Camden Rocks is a great festival for showcasing smaller, up and coming bands, so we thought we’d give you a heads up on the ones you’d be foolish to miss. Some of these acts are already starting to break into the big time, so catch them at the intimate venues before it’s too late!
Press to MECO – Bloc Bar – 21:15
We first fell for the London trio for their glorious three-part vocal harmonies, and then we stayed for the infectious choruses and super tight live performances which are consistently delivered with enthusiasm and precision. As a band they are difficult to pigeonhole, so we’ll just say that if you like your music melodious but still with a bite in the form of chugging riffs (and impressive changing time signatures that border on math-rock/prog territory) then Press to MECO are for you. We implore you to catch them in their well-deserved headline slot at Bloc Bar if you need convincing.
Heck – Underworld 17:15 | Monarch 20:15
Do you like your live music with a heavy dose of chaos accompanied by the mild threat of imminent danger? Yes? Brilliant, us too. No? Then you might want to avoid seeing Heck on Saturday. With notoriously brutal shows and a new album full of songs that sound like their instruments are being beaten to a pulp, the band formerly known as Baby Godzilla have made a name for themselves despite having to change it. Expect riffs, headbanging, and throat ripping screams. We’ll see you in the pit… just don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Zoax – Underworld – 14:00
Groove-rockers Zoax are guaranteed to bring the party to the Underworld on Saturday. Having recently released their debut, self-titled album the five-piece have been a firm favourite of ours for a couple of years; you only have to catch them in a live environment to understand why. Frontman Adam Carroll takes no prisoners (in the friendliest way possible) and you can expect him to get up close and personal during the set. Having already toured with Funeral For A Friend this year and with Download Festival on the cards, don’t miss out on this vibrant outfit.
Drones – Good Mixer – 12:00
We’re not sure what time you were planning on getting to Camden Rocks Festival this weekend, but if you know what’s good for you you’ll be at the Good Mixer for midday. Having recently relaunched welcoming new members Lois McDougall (vocals) and Tim Kramer (guitar), Drones will kick-start your day the right way with their feisty punk rock. The band released their new single Parasite last month which has already been given repeat airplay on Kerrang! Radio, the first material to feature the new line-up. Currently out on tour in Europe and concluding the run on Saturday, make Drones the first band that you see at the festival – they’ll definitely set the bar high.
Creeper – Barfly – 17:45
This band have been featuring on a lot of our lists lately, and for good reason. Since forming in 2014, the horror punks have amassed a bit of a cult following thanks to their gothic outlook and confident live show, which is exactly why it’s important to see them in smaller venue while you still can. At Slam Dunk there were queues out the door, so arrive early at the Camden Barfly to avoid disappointment. Live highlights include Misery and heart wrenching ballad Novena, but be warned: you will be singing their melodies for days.
Bad Sign – Barfly (Downstairs) – 13:30
If you’re yet to check out Bad Sign then we urge you to make space in your schedule this weekend to check them out. The rock trio have shared stages with a plethora of bands including While She Sleeps, Skindred, Cancer Bats, Arcane Roots, The Xcerts and Devil Sold His Soul, as well as tearing up stages at Hit The Deck Festival, Tech-Fest and Great Escape Festival in their short career. The band’s latest singles Rebuild and Unbeliever are epic to say the least, Joe Appleford’s soaring vocal range one to be admired, fronting decadent percussion and monstrous riffs.
The Main Grains – Proud – 20:45
Described as “a melting pot of The Ramones, The Wildhearts, Phil Spector, [and] Blondie”, Northern rockers The Main Grains are trying to inject some fun back into the gig scene with their contagious brand of punk rock. The band, formed by frontman Danny McCormack (ex-The Wildhearts) last year, are still in their early days as they make their London debut this weekend, beginning with a show at the Barfly on Friday before their set at Proud for Camden Rocks. Expect three-minute punk rock songs, catchy rock ‘n’ roll riffs and shouty choruses that would please even the most unenthused festival-goer.
Yuck – Barfly (Upstairs) – 20:15
Okay, so they’re not exactly ‘emerging’, but if you’ve had enough of dancing, Yuck require nothing more than your undivided attention as they produce wave upon wave of sonic scuzz. Let it wash over you, beer in hand, as you contemplate the meaning of life (or something, you’ve probably had a few of those beers by this point). Remaining fairly sedentary on stage, what the London four-piece lack in showmanship they make up for with musicianship, and with three albums now under their belt, they’ve no lack of fuzz-drenched, guitar-driven indie rock to choose from during their set.
Fizzy Blood – Hawley Arms – 17:00
Fizzy Blood are a Leeds outfit that have been gathering a lot of attention lately thanks to their swaggering rock songs and captivating live shows. The Queens of the Stone Age influence is prevalent throughout their music, but the songs sway between genres, often bordering on post-punk, indie-rock and even metal, but always with a strong vocal and cracking lyrics that demand attention. Whatever floats your boat, you’d be wrong to miss these up and comers at the Hawley Arms this weekend.
Vukovi – Bloc Bar – 19:00
We’ve said in the past that Vukovi frontwoman Janine Shilstone is a force to be reckoned with, and you’ll have to catch their set at Bloc Bar to find out why. What we will tell you is that their recent singles Animal and Bouncy Castle are the Scottish four piece at their very best; powerful melody-driven rock songs with pop hooks that will have you singing and dancing in no time. We recommend you brush up on the lyrics beforehand so that you can keep up with Shilstone’s bewitching tones, and we’ll see you on the dance floor!
Camden Rocks Festival takes place on the 4th June in venues across Camden. For the full line-up, further information and tickets head over the the festival website.
Written by: Alice Hudson and Hannah Gillicker