Camden Rocks Festival 2017: Preview – 5 bands you need to see at CRF17

So many great bands have cut their teeth here and it’s a pleasure to continue to fly the flag high for new, up and coming bands alongside the big...

As we publish this article, more bands have been added to 2017’s Camden Rocks Festival. Swedish rock giants Royal Republic and Leeds’ Pulled Apart By Horses, join The London SS, FAERS, Before Victoria, White Room, Drama club rejects, Avalanche Party, Shea, Indigo Lo, HCBP, October Drift, Thunder On The Left, This Years Ghost, Berries, Sisteray, Tokyo Taboo, The Distorting Glass, YUNG DRUID, Death and the Penguin, Scoundrel, Overdog, Temple Lake, Rumble Fish, Black Doldrums, Our Propaganda, SERPENTYNE, Salt, Surge, The Alibi and Peter Von Toy as new additions to the bill.

Progressively expanding each year adding new venues, Camden Rocks 2017 will take place across 25 of Camden Town’s legendary music venues, now including Koko – and feature 250 bands, making it THE annual highlight for many in the London locality.

With near 100 more bands and artists still to be announced, this year’s headliners include the likes of FEEDER, The Coral, The Damned, Milburn, The Rifles, Reverend and The Makers, Carl Barat & The Jackals and many more topping the 250-band-strong bill, finding your perfect playlist of gigs \ sets to attend on the day can be the most difficult of exercises. With 25 venues in use, the chance of acts clashing is not just possible, it’s virtually guaranteed. How therefore do you find THE must-see acts of the day along with a few treasures that lurk in the smaller print on the bill? 

With all of the acts laid out in front of us, we at MyGlobalMind have spent several nights of caffeine and alochol induced arguments over which five acts people should take in at the festival. Thankfully the arguments were resolved amicably (just don’t look under the newly finished patio at the back of the house) and we present our pick of the acts for Camden Rocks 2017;

The SoapGirls

Never ones to avoid controversy, South African act The SoapGirls bring their punk infused act the Camden Rocks at the same time as their European debut album is ready to hit the shelves. Their music is packed full of unforgettable melodies and catchy choruses and their live show contains the sort of energy, rawness and authenticity not seen since the heyday of punk in the 1970s. 

The French born sisters Ca(Millie) and Noe(MIE) Debray, backed by their strong songwriting abilities, dedication and determination to their craft, have slayed critics and earned a dedicated group of followers known as the ‘The SoapSuds’, who follow the band across the UK and Europe.

Their common ground is grunge, with Nirvana, Alice in Chains and L7 being their biggest influences and with both girls sharing the singing role, this dynamic duo breathe new life into the genre, for others to follow.

Check out the video for ‘Rather  be Dead’ below: 

Daxx & Roxane

Daxx & Roxane first caught our attention when we reviewed their debut EP 4 x 4 back in June 2016. Their infectious blend of hard rock made a big impression on all of us at MGM and their live shows have backed up our faith in the band. 

With their debut album ‘Ticket To Rock’ now out, Daxx & Roxane deliver sets filled with screaming guitars, heavy drums and catchy lyrics. If you need a lift during your Camden Rocks day then this is an adrenaline filled party act who have been regularly played on Planet Rock. 

You’ll hear the phrase ‘repeat play’ used in many reviews about bands but with Daxx & Roxane, it could not be more suitable. If their set at Camden includes ‘Girl Next Door’ or  ‘Wrong Side’ then it’s a safe bet that your next job will be to acquire the album as both are featured. 

As a sucker for striking vocals, blistering guitar and amazing rhythm, we here at MGM think that the band’s heavily addictive, hard rocking 80’s vibe is perfect on a summers day.

The Urban Voodoo Machine

Based in London, and built from the same moulds that made The Clash the band they were, The Urban Voodoo Machine describe themselves as a collective of shadowy, ne’er do wells. Bringing to mind Dickensian images of dark back streets, Oliver, Fagin and the like, the band, led by Norwegian born songwriter/frontman Paul-Ronney Angel can feature anything up to twelve musicians at any given time.

