The Independent London Newspaper

Rock and Pop: Preview - Camden Crawl

Saint Etienne are among the Crawl headliners

Published: 28 April, 2011
by ROISIN GADELRAB

IT rained for the first time in the history of the Camden Crawl last year. When I say rained, more like giants stood atop Primrose Hill hosing down Camden High Street until all the little indie ants were washed down the drain.

So let’s hope this year, the giants take a break for the Crawl’s 10th anniversary.

Odd Future, Miles Kane, Killing Joke, British Sea Power, St Etienne, Graham Coxon, Frankie and the Heartstrings, Villagers, Giggs – the list of unmissable acts is endless but it requires military ­precision to be sure you catch your top choices.

Army-style discipline alone is tough but throw in sun, good times, queues, clinging onto friends in a sea of people, navigating dark venues, and the best laid plans are bound to dissolve into a haze of good intentions and gigs you didn’t quite plan to see. This is not a bad thing – the Crawl is the ideal spotting ground for new music.

Here are a few tips for the day:

• It’s not all about gigs in dark places. There’s a whole daytime programme of comedy, theatre and the chance to pit your mind against some of the industry’s biggest musos at a choice of challenging pub quizzes.

• Manage expectations – don’t expect to see every band you want – there will be timetable clashes, mad dashes from Mornington Crescent to Kentish Town, and just plain old queues, so prioritise and enjoy the unknown.

• Keep your eyes and ears open for secret appearances, pop-up gigs and the unexpected – last year Amy Winehouse was pulling pints at The Dublin Castle and a few years previously David Schwimmer joined the Crawl.

• Try to predict collaborations – as Giggs and Lethal Bizzle are both booked to play and they’ve just released the Monsta Man remix, that’s the one I’m guessing at.

• Check out the Red Bull outdoor stage – it’ll be a rare chance to see rap collective Odd Future who made waves at this year’s SXSW festival. And if you can prove you’re an NW1 resident, you can get into Hawley Crescent for free.

• Download the Gaymers Camden Crawl 2011 The Album compilation – free to ticketholders from www.7digital.com/ camdencrawl – and check out the bands you haven’t heard yet, you never know, it might just stop you missing out on the next band of the year.

And finally, follow me on Twitter for live updates throughout the weekend and tweet me any Crawl news, gossip or rumours of secret gigs – I promise to share – @roisingadelrab 

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