On the eve of the 6th Camden Rocks Festival it only seemed right to go and see Beatsteaks at The Underworld. I saw this German talent at KOKO last year and what a fantastic experience it was. What I loved about this particular gig is that the venue was smaller and we kinda had them all to ourselves. This band knows how to rev up their audience. Every song had everyone up and jumping and every tune was banging. Fantastic loops entwined with, thrash, rock and anything that goes into a spiral eclectic delight. This is a band that always dish out the goods 100%.
A quick dash over to Dingwall’s where I was blown away with the super cool SoapGirls. They really step up to the plate with their outrageous get up and their hardcore guitars. The drummer sported a horses head which only complimented his real mane of hair which danced wildly alongside his drumming. This South African trio took over and boy did they have everyone under their spell. Cracking songs with a piercing underbelly of deep down riffs had everyone enthralled by their entire set. They certainly adorn the rock chick crowns and I will be back for more that’s for sure.
Had to put my running shoes on and sprint over to the Electric Ballroom to see The Professionals. What a fantastic set. Tom Spencer on vocals and guitar had totally kidnapped us and we were all loving it. Hard core punk and a rock n roll mash-up that filled the ballroom from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. Every song had you caught by the hook and that hook wasn’t letting anyone go! Solid bass and vocals by the ace Paul Myers, feisty guitar and vocals by the ultimate Chris McCormack and mind-blowing drums and vocals by the wild Paul Cook. The set went too fast for me which just goes to show you how bloody brilliant they were!
Another tick on my wish list has been filled . I couldn’t help but contain my excitement for the headliner act PIL. They literally gob smacked us all and Johnny Lydon still has a serious set of lungs on him. A showman, a genius and a true artist. The whole band is an army of bohemian punks with the cutting edge of a dagger. The current line up is Lu Edmonds on guitar, Bruce Smith on drums and Scott Firth on bass and keyboards. I love the fact that PIL have created their own individual sound that steers very clearly away from anything Sex Pistols which in my opinion is a very brave thing for Johnny to do. So it’s very exciting that earlier this year they announced a forthcoming release of a box set ‘The Public Image is Rotten’. This seven disc set will feature all of their tracks over the years as well as unseen footage and songs that have never been heard before. They have also included a hard back book filled to the brim with over the years memorabilia (I want one!). This was a perfect end of the festival for me and to have the opportunity to experince PIL live is something I will never forget. Camden Rocks Festival on the whole was a brilliant day and I’m definately back next year thats for sure. Well done to all of the organisers and the artists and the venues that facilitated this top London event.
Words Celine Hispiche
Photos Jeff Moh
Photo Gallery Camden Rocks Festival 2018 by Jeff Moh
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