Camden Rocks, Camden, London

I wasn’t going to go to this as I only really wanted to see Andy Cairns of Therapy!

Then…. Feeder were announced as headliners with the added bonus of The Virginmarys so that was enough for me.

First up was Hands Off Gretel at the Underworld, they played a decent set and hand a lot of people in the venue considering the time of day.

Simon, Jim & I make our way down to Koko, a venue which has finally been added to the festival. Jim suggests that we see The Kut in The Crowndale, it’s 3 girls playing some rock, Simon & I aren’t really into it at all so we leave to get a good place in Koko for Royal Republic. Here we catch the end of Moses. They seem to be having fun but this venue is way too big for them at this point in their career.

Royal Republic take to the stage and straight away I’m impressed by what I’m seeing. They command the crowd really well. By far they are easily the band of the day. They announce that they will be returning soon so I’ll be looking out for tickets.

We hot foot it down to Camden Market to catch Ally Dickaty’s (The Virginmarys) solo show. He was playing the Kraken Sound Stage which is inside the market on the fake grassed area. It’s nice to be outside rather than a stuffy venue on this fine day.

I grabbed some food which ended up being uncooked chicken…

Then headed to see Andy Cairns at Proud, he’s 100% solo today even being his own roadie. He jokes the rest of the band are watching the Champions League final, something he himself was doing in one of the stables before the show. He plays another solid set, quite different to the previous time I saw his solo show. He announces that they are heading into the studio to record album number 15 on Monday and then plays a new song. I joke with Ronald on Whatsapp that they are recording album number 15,000.

Unfortunately both The Virginmarys and Feeder clashed, I choose Feeder at Koko to end this year’s festival and was happy I did. I catch the end of The Coral, I only know one song, Dreaming Of You, it’s their final bow as they leave the stage after this.

Feeder put on a solid show, but it’s not as good as when I saw them in Folkestone a couple of months back. I think mainly this is due to where I am in the venue. I’m up top on the same level as the hidden sofas.

I’d checked my phone during the break before the encore I saw there had been another attack in the city. I meet Simon outside and we head home straight away and it’s a good job we did. We made the Northern Line which was later suspended and then managed to get as far as Mile End before the Central Line suffered the same, although this was resumed and we did manage to get to Stratford and home. We knew this was likely to happen as when we got to Bank the announcements were instructing everyone to get back on the trains as there was no exit from the station at all.

Camden Rocks, Camden, London

Camden Rocks 2016, Camden, London

Photo of the day

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Really poor line up this year, so much so we even considered a trip to the Olympic Park to see ACDC as there was a rumor floating around that Duff and Slash would join Axl on stage for a number, they didn’t so luckily we saved ourselves £90 each.

Didn’t manage to catch Ginger Wildheart which was a shame but I did catch The Pearl Hearts who are currently supporting Garbage on selected dates of their European tour.

Band of the day for me were The Qemists followed by The Virginmarys, venue of the day had to be upstairs at the Barfly, we caught 3 gigs there and all 3 were good, the other being Them & Us.

Headed home after VM’s as I had an early start the following morning.

Women Of The World Festival, Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany

Terrible show this one, easily the worst Garbage gig I’ve ever attended. The sound was terrible in the stalls, the lighting didn’t seem to hit the front of the stage and the band didn’t really seem that into it. Opening track Sometimes doesn’t work, maybe this will change once the album is out, there was also no Butch Vig due to illness. Not a great way to start off the new material, hopefully the rest of the shows improve.

Leeds Festival [Day 3], Bramham Park, Leeds

Leeds Festival line up

An early start following a late eneving getting back from the festival in Portsmouth. Straight to Kings Cross to head to The North. Arrived just in time to catch the majority of The Marmozets. As with their show in Brighton they put on a decent set. My late arrival meant we missed Baby Metal much to Kristina’s enjoyment.

Then we sat near the BBC introducing stage for an hour or two and caught some decent bands including Ducking Punches and Area 52. We also caught Crosa Rosa who singer was trying to be Kurt Cobain, they did have some great home made signs mind you.

Back on the main stage Royal Blood played, for me the performance of the day. Completely solid from start to finish.

Bring Me The Horizon. I just didn’t get it, at all. Circle pits and mental pointless crushed moshing for no apparent reason. The sound was also shite, the band even commenting on it at one point.

We saw a couple of songs from Ghost who seemed pretty decent. I don’t know much by them so will check them out in the coming days.

Metallica, were average. Nothing special at all. The encore was decent and on a par with other shows I’ve seen of theirs but the remainder of their set I felt was missing something.

  

Victorious Festival [Day 1], Portsmouth

  
On arrival I thought the site was really badly laid out after finally working out where all the stages are I decided this wasn’t the case, better signage would help in the future.

