Supergrass - Camden Crawl 2006

After a triumphant return last year “The Crawl” is permanently back on the list of must do’s for any music lovers in the capital. Its a mini festival with two key features. 1: great music, 40 bands, 10 venues, etc, etc, and 2: great queues, huge snaking will sapping ones, and as I punned last year (and I see no reason not to reuse a gag) a unique chance to miss 37 bands in one night.
With that experience in mind, coupled with a heavy dose of lazyarse-itis off to The Dublin Castle it was, and there I stayed, totally failing to enter the intended spirit of the “crawl” but equally keen not to enter into a fruitless queue of hundreds.

In 2005 Graham Coxon was the main squeeze – and i mean squeeze – at the Castle, this years worst kept secret were Supergrass playing probably their smallest venue in a good dozen years. I thought arriving for the first band at 7 was perhaps over cautious but if blog land is to be believed it wasn’t a bad call. Mahoney & Palacefan were but two who arrived early but too late, with Meredith there at 9.30, two hours before Supergrass were due to play but still greeted by a queue of 100+ desperately trying to shoehorn themselves in.

Pics from Dublin Castle – Camden Crawl 20/04/06

Supergrass - Camden Crawl 2006

While I wouldn’t claim to be a Supergrass fan as such, they have a great live reputation and a back catalogue bursting with classics, and frankly if you’re going to see them where better than in a pub with 150 people? By the time Gaz and co slowly squeezed through the middle of the crowd, struggling to even make it onto the stage the place was buzzing, not to mention very very cramped. Even celeb mate Rhys Ifans was left craning for a view in the door way (apparently he couldn’t be arsed to push though… yeah right if he’d tried a lynching would have followed..some people had been here a long time and weren’t budging an inch).From the off the place went mental, beers were thrown, sweat was sweated, and classics were belted out, with the crowd gleefully singing along. Somewhere in the middle of it all was a very happy me, loving every second but also mildly concerned at the safety of my camera amidst the carnage, and attempting to get something more than a beer soaked blur of a shot.

“We just want to say this is a special night, and it means a lot to us” said a sweat drenched Coombs.

Supergrass - Camden Crawl 2006

Playing a 50 minute set, with some new material, but also classics like “Caught By the Fuzz”, “Lenny”, and winner of the make the crowd go fucking mental award for the night “Pumping on your stereo”. Finishing up with “Strange Ones” Danny Goffey flung himself into the audience, crowd surfing his way to the exit, losing a shoe in the process, but departing triumphant if slightly ungainly. Artrocker perfectly summed it up:

“we’re all feeling like lucky little piggies to have witnessed it. I won’t go on about it. You’ll only wish you’d been there.”

although the cheeky wee bastards did nick one of my pics without asking.

Akira The Don Camden Crawl 2006

As if Akira The Don didn’t have enough stacked against them being “the band before the one everyone wants to see” they also had technical problems which seemed on the verge of forcing an Akira unplugged session. Growing numbers of techies gathered around the ailing keyboard/sequencer with increasingly exasperated expressions. The poor keyboard player at one point had his head in his hands, and was so stressed he dispensed with both parka jacket, and jamiroquai hat. Just as all looked lost, machines sprung back into life, with the keyboardist giving his best “oh thank fuck for that expression”.

Reactions were at best mixed with The Guardian finding them “weird, wonderful and utterly compelling”, while the group of lads behind me commented not so quietly “get off the fucking stage you’re shiiiitttt, FUCK OFF!!”. Over on their myspace site there are positive posts a plenty with Bearded Jesus Freak moaning about having to put up with

“a load of uneducated fuckwads that clearly do not understand politeness. I mean fair enough if you aint into the music, go chill at the bar and have a few brews b4 some hasbeen indie boys come on, i mean show some fucking respect!”

They were joined on stage by the rapping hordes of Why? Lout for by far the highlight of the show “Boom”, a mad future terrace anthem. Its Elastica samples, and maddeningly addictive “BOOM! NeeNorNeeeNor” chorus almost won over a generally hostile crowd (even typing it guarantees I’ll be wandering around neeenoring for the rest of the day).

You can read Akira’s full account of the gig over on their site…(well worth it for a laugh):

“It was pretty rah. Pritty, pritty rah. My managers were concerned I was too drunk, and tried to sober me up with pizza, but pizza had so much chili in it my nose nearly imploded and I thought I might never rap again. Ho ho.

We played, and were amazing, and you lot were amazing. Supergrass played ‘Caught By The Fuzz’, and all their other records that weren’t as good as ‘Caught By The Fuzz’, and people tried to get me to get them cocaine for “Jude Law’s ex” in return for an invite to their party, and I really must be lame, because I didn’t have anything to do with it.

What I must have missed out on! I so always wanted to bum Danny Goffey!
Rhys Ifans chatted Mary up…”

MP3: Boom(feat. Why? Lout) / Gitmo (Feat. Nastie) / Genocide Is Coming

Lethal B Camden Crawl 2006Akira also perfectly summed up Lethal Bizzle “Lethal B was on before us, and he was fucking ace. Dude is mad loud. Him and Ozzy B did ‘Oi!’, that was highlight.”

The Bizzle certainly knows how to work the crowd, kicking off his show by repeatedly stopping the first song in its tracks, and demanding more volume and vocals.. the dj span it back, only to be told again…”No…cut cut it cut it.. More vocals..more noise from the crowd”. Who could tell if he wasn’t actually happy with the sound or if it was designed to get the crowd going (which it 100% did).

As Akira said Oi! was a highlight, but almost everything he did had the crowd pogoing like mad, and the new track “Boy” featuring Pete Doherty has – as Lethal himself commented  – an absolute killer beat. It was in short, loud, party sing-along hip hop/grime at its best. He well and truly rocked the Castle.

MP3: POW Forward / Check out Myspace for Boy feat Pete Doherty

Rumble Strips Camden Crawl 2006

Opening my evening, but ending my account The Rumble Strips have already been eulogized about far too much by me already. They were as always on good form, although I didn’t think their sound was quite right. Debut single “Motorcycle” not reaching the Top 10 remains a travesty, and they have at least half a dozen other gems, making their soon to come album one to look out for.

Do yourself a favour, visit The Rumble Strips MP3 site, and help yourself to some future classics with Hate Me, Motorcycle, and No Soul in particular being must haves.