Camden Rocks is undisputedly and officially A Great Day Out.

Liz Medhurst: Photos by Dutch Michaels

camden rocks

On an ordinary day Camden is a thriving, buzzing place, and this buzz was dialled up to near maximum as the Festival hit town.

The premise is beautifully simple – 200 bands, 20 venues, 12 hours, one entry wristband. That’s 200 bands. In one day. It’s pointless trying to do the actual maths to work out how many acts it is realistic to see, as whatever the number the answer will mean “a very small amount”. Instead, you just relax into the great atmosphere, see what you can and revel in being completely spoilt for choice.

There is every type of guitar-based band represented – all genres of Metal, plus rock, punk, blues, doom, you name it, it was there.

Having said that, although the programme had a schedule that was brilliantly laid out and easy to read, what it didn’t tell you anywhere was anything about the type of band, so if you weren’t aware of the act in advance, you just had to take a punt on what you were going to get.

That is not always a bad thing as it’s good to open up to surprises, but there is always that nagging feeling of having missed out on something that you would have wanted to make a real effort to catch.

camden rocks

First task of the day when landing on the gloriously sunny NW1 was to get some vitamins imbibed as an insurance policy in case things all went terribly wrong later. One trip to Inspiral for a raw vegan smoothie and bag of kale chips later, it was down to The Electric Ballroom for The Peckham Cowboys.

Although this was a very early slot, the band were giving it their all – looked great, sounded great, an immense burst of energy and charisma. The five piece and their incredibly cool hats ran through their brand of exuberant, choppy, dirty blues rock showcasing their second album ’10 Tales From The Gin Palace’. A real treat to watch.

The clutch of venues near to Camden Town tube station were starting to fill up, and the queue for wristband exchange for the sold-out event was still in full force – this festival was still gathering steam.

camden rocks

After a lightning quick look at Shattered Skies, Protafield and Stereo Juggernaut, Guildford’s Sons Of Icarus blasted on to the stage of The Black Heart with an explosive set that thrilled the capacity crowd.

A stroll up Chalk Farm Road towards The Barfly was rewarded not only with a solid set from Toseland, but with a run-in with a Kraken. Thankfully not the actual sea monster, but free samples of Perfect Storm – spiced rum with ginger beer and lime. These were dispensed from the air tank of a diver wearing a full vintage suit – surreal and delicious.

With full-on chill-out mode attained, the schedule was starting to look increasingly daunting – what the bloody hell to choose next?

camden rocks
The Howling

As already mentioned, there are 200 bands to choose from – just look at the full line-up below and ask yourself how you would pick. A reminder to keep relaxed about the whole thing.

The highlight of the day for me was undoubtedly the double whammy going on the Jazz Caf&eacute from 7.00pm until 9.00pm. First up was Ginger Wildheart. He always puts on a great show and tonight he played acoustic guitar, backed by a full band and just went with the flow and engaged the crowd completely.

It felt like the setlist was made up on the spot, and the capacity crowd were in amazing voice as the anthems rang out. Ginger’s voice was in great shape and the connection with the band was a joy.

camden rocks

Just when I still basking in the glow from Ginger’s set, The Graveltones took the stage. This duo put on an almighty show – who needs a bass player and the rest when these two people on the stage generated a massive sound and other-worldly grooves, something that absolutely must be experienced.

Guitarist Jimmy O and drummer Mikey Sorbello unleashed raw, powerful, passionate, thunderous tracks. We all know of other heavy blues duos but these guys have their own identity and produced a show that was so much bigger than the sum of their parts.

OK, so Mikey was at times drumming with two sets of sticks, and Jimmy had at least twelve pedals on his board, but still, this was utter genius at work.

camden rocks
The Graveltones

There was then a choice of The Subways, Orange Goblin, Reverend & The Makers, Johnny Borell and many more. After a quick look in at The Subways who were enthralling The Electric Ballroom it was time to make the agonising decision to bail out at that point, as the trains home had all gone to fuck due to engineering works so there was a real risk of not getting home.

As I went off to do battle with the marauding hordes pouring out of Wembley Stadium after the Froch v Groves fight, nothing could diminish the fantastically happy mood from A Great Day Out.

