Tuesday, May 4

Camden Crawl: Sunday

. Tuesday, May 4

With Saturday somewhat of a washout due to bad weather the relative tropical heat of Sunday makes Camden much easier to navigate.

First up is an early evening meeting with Gaggle, the twenty two strong, all female choir from East London. Whilst it might be easy to dismiss them as a novelty act there is something genuinely powerful hearing a legion of voices call for the head of a deceptive man at the back wall of the Electric Ballroom. United and strong, Gaggle are a formidable force and even manage to make the bonkers-pop of Marina and The Diamonds 'Mowgli's Road' sound eerie, giving it a lingering sense of threat. You might go see Gaggle for the spectacle but you'll want to come back for the tunes.

Whilst trawling the gutter pubs of North London might be fun Camden Crawl also offers some of the country's biggest bands playing at the Roundhouse for MTV. Lostprophets triumph in front of the cameras playing a glitzy set of their greatest hits encompassing anthemic pop-metal from their ten year career. The band are a confusing proposition with half of them looking as if they want to be in Refused whilst the other half strut around in designer clothes like a Hollyoaks extra. What is undeniable about Lostprophets however is the strength of their songs. From 'Burn Burn' and 'Our Last Summer' through to 'Standing On The Rooftops' Ian Watkins and co know how to write a massive song and their legion of fans lap it up, bellowing every word right back at their heroes.

Having sampled the glamour of Lostprophets it's a hop, skip and a jump down to the Barfly to see Gold Panda do his thing. Where on record tracks like 'You' can be overwhelming and busy, live Gold Panda makes much more sense. Just one man and a series of electrical implements he holds the crowd well though he does get his biggest cheer for putting on a hat with a pandas face on it. Some people are very easily impressed.

Over at Camden Rock shriek-punk duo Comanechi are a band that seem like a good idea for one song but by the time you've heard five an impending headache makes the exit sign above the door seem a very attractive option. Luckily, just across the road Surfer Blood are playing to a shoulder rubbing, ram packed Underworld. Their slow-burning, Pavement inspired rock takes on a more aggressive, blue-collar feel when played live with singer John Paul Pitts leading his band admirably. Hits from their debut album 'Astro Coast' see the crowd rocking include an excellent 'Twin Peaks' and the bombastic 'Swim'.

Camden Crawl 2010 perhaps underwhelming in parts and marred by bad queues and even worse weather but as an opportunity to see some of the worlds most exciting new bands, in one place over one weekend then it still delivers excellently. Just remember to pack an umbrella next year.


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