Camden Rocks 2017 review

Henry Lewis enjoyed a hard rocking musical adventure around Camden, taking in performances from the likes of Pulled Apart By Horses, Reverend and the Makers, The Blinders and more.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 5th Jun 2017.
Originally published: 4th Jun 2017

Image: Camden Rocks

There can't be many areas of English cities that lend themselves to a music festival as well as Camden does. The London district is purpose built for hosting live music events, with a wealth of top class venues, a heap of thirst quenching watering holes perfect for a summer all dayer, and a cultural heritage that is second to none. 

Its most noticible quality, on any given day, are its ever bustling streets, littered with the free thinking, trendy and artistic. From its vintage clothes shops to mouthwateringly tempting markets, it's a haven for the liberals, while a number of high profile musicians including the Libertines and the late Any Winehouse share an affinity with Camden, so much so a commemorative statue of Winehouse sits beside Stable Markets. 

Conituing on from previous years, the 2017 edition of Camden Rocks delivered a glut of big name bands sat firmly at the top of the festival's line up along with a plethora of up and coming racket inducing rockers, each enjoying a day to display their brand of music whilst cutting their teeth on the festival circuit.

Like other inner city events such as Dot To Dot or Tramlines, as well as the big name venues where most of the bigger acts ply their trade, a handful of pubs, clubs and smaller music venues were on hand to provide a stage for the grassroots outfits, ensuring the entire town had music oozing out of every pore.

The Electric Ballroom hosted early afternoon performances from both punky hip hop blasters the King Blues and Pulled Apart By Horses, with the latter fresh from supporting last year's Camden Rocks headliners The Cribs in a triumphant homecoming show for both bands at Leeds Arena.

With the release of fourth album The Haze coming this year, the band are in the middle of taking their new record around the UK to exhibit wall shaking rock of the highest order. The Electric Ballroom sweated and shook with the sheer force of their rioitous riffs and pummeling choruses and the Yorkshire outfit set an early precedent for what was to come.

One of the town's prodigal sons Carl Barat made an appearance at Koko, not with Doherty et al, but with his Jackals - a similarly leather jacketed bunch with more of a punky crunch and a thirst for meaty guitar stabs that paved the way for Barat's angst inducing hollering. There is no doubting the talent of The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things man, who once again showed that no matter the outfit he has a happy knack for delivering knockout choruses and can tear up a solo like few others.

A glimpse of the next act on stage, Reverend and the Makers, confirmed Jon McClure wasn't lying when he told us earlier this year that they'd clobber the audience with bangers. 2015's Mirrors was arguably their finest work to date and lead single 'Too Tough To Die' from the Sheffield outfit's forthcoming album points towards good news for fans of the band.McClure and co had the crowd in a raptured frenzy, bringing the feel good factor to proceedings and ensured a party atmosphere was enjoyed by all.

At this point it became an attempt to cram in as much music as possible, so snippets of sets from much hyped The Blinders at the Camden Assembly and mid '00s indie rockers Milburn were crammed into a punishing time frame ahead of the festival's climax.

This for many was at Koko where Feeder brought down the curtains with a triumphant display of alt rock greatness. Until you've seen them live you won't even realise the amount of anthems the Welsh group have in their armoury and, with crowd's arms aloft, soaked in sweat and beer, they ended another awesome one dayer in the cultural jewell of the capital.

Festivals 2018