I was very grateful for the bands that I was able to see, and have to accept that the others will have to wait for another time. Some things are just not meant to be – after all, The Virgin Marys played three sets in total and between us we missed them all…

Roll on 2015 – definitely the rock’n’roll street party of the year.

camden rocks


Electric Ballroom 21:15 The Subways
Electric Ballroom 20:00 Dinosaur Pile up
Electric Ballroom 18:45 Turbowolf
Electric Ballroom 17:30 Sonic Boom Six
Electric Ballroom 16:30 Blitz Kids
Electric Ballroom 15:30 Eureka Machines
Electric Ballroom 14:30 Protafield
Electric Ballroom 13:30 The Peckham Cowboys
Electric Ballroom 12:30 New Device

Underworld 21:30 Hacktivist
Underworld 20:30 Fearless Vampire Killers
Underworld 19:00 The Blackout
Underworld 18:00 The Howling
Underworld 17:00 Devil Sold His Soul
Underworld 16:00 Hounds
Underworld 15:00 Boy Jumps Ship
Underworld 14:00 Verses
Underworld 13:00 Sondura

Underworld 00:30 -03:00 Afterparty + The Virginmarys

Proud 21:15 Reverend and the Makers
Proud 20:15 Petebox
Proud 19:00 Exit Calm
Proud 18:00 Trampolene
Proud 17:00 The Struts
Proud 16:00 Goldray
Proud 15:00 Panic the Vulture
Proud 14:00 Tankus the Henge
Proud 13:00 Shiva and the Hazzards
Proud 12:00 Duchess

Jazz Café 21:30 Johnny Borrell and Zazou
Jazz Café 20:30 The Graveltones
Jazz Café 19:00 Ginger Wildheart
Jazz Café 18:00 The Xcerts
Jazz Café 17:00 Paul Hegley Band
Jazz Café 16:00 The Petals
Jazz Café 15:00 Strangefruit
Jazz Café 14:00 4th Street Traffic
Jazz Café 13:00 Saint Agnes
Jazz Café 12:00 The RPM’s

Barfly 21:30 Orange Goblin
Barfly 20:30 Hang The Bastard
Barfly 19:15 Bad For Lazarus
Barfly 18:15 Max Raptor
Barfly 17:00 Gnarwolves
Barfly 16:00 Toseland
Barfly 15:00 Straight Lines
Barfly 14:00 The Ratells
Barfly 13:00 Dead Harts
Barfly 12:00 Ugly Love

Dingwalls main 22:15 The Virginmarys
Dingwalls main 21:00 Nine Black Alps
Dingwalls main 20:00 Acoustic TV (Terrorvision)
Dingwalls main 19:00 Whales in Cubicles
Dingwalls main 18:00 Sons and Lovers
Dingwalls main 17:00 Longy
Dingwalls main 16:00 Bleech
Dingwalls main 15:00 Knights
Dingwalls main 14:00 Hero Fisher
Dingwalls main 13:00 Tax the Heat
Dingwalls main 12:00 Walk The Night

Purple Turtle 22:00 Messanger
Purple Turtle 21:00 Deadly Circus Fire
Purple Turtle 20:00 Generation Graveyard
Purple Turtle 19:00 Palm Reader
Purple Turtle 18:00 to the bones
Purple Turtle 17:00 Empire
Purple Turtle 16:00 Exit International
Purple Turtle 15:00 Flood Of Red
Purple Turtle 14:00 The Wild Lies
Purple Turtle 13:00 Romance
Purple Turtle 12:00 Eat The Evidence

Black Heart 22:00 God Damn
Black Heart 21:00 The Hell
Black Heart 20:00 LTNT
Black Heart 19:00 The Dogbones
Black Heart 18:00 Apologies, I Have None
Black Heart 17:00 Crazy Arm
Black Heart 16:00 Crystal Seagulls
Black Heart 15:00 Sons of Icarus
Black Heart 14:00 Shattered Skies
Black Heart 13:00 Menshevik
Black Heart 12:00 Death Koolaid

Hawley Arms 22:00 Slaves
Hawley Arms 21:00 Burning Beaches
Hawley Arms 20:00 Storms
Hawley Arms 19:00 Turbogeist
Hawley Arms 18:00 Deadcuts
Hawley Arms 17:00 Dirty Harrys
Hawley Arms 16:00 Silver Arm
Hawley Arms 15:00 Young Aviators
Hawley Arms 14:00 Arms
Hawley Arms 13:00 Dead Eye Mariners
Hawley Arms 12:00 Weatherbird

Monarch 22:00 Baby Godzilla
Monarch 21:00 Beasts
Monarch 20:00 Plastic Baricades
Monarch 19:00 Bleach Blood
Monarch 18:00 Black Dogs
Monarch 17:00 The Hype Theory
Monarch 16:00 Cytota
Monarch 15:00 Dolomite Minor
Monarch 14:00 Damn Dice
Monarch 13:00 The Broken Chords
Monarch 12:00 Charlie and the Band of Demons