I arrived around 6:30 as I didn’t fancy spending the entire day in Portsmouth watching bands I didn’t care for. I’m glad I did as it was pissing it down when I arrived and the place was starting to look like a swamp.

I caught a bit of The Frattellis who sounded pretty good but I wanted to catch The Subways who put on a great set.

Primal Scream were next and to be honest I felt they were poor. The crowd also didn’t seem that into them either which I thought was odd.

The night ended with Grant Nicholas, the only reason why I came down here to be honest. As with all the previous solo shows I’ve seen he was excellent. Grant was ten minutes late going on stage due to a few teething problems with the sound check and the small crowd had started to heckle him. I thought the crowd was going to turn out to be a nightmare but the vast majority were silent throughout the set. 

One other thing about this festival was the complete lack of security checks. I walked straight in and never showed my ticket at all which looked like it was being manned by kids. The security which were there didn’t know where stages were, I was told that the acoustic stage was “over there, I think” and “I think it’s on the right in that direction”. There was no security whatsoever at the acoustic stage, located up the road on the left. I guess they felt none is needed at these family-friendly festivals. 

Standon Calling Festival [Day 2], Standon

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What a strange festival this is… It’s like a family fun day, with shite music. Families with kids everywhere which isn’t a bad thing as long as there’s loads to do for them. You can even take your dog in with you as they also sell dog tickets, and many did! I should explain it was a really late call to go to this one, and despite not knowing anyone on the line up I thought it could be interesting to check out some new music, and if there wasn’t much well I’d still see The Dandy Warhols anyway.

On arriving it seemed like a normal kind of festival. The difference being today was fancy dress with everyone in Western style fancy dress to match the Wild West town that had been built on site.

Do Me Bad Things were the first band we watched and they had a pretty solid set. Everything else thereafter was like someone who would have made the top 50 on X Factor but not the live shows. Shocking… By 6pm we had had enough and decided to head back to London so we never got to see the band we knew.

Our tickets we pretty much got buy 1 get 1 free more or less but on exchange our day tickets become weekend tickets somehow as we were given weekend wristbands, so in theory I could back tomorrow and catch Basement Jaxx,

I won’t be.

Ramblin’ Man Fair [Day 2], Mote Park, Maidstone

Very surprised by this day. Simon left for Boston early so Ady and I held off leaving home as it was absolutely chucking it down in London in the morning. Arriving at the site Blue Pills were already on stage so we only caught their final song, they sounded really good. We then grabbed a quick pint from the beer festival tent, something that in all honestly is one of the best things I’ve seen at a festival.

Icelandic band Solstafir were up next, they had some good sound, not a clue what they were singing about mind you. The Quireboys were solid and put on a decent set. Temperance Movement & Rival Sons both put on good shows for a crowd standing in the rain.

Then it was Seasick Steve, the only artist performing that day who I knew anything by. He for me was the performer of the weekend, a really enjoyable set which the crowd loved.

We then headed to see the remainder of Ian Anderson’s set, via that beer tent. He just made me think about what the fuck he must have taken in the 60’s and 70’s, is he still on some crazy trip that has lasted 50 years?!

The day ended with Gregg Allman, for me he was OK and was good to see something different but his set for me felt it needed more energy.

The strangest thing about the whole day was the rain. It was incredibly fine rain the whole day more or less apart from for about 5-10 minutes in the afternoon. Despite being out in the rain the whole day we weren’t at all wet, quite dry in fact. It was almost as if the rain had evaporated before it hit the ground.

Ramblin’ Man Fair [Day 1], Mote Park, Maidstone

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A freebie from Simon who won the tickets.

The performance from Anathema was the best of the day for me, didn’t know anything by them and they seemed to have a pretty solid set.

Scorpions also seemed to have a decent set, but I’m pretty sure they’d normally have a far better set than they did today.

Decent site for the festival itself with good parking, my local knowledge of Maidstone allowed for a quick escape after the gig. If they hold the festival here again in the future they should consider moving the second stage, or putting it inside a large tent as the sound bleeds into the main stage area which isn’t ideal. Overall pretty impressed for a first effort.

Camden Rocks, Camden, London

Camden Rocks

I went to a stack of venues and boozers I’d never been to before. I missed Ginger Wildheart but as a result saw Richie Ramone who did a Ramones set which was pretty cool.

  • Dirty Thrills (Proud Camden)
  • Samoans (The Monarch)
  • New Device (The Cuban)
  • Richie Ramone (Electric Ballroom)
  • Black Spiders (Electric Ballroom)
  • And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (Electric Ballroom)
  • Hawk Eyes (The Stillery)
  • Dolomite Minor (The Hawley Arms)
  • Demob Happy (The Enterprise)
  • No Sugar (The Enterprise)

Highlights from what I saw include Samoans, New Device and Dolomite Minor.

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