElligott, who is gaining a reputation for flair and flamboyance.

Manchester's Dutch Uncles also have a singer with a high voice, in fact perilously close to a yodel, but it suits their baroque white funk. In contrast, indie-soul troubadour Marques Toliver crooned passionately over jazzy guitar chords and even accompanied himself on violin, London's Treetop Flyers brought some west coast country-rock ambience to Camden. A Mumford/Fleet Foxes hybrid, they should do well.

Anita Blay, aka CocknBullKid, has been waiting to do well for two years, and the venue was packed to hear her infectious electro-pop. The band 2:54 are a highly touted but ordinary girl duo similar to Warpaint, and Maverick Sabre is a mini-me Plan B singing downbeat tales. Better is Star Slinger, whose ethereal cut-and-spliced pop make him a UK "chillwaver". Sunday's biggest star, Tinchy Stryder, closed the crawl with his enjoyable if generic grimey chart fare, with people still queueing to get in as his set ended.


Paul Lester

The GuardianTramp

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