Their performance is a complex mash-up of guitars, twin drummers, fiddle, trumpet, tuba, banjo, washboard, upright bass, gong, mandolin, accordion, harmonicas, saxophone, sousaphone and even empty bottles and tie racks. Never heard of anything like that before? It’s unlikely you will again and that’s why MGM recommends that you catch the band at Camden Rocks this year. If anyone can create a sound, best described as “Bourbon Soaked Gypsy Blues Bop’n’Stroll” then it’s The Urban Voodoo Machine. 

If that’s still confusing you….. their music contains 2 parts lurching sea shanties, 3 parts debauched murder ballads, one part messed-up tangos with a side dressing of whiskey-soaked gypsy stomps. Fans of Tom Waits and Nick Cave will sit up and take note when the band are on stage and, according to their facebook post, that stage will be The Electric Ballroom at 2pm.

Check out the slow burn start of ‘Fallen Brother‘. It’s like you’re being intravenously fed Bourbon. At 2:04 it all kicks off. 

Massive Wagons

Sitting right at the top of the list of must-see bands at Camden Rocks 2017, Massive Wagons. ‘Fight The System’, the second album from the guys was the one that got us really excited when it was released in July 2014. 11 tracks “containing some of the downright dirtiest, downright ballsiest hard rock anthems of the year” as we said at the time.

Album number three ‘Welcome to the World’ cemented that reputation and saw them deliver the goods on a very successful tour with the Ginger Wildheart band in 2016. Equal parts rock n roll and on occasion delivering a punch as heavy as Metallica, Massive Wagons will appeal to the rocker, the metal head and just those with an ear for a good melody as well. If one band on the bill has something for everyone, it’s these guys. 

The band return with a new video ‘Back to the Stack’  which has been put out for charity as a digital download with all proceeds going to The Teenage Cancer Trust. It’s also in remembrance of one Rick John Parfitt and see if you can spot the odd Quo riff making its way into the song!

Love Zombies

And so to our final suggestion for Camden Rocks 2017. Of the 250 odd bands that will grace the bill across 25 venues, a top five is never going to do justice to all of the excellent acts playing. The odds however that you’ll see more than 10 bands on the day are stacked against you so hopefully this selection will whet the appetite and help make those tough clash decisions a little easier.

Love Zombies, the Californian based band, return to the UK on a regular basis to deliver their unique brand of pop punk and 2017 sees them fly back for both Camden Rocks and Download Festival. Having built a sizeable UK following, the country seems to have become a second home for them and you’ll find Hollis, Davey and the rest of the band at Dingwalls, 6pm during Camden Rocks.

To make their return to the UK a little more interesting, the band will be celebrating the worldwide release of their Passionfruit debut album and also doing pre-production work for the follow up, NO SLOW SONGS. Fans are able to join the band at The Brook studio on June 1st, as well as seeing them perform at the world famous Abbey Road Studios on June 2nd. The treble is then achieved with their Dingwalls set on the Saturday.

Check out the link below for details about this unique opportunity. 


So there you have it, a mere five out of so many but 5 that we feel very strongly about.

Chris McCormack, the festival organiser sums it all up very neatly. “The festival is a total celebration of what Camden is all about as the creative hub of the UK music scene,” he adds. “The clubs and venues here have been, and continue to, host some of the now-biggest names in music in their fledging stages. In the past we’ve had Catfish & The Bottlemen playing the Barfly to 100 people. So many great bands have cut their teeth here and it’s a pleasure to continue to fly the flag high for new, up and coming bands alongside the big names each year.”

The full line up is found on the main Camden Rocks site


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Photo Credit: Ange Cobham

NE OBLIVISCARIS, "Equus" (Official Music Video)