Good Mixer 22:00 The Vex
Good Mixer 21:00 Under The Influence
Good Mixer 20:00 Raglans
Good Mixer 19:00 The Talks
Good Mixer 18:00 The One Hundred
Good Mixer 17:00 My Little Empire
Good Mixer 16:00 The St Pierre Snake Invasion
Good Mixer 15:00 Riskee And The Ridicule
Good Mixer 14:00 The Derellas
Good Mixer 13:00 The Cramatics
Good Mixer 12:00 Fur Cough

Enterprise 23:00 Electric River
Enterprise 22:00 Colt 45
Enterprise 21:00 Calling All Cars
Enterprise 20:00 Dead
Enterprise 19:00 Kenelis
Enterprise 18:00 New Desert blues
Enterprise 17:00 West of the Sun
Enterprise 16:00 LIFE
Enterprise 15:00 Blast Until Moscow
Enterprise 14:00 Avosetta
Enterprise 13:00 Mia Klose
Enterprise 12:00 Attention Thieves

The Cuban 22:00 Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
The Cuban 21:00 Cypher 16
The Cuban 20:00 The Carnabys
The Cuban 19:00 AudioWhores
The Cuban 18:00 Richa
The Cuban 17:00 Aerial Light
The Cuban 16:00 Shoulders of Giants
The Cuban 15:00 Shooting Suns
The Cuban 14:00 Gang of Gypsies
The Cuban 13:00 Remote View
The Cuban 12:00 David Pear

camden rocks

Beatrice 03:00 Mixhell
Beatrice 02:00 Little Barrie
Beatrice 01:00 Money For Rope
Beatrice 00:00 Rubylux
Beatrice 23:00 Flagship
Beatrice 22:00 Dead Sea Skulls
Beatrice 21:00 A Plastic Rose
Beatrice 20:00 Broken Hands
Beatrice 19:00 I Am In Love
Beatrice 18:00 IC1’S
Beatrice 17:00 The Din
Beatrice 16:00 Love Zombies
Beatrice 15:00 Dumbjaw
Beatrice 14:00 Voodoo Vegas
Beatrice 13:00 Chasing Cadence
Beatrice 12:00 Get Inuit

The Forge 16:30 The Virginmarys
The Forge 15:30 Fearless Vampire Killers
The Forge 14:30 Blitz Kids
The Forge 13:30 Longy
The Forge 12:30 Sean Grant & The Wolfgang

The Black Cap 22:00 Wounds
The Black Cap 21:00 Zoax
The Black Cap 20:00 The Mercy House
The Black Cap 19:00 Drones
The Black Cap 18:00 Mitsubishis
The Black Cap 17:00 Legend In Japan
The Black Cap 16:00 Nevermind
The Black Cap 15:00 Tropical Contact
The Black Cap 14:00 Stereo Juggernaught
The Black Cap 13:00 Mr Shiraz
The Black Cap 12:00 Gem Stone & The Mil Men

camden rocks

Dingwalls Canal side 22:00 Mavis
Dingwalls Canal side 21:00 Vuvuvultures
Dingwalls Canal side 20:00 The Dash
Dingwalls Canal side 19:00 Paris Pickpockets
Dingwalls Canal side 18:00 The Dirty Truth
Dingwalls Canal side 17:00 The Parade
Dingwalls Canal side 16:00 The Front
Dingwalls Canal side 15:00 Kerri Watt
Dingwalls Canal side 14:00 ITAMAR
Dingwalls Canal side 13:00 Los Pepes
Dingwalls Canal side 12:00 Healthy Junkies

Camden Head 22:30 Verse Chorus Verse
Camden Head 21:30 Rob Jones (Missing Andy)
Camden Head 20:30 Oxygen Thief
Camden Head 19:30 The Show
Camden Head 18:30 Jonny Walker
Camden Head 17:30 Star Scream
Camden Head 16:30 Sam Forrest (Nine Black Alps)
Camden Head 15:30 Joe Fox
Camden Head 14:30 Sample Answer
Camden Head 13:30 Riskee & The Ridicule

Brewdog 23:30 Crazy Arm
Brewdog 22:30 The Honey Ants
Brewdog 21:30 Adam French
Brewdog 20:30 The Undivided
Brewdog 19:30 Colt 45
Brewdog 18:30 Sam Duckworth (Get cape. Wear cape. Fly)
Brewdog 17:30 Matty James
Brewdog 16:30 Shea
Brewdog 15:30 Jamie Kimmett
Brewdog 14:30 Chris Catalyst (Eureka Machines)
Brewdog 13:30 Milk n Kinski

We would like to thank all the folk at the Record Club for service beyond the call of duty and to say we thought that the bartender makes a wicked Old Fashion!

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