Camden Rocks 2016 Review Posted on Tue 5th July 2016
Camden Rocks is one of those rare beasts, it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s in Camden, it plays hosts to great rock bands at various stages in their journeys, performing in some of London’s most iconic venues.
The biggest challenge of the day, is planning who you are going to see, as the event is clash city, plus you have to take into consideration the fact that the venues stretch from Mornington Crescent to Chalk Farm (about 2 miles).
First up its Zoax at Underworld, with their first album release under their belt, they seem more confident than when I saw them last year. Front man Adam Carroll has great presence and gets the crowd up from the start as they kick off with a rousing rendition of ‘Ksychia’. Carroll gave warnings “You know what’s going to happen next” then headlong into the crowd for ‘Bitter Angry Fake.’ The set is closes with ‘The Wave’, their heavy riffs and melodies were the perfect start to the day.
The genius that is Rémi Gallego aka The Algorithm treated The Underworld to his own unique brand of prog/drum & bass metal. It seems that the volume has been turned up to 11 to ensure we not only hear but feel the music. The set includes a healthy mix of tracks from all three albums including the recently released ‘Brute Force’.
Gallego’s guitar work is reminiscent of Jeff Beck, effortlessly moving from one style to another in perfect synchronisation with the drums. The set is over all too quickly, but now it’s time to make our way to The Barfly albeit that we stop off for some nourishment which results in us missing The Qemists.
We decide to stay at the Barfly for Creeper, the Pop Punksters are on good form hitting the stage with a high octane rendition of ‘VCR’. Front man Will Gould works the crowd well, as they go through their set which includes the powerful ‘The Honeymoon Suit’ the set is closed with the soulful ‘Henley’s Ghost.’ A great set and a band which really does live up to the hype.
Staying in the Barfly to witness an energy fuelled set by The Virginmarys. With a new album under their belts they set about their task with great passion, 'I Wanna Take You Home' is quickly followed the raw and catchy 'Halo in her Silhouette'. One of the highlights from their first album 'Dead Man’s Shoes' gets the barfly treatment with almost everyone singing at the top of their lungs. The majority of the set is filled with new songs from the current album including 'Falling Down', 'Free to do Whatever They Say' the current single 'Motherless Land' and the sublime 'Into Dust'. Set closer 'Just a Ride' sees the crowd go wild and with that it’s all over. The band depart to the cheers and applause they fully deserve, onwards and upwards for The Virginmarys.
Next we’re off to The Monarch for the second Heck gig of the day, it’s clear that the lads for Nottingham are up for it, although I’m not too sure the bar staff are ready for the next 30 minutes. Within the seconds of them walking on the stage lead guitarist Matt Reynolds has got on to the bar and strutting up and down, while Johnny Hall starts to crowd surf, and so starts 30 minutes of joyous mayhem.
Amongst all the mayhem the band remain very tight throughout, plus there’s a chance for a sing along with ‘Powerboat Disaster.’ The set comes to an end with ‘The Great Hardcore Swindle’ with the band playing as much to the audience outside the pub as inside.
Black Spiders are back again at Camden Rocks and rightly so, with their own unique brand of rock n roll. With a big crowd gathered before them they go about their business as they always do. With a middle finger raised to the sky 'stay down' brings the band and crowd together as one, so yeah FUBS you were ace.
Once again Camden Rocks has proven that rock music's heart beats stronger than ever, and that the festival is the best metropolitan festival in the land, see you next year.