Festival Preview: Camden Rocks 2019

Camden Rocks 2019 Preview

Various venues, Camden, 1st & 2nd June 2019

Tickets

Well, ladies and gents, here we are once more with the Camden Rocks shaping up to be bigger and better than ever this year. As if last year’s CR festival wasn’t jammy enough with the number of venues and bands they could cram into a day festival, then this year they decided to up the ante by a stonking margin and gone all out by squeezing a mere 400+ bands/acts across 21 venues over a weekend. I don’t know how the organisers have managed to do it – one could say that they might have had a crate of red bull between them each to plan all the bands and venues, who knows? Whatever your take on it, these are the days to embrace live rock music for all its worth and what better place to stage it than at the epicentre of the genre itself.

One of the headliners this year Frank Turner, like many other young fledgeling musicians, were entranced by the lure of this propulsive and wonderous concrete jungle, that he just needed to be apart of it of the scene and buzz of the place – and with so many acts playing this year than ever before, its easy to see why.

Camden Rocks Festival has been stomping for a number of years now. Back in the early noughties many of you may know it was known as the Camden Crawl but after a make over it was re-booted and came back more charged up than ever in the present-day form of Camden Rocks.

One of the festival’s most hotly tipped bands this year (and one of Popped favs, of course) Saint Agnes have a bit of a history with the festival and I managed to interview both Kitty & Jon about their experiences of the festival and all things Saint Agnes. This was how it went down!

Popped Music: Moving swiftly on to the main subject, Camden Rocks festival, there is a history here associated with your band. You played at the festival back in 2014. Tell us about the experience?

Jon & Kitty, Saint Agnes: At the time the band was really in its early days and we hadn’t played many gigs together. In fact, It was one of the first shows that we ever did. We were begging for a slot and we managed to get one in the middle of the day at the Jazz Café. We were the 1st band on and we played to about 15 people in the room and looking back now it was an important experience as it has made us look at how far we have come now.

PM: And fast-forwarding to the present day, where will you be playing this year?

Jon: This year, we’re in a better position as we’re playing a much better slot and it’s in a venue that is a lot more suited to our sound at the Camden Assembly Hall. All these things are really good markers of how good things are going because when you’re living the band from day to day, it can be quite hard to take stock of how things are going because we’re an independent band, we do everything ourselves.

Popped Music:  How does it feel to be playing be playing Camden Rocks now?

Jon & Kitty, SA: Well we think playing Camden Rocks this time around is a really good marker for the band. I mean since that first gig, we’ve created a lot of material, we would have gone on to release our debut album and we’ve had more than a million streams on Spotify of our 1st single and I think that’s a great thing to know and that we’re having moments as a band where we know it’s paying off for us. I think sharing that with everyone at CR will make it extra special.

PM: And you played last year too?

 

Jon & Kitty: Yes, we played a set at the Dingwalls Bar. It was a pretty chaotic punky gig that we did! The sound guy was hammered by 2pm in the afternoon and it made for quite a memorable set. We’re hoping to create more chaos this time around!

PM: You’re touring extensively throughout May, June, July and then back on it in September plus you run your own record label! How do you manage?

Jon & Kitty:  We’re each other’s “PAs” and we wouldn’t have it any other way! We do have some help with booking tours but in terms of creative output of the band, from editing, social media to press, we have control of that because we want to and because we feel very passionate about it.

When we’re on tour and travelling across Germany for example, one of us will be driving the van whilst another will be in the back bumping their head on the roof whilst on a laptop spreading the word of Saint Agnes. It might not sound ideal but its like a little adventure in our own scooby doo van, going on this mysterious journey doing things our way!

PM: What were the bands that influenced you?

Jon & Kitty: Well we listened to a lot of parent’s music growing up like the classics Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and Rolling Stones but our main influences would have to be Metallica.

And with that we signed off.  We’re very much looking forward to seeing Saint Agnes rip it up and we’re sure it will be yet another highlight at the festival this year.!

Popped will be there taking it all in for the 2nd year running and as always, we have our hot tips for the festival with their set info. There were too many to choose from but here’s a list of our most wanted!

*Saint Agnes will be playing at the Camden Assembly Hall on Sunday at 17:30*

ONES TO WATCH:

Saturday 1st June

BERRIES (Lyttleton Arms Pub, 9pm)

They are continuing to push ahead with their sublimely executed slacker-rock and are turning heads where ever they go. After recently releasing their new single Discreetly and earning themselves a support slot with Ex-Hex at the Village Underground, these guys are gathering momentum and heading in the right direction!

Black Futures (The Black Heart, 6pm)

These guys describe themselves as the “Death From Above and The Chemical Brother’s bastard offspring” – If that’s not enough to whet the appetite then frankly I don’t know what is! They also aim to connect both the natural and supernatural worlds too… This makes for one of the most intriguing and anticipated sets of the festival. They have their debut album Never Not Nothing being released on 30th August 2019.

Bang Bang Romeo (Dingwalls, 5pm)

They have literally exploded in the past year and Popped has been there to watch them take off. They’ve signed a record deal and also released exclusive material for record store day – there’s no letting up with BBR. They have one of the best stage performers this year in the shape of Anastasia Walker and she will be “blowing” your minds this year at the Dingwalls. Strap yourselves in!

 

Queen Zee (Gabeto, 9pm)

Here are another band who have noticeably been leaving their mark on the live circuit with their glam punk-rock with an imposing, unashamed, rebellious attitude. Their eponymous debut album from earlier this year rocked our socks off. With their set kicking off at 9pm, its going to be no-holds fun for everyone!  

Sunday 2nd June

Annabel Allum (7:30pm, The Monarch)

Early PJ Harvey ramblings that will send a shiver down your spine for sure! Her charisma and enigmatic persona will surely make for compelling viewing this year at Camden Rocks. Recent performances at internationally renowned festivals like SXSW have seen her earn more attention from a bigger audience. Expect that to get bigger for sure!

 

The Pearl Harts (4pm, The Monarch)

Something tells me that the Pearl Harts set at CR this year is going to be one of this year’s highlights. Their snarling and uncompromising brand of garage/rock with a hint of blues guitar work outs will shake you to the core and leave you wanting more! They have been receiving rave reviews from many and have gained many plaudits. Will you be seeing them? It’s a no-brainer for us.

Orchards (2pm, Fest)

If you’re after intricate funky-ass basslines spliced with time-signature perfect drum raps and heavenly vocals, then you’ve come to the right place! They possess a lot of warmth in their music too so expect sensual harmonies interwoven with some lush rhythms thrown for good measure.  

 

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