The Big One: Camden Crawl

24-25 April, Camden, north London

The Big One: Camden Crawl

Photographer: Michael Gregory20 April 2009

What is it?

Camden Crawl 2009 is the indie lovers’ Mecca which boasts 150 live acts and DJs squeezed into 40 venues over two-days in the North London borough. A panel of influential labels, DJs and promoters handpick bands that are set to break into the big time, while a few festival stalwarts and established names are selected as musical cherries on the Camden Crawl cake. And if that wasn't enough to make you skive work on the Friday, the daytime entertainment consists of live street arts, poetry and slam sessions, comedy, quizzes and much more.

Where and when?


The festival takes place on 24-25 April in the pubs, clubs, bars along the golden mile of Camden, which stretches from Mornington Crescent to Chalk Farm. Headliners will play in the Roundhouse while the other 140 can be found in the more dingy haunts that the borough has to offer. Madness are playing ‘secret’ shows over the weekend as well – nobody knows where though.

Five to watch

Kitty Daisy and Lewis - Friday (Lock 17 Dingles), Saturday (St Michaels Church)
Rockabilly relatives Kitty, Daisy and Lewis are three teens that drink, smoke and rock as hard as any of their 50’s contemporaries with mum on bass and dad on guitar.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- Friday (Roundhouse)
The New York punks are back and they’ve gone electro. See Karen O and Co perform their new mellow sound for their first UK festival of the year.

Your Twenties – (Saturday)
Messy bedroom electro-pop with off-key vocals and unneeded guitar snips – nice.

Kasabian - Saturday (Roundhouse)
The biggest braggarts since the Gallagher brothers are back with a new psychedelic sound as well as their arsenal of big hits.

Scroobious Pip
– Saturday
Before Dan Le Sac leant Mr Pip his beats, the bearded bard was a poet and here’s you chance to see his vocal trickery in full glory, without any music.

One to miss

Hot Leg - Saturday (Underworld)
The result of the ex-Darkness singer Justin Hawkins' ever-expanding ego.

Playing a rare UK festival date

Selfish Cunt – Friday
The provocative and energetic duo may be un-bookable by name alone, but they’re also banned from a handful of venues for ‘destructive behaviour’. See them now before they’re expelled from the summer circuit too.

Inside tip

Marina And the Diamonds – Both days
Oh, the hazy days of female chanteuses are set to return! Picked up by BBC 6Music, this latest piano-thudding Kate Nash wannabee is set to be big this summer.

Be at Camden Crawl if you like


Discovering the next big thing, drinking in the daytime, sleeping in your own bed once you’re finished.

Avoid it if you hate

Queuing among skinny-jeaned indie lads, who thumb the NME and pass off new band judgement as if it’s their own. This really is the place to find the best new thing alongside the blogging nobhead that ‘discovered’ them back in 1781.

Festival tactics


Use the daytime for drinking and the night time for dancing. Get to venues early, especially for the bigger acts because you will miss out.

Fashionista or folky?

Definitely fashionsta. Skinny jeans and leather jackets are all but mandatory, while Max Wall leggings are the order of the day for the ladies.

Alcohol of choice


Pear Kopparberg or any sunshine cider. It’s the official start of summer and it looks like it’s going to be hot, so get out the apples.

Take your mum score


4/10
– Unless your mum has more tattoos and piercings than you, it’s best she stays at home. She’s unlikely to know any more bands than you do.

Can I still get a ticket


Saturday tickets are sold out but Friday and weekend tickets are still available. Day tickets are priced £32.50, while weekend passes will set you back £55.

Click here to buy.

By Sarah Kerr

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