Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Shaken and Stirred on The Rocks - review of Camden Rocks

Camden Rocks Festival
Straight Lines ****
Toseland **1/2** 
Gnarwolves ***1/2** 
Max Raptor ***** 
Dinosaur Pile Up ***1/2 * 
The Hell ***** 
Get Cape Wear Cape Fly ****1/2*

All over Camden, Saturday 31st May 2014

Like any cocktail list, today's bill of fare is an object lesson in option paralysis; you want to taste all the delicious and heady brews on the list, but there's simply too much to choose from and so many intoxicating variations, flavours and ingredients to realistically get yourself outside.

So, after a lengthy session studying the amazing list, a plan is hatched and the mayhem begins with a drop of Welsh moonshine.

Straight Lines *****

A heavy and straightforward looking cocktail. But deceptively complex.
Take a classical rock base. Infuse it with Sabbath salt, spice and riff bombs. 
Add in a good dash of contemporary sharpness and relevance. Then chuck it all into a hot and moist Barfly and shake the living shit out of it. 

Delicious, heady, heavy but with a fresh aftertaste (even with the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath riff still on the tongue as a strong finish). Cracking start to a long, well-soused day. 

Toseland **1/2**

Take the eighties. No, please take the eighties.

Where do I start? Take a bunch of very competent rent-a-rock band musos, throw in an impossibly hench ex world superbike racing dude, sprinkle with ridiculously clichéd, Jeremy Clarkson 20 driving rock classics collection CD from a petrol station lyrics and song titles like Renegade (seriously!), take a large slug of irony, but throw that away, chuck in some Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Uriah Heep, Thunder, Bon Jovi and mix it up into a beige but annoyingly tasty frothy mixture. Liberally spice with epic guitar solos, piano intros and, to be fair, a pretty formidable voice and you've got the ultimate dad-friendly rocktail.

Anachronistic. Competent. Perfectly played. But Bourbon biscuits rather than rock and roll moonshine Bourbon snorted out of a rusty petrol can.

Gnarwolves ***1/2** 

Take a glass. Stick it up your arse. Break the glass. Fill it full of quaaludes, hydroponically grown hyper grass, neat overproof rum, amyl nitrate and give it a fucked up spastic shake. Then drop the glass. Lick the contents off the sticky floor. And that's a Gnarwolvestini. Chaotic, full-on, fun, dirty, fucked up and addictive. Despite tuning and technical cock ups, normal disorder is resumed with typical mayhem-infused aplomb. Big riffs, über-pop punk melodies and sing-alongs. The complete antidote to Toseland's low alcohol lager. The crowd a bit bemused rather than totally intoxicated but it is impossibly early for something normally so spicy, punchy and messed up. Burp.

Max Raptor *****

Time to move to a distinctly classic part of the mixology list.Take some pointy fingers, a sharp, acidic shot of sardonic and knowing wit, throw in a dash of satire, a nod, a wink, some crystal clear, triple filtered extra strong cane spirit, cerebral fluid, a hint of Burton Ale, sweat, lube, a full bodied red, some needle-sharp shards of glass, industrial swarf, empty a bumper bag of Whoa Whoas and throw it all into a bath. Dive in. Frenziedly slurp the mind-blowing alchemic goo off the whiffy bridge and wobbly bits of  a compliant bystander and lose your shit. A truly original, mind-melting, heart starting, knee bending, cock-grabbing, clever, proto-punk concoction that gets this NW1 party of all parties properly started. Brilliant. 

Dinosaur Pile Up ***1/2 **

Take some grunge, add a dollop more grunge, mix in some, well grunge, throw in some big tunes, the odd white t-shirt, some jeans, a refreshing slice of piercing but surprisingly agreeable essence of vocal, serve on a base of solid riffs, butt-loosening bass and pour into a heaving Electric Ballroom. Sassy, bold, fruity an, of course grungy. Cheers.

The Hell ***** 

Take four cunts. Two lots of two strings. Some alarmingly aubergine hair dye. A huge sprinkle of irony. Mix it with lager, piss, bile, Courtney Love's poisonous fanny batter, the grease from a thousand kebab shop owners' aprons, more lager and shake it all up in a tiny hot room full of semi naked hardcore dancing cunts. Yup, it's that fucking horrible. Dicks.

Get Cape Wear Cape Fly ****1/2*

Take a small man. Some huge sing-a-long tunes. A massive dollop of distilled nostalgia, unbridled joy and some D&B wobs, beats and tst tst tsts. Heat it up to nearly boiling point. Pour in some der dub dub dub dubs. Spray over a flagging room full of singing soulmates to bring spirits, arses, brows, smiles, faces and dancing feet back to life. Enjoy.A wonderful sundowner to cap a full-on day suffused with variety, bizarreness and brilliance.

And so to bed.Camden Rocks has been an absolute triumph. 200 bands, 20 venues, 8,000 like-minded rock fans of every shape, size, taste and smell. A fantastic vibe throughout the whole day. 

The only downside was missing such mesmerising and intoxicating acts like A Plastic Rose, Baby Godzilla and the return of The mighty Xcerts. Shame.

Brilliant organisation (even though the wristband exchange took up quite a lot of drinking, I mean rock and roll time. ) But all-in-all one of the very best one day festivals imaginable. Can't wait to get stuck in again next year.


No comments:

Post a Comment