Those Dancing Days bring Stockholm Syndrome to Camden

Camden Crawl review

published: Mon 9th May 2011

Saturday 30th April to Sunday 1st May 2011
venues in Camden, London, NW1 0NE, England MAP
2-day pass £63.50, or £39.50 for either day
last updated: Wed 6th Apr 2011

Those Dancing Days are one of those bands that, on paper, really shouldn't work. An all-female quintet from Stockholm, they look a bit like they've been cobbled together from various teenage tribes. The singer is one of the popular girls, the keyboard player a total space cadet, the bassist a librarian, the drummer clearly a closet rocker and the guitarist, well…Pippi Longstockings. It's like some bizarre Scandinavian version of The Village People crossed with your favourite 80s teen movies.

Yet tonight they have the world at their feet. Taking the stage at the suitably glamorous (for Camden anyway) Annies, the band brings a natural vigour to their performance that captures every heart in the room from the word 'go'.

'Pop' can be a dirty word in a reality where Justin Bieber has over 500 million views on Youtube, but Those Dancing Days are here to reclaim it for the good of humankind. Their music is absolutely pure, joyous pop, with all the bullshit stripped out.

From the unashamedly romantic 'I'll Be Yours' to the glowering 'Fuckarias', everything they touch tonight is gobsmackingly brilliant, and enticing in its heartfelt innocence. These girls love the music they’re making, and even if it does occasionally prompt uncomfortable parallels with the likes of Tiffany, Roxette and even the cringeworthy Alphabeat, when the songs are this much fun, who really cares?

However, before the Abba comparisons surface, it should also be stressed that their songs pack a hard edge in their live incarnation – at times its surprisingly heavy stuff, propelled by some killer drum hooks courtesy of human beat tornado Cissi Efraimsson. She’s really the band’s secret weapon, churning out enough showboating rolls and frantic rhythms on tracks like 'Run Run' to make even an ardent metalhead grunt with satisfaction.

Juxtaposed with singer Linnea Jonsson's lush vocals, this collision of the muscular and the soft proves truly irresistible. At moments the music recalls classic 60s girl groups like The Ronettes, but always with an undercurrent of heaviness that reflects the band's Led Zeppelin-inspired moniker.

The keyboardist and drummer also deserve special mention for their endearing stage rapport, lapping up the limelight with some off kilter dance routines and jazz hands, of a sort. Yes, there are jazz hands, and it still manages to be stunning.

All told, tonight Those Dancing Days are absolutely spellbinding. Never dull for a moment, the material they play is in turns starry-eyed and powerful, and delivered with such emphatic feistiness it leaves the whole crowd reeling.
review by: Nick Hagan

Saturday 30th April to Sunday 1st May 2011
venues in Camden, London, NW1 0NE, England MAP
2-day pass £63.50, or £39.50 for either day
last updated: Wed 6th Apr 2011


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