it's Madness on the first day of Camden Crawl!

Camden Crawl 2009 review

published: Wed 29th Apr 2009

Madness

Friday 24th to Saturday 25th April 2009
venues in Camden, London, NW1 0NE, England MAP
2-day £54.81; £32.79 for either Friday only, Saturday sold out
last updated: Thu 16th Apr 2009

The Camden Crawl offers everything you need from a festival in the middle of London. 150+ bands, 30+ venues, all the markets and regulars of Camden and just not enough time to see half of it. A massive range of daytime events from acoustic sessions, one man bands, poetry, spoken word, comedy, music quizzes and even some arts and crafts.

D-66
With the majority of people still working on the Friday afternoon, many of the venues are fairly quiet. This gives you time to chop and choose between everything on. Not to mention the blazing sunshine, the perfect festival accompaniment! In fact, with Primrose Hill five minutes away, it gave a great opportunity to sit down and try and work out who to see in the evening while basking in the rays. Trying to catch a little bit of all the festival, I jump from venue to venue. Andrew Clarke starts the day with a contemporary take on Americana / blues with some comedy thrown in. 'Shot in the Mouth' has everyone in tears of laughter. Next up, in another bar, some comedians struggle with hecklers barely giving them a chance to tell a joke. Not staying long there, I managed to catch the end of D-66 at the battle of the one-man bands. A dirty blues guitarist with bass drum and backing track got the Lock Tavern rocking.

Madness
Back up by the Roundhouse, catching sight of an open-topped Routemaster bus with 'Madness World Tour of Camden' written on the side. Who else! A brief jam outside from Suggs, Lee Thomson, Chris Foreman and a competition winner on kazoo began. With lots of sax solos and a few scattered vocals they upped sticks, letting the slightly bemused crowd around know about a proper outside show later just down the road.

The Brute Chorus
With enough time for a couple more bands before the evenings entertainment it was time to head down to the Worlds End to add another to the venue list. A bit of electo-rock from a group of youngsters from Jersey, Marvel, then the London-based The Brute Chorus. Hard to pigeon-hole, these guys will be worth keeping an eye on with their energetic, mixed up shows.

Starting the nights music were Von Bondies, playing their first main UK show since the release of new album 'Love, Hate And Then There's You'. Packing out the crowd, they play a good mix of new and old songs with a good response from the audience. 'C'mon C'mon' finishes the set with a blast that still sounds fresh 5 years on. With a bit of a run to get up to the Roundhouse on-time for what seems to be the most anticipated performance of the festival.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs's have gone from strength to strength with 'Its Blitz!' already being hailed as one of the best albums of 2009. Opening the set with 'Dull Life' then 'Gold Lion', its obvious why they're so popular. 'Karen O' makes the stage her own personal playground enjoying herself easily as much as the crowd. Squeezing hit after hit into the short set, 45 minutes just isn't long enough to get everything in.

Next on the list for the night are The Whip, right at the other end of Camden... With the array of chicken shops, pubs and restaurants its easy to grab a bite to eat, whatever your taste. Stumbling across the end of Madness's set, 'Our House' and 'It Must Be Love' get the feet moving again so the walk is a nice surprise. Finally making it to Koko, its time to start dancing again. Having always been disappointed with the sound there, it was a surprise to have crisp clean production. Without knowing The Enemy had cancelled, a massive queue for Echo and the Bunnymen was a surprise, being the first I had seen all night.

Fight Like Apes
It was down to Fight Like Apes to finish off. Packing out the Purple Turtle, they tore through their set tiring everyone in the room out. By the end, it was hard to not want to sit down. For 'Battlestations', the last song, most of the Von Bondies ended up on stage, adding to the carnage. All that was left was to crawl home and sleep.
review by: Chris Mathews

photos by: Chris Mathews

Friday 24th to Saturday 25th April 2009
venues in Camden, London, NW1 0NE, England MAP
2-day £54.81; £32.79 for either Friday only, Saturday sold out
last updated: Thu 16th Apr 2009


latest on this festival

Camden Crawl
festival home page
last updated: Tue 12th Apr 2016
Camden Crawl 2014
line-ups & rumours
last updated: Thu 15th May 2014
Camden Crawl 2014
festival details
last updated: Thu 15th May 2014