...in a faint-inducing sweatshop

After the wettest July in the history of London, the first weekend of August saw the most welcome heatwave spread across the capital. In its wake came an upsurge in sales of bikinis, lots of red skin, and Turin Brakes performing in a faint-inducing sweatshop in Camden’s best boozer.

The latest in the long and prolific line of Clash Magazine’s Sunday Sessions at the Lock Tavern in Camden continued yesterday with another stunning line-up amidst stunning weather. Those sun-worshippers who arrived early were treated to a unique performance from the quite brilliant Stateless - a mostly instrumental performance due to lead singer Chris’ worsening laryngitis. Fortunately, bassist Justin stepped in to supply some smooth vocals to a number of tracks, expertly starting proceedings of the day with their signature tight funk and soulful sounds.

After the first live set, it was the DJ’s turn to shine, and spinning the wheels of steel in this slot was Kill City’s Lisa Moorish - adeptly careering from electro soul to disco in one fell swoop with one or two anthems thrown in for good measure.

Next on the upstairs stage, Clash favourite and all round nice guy, the wonderful Bobby Cook…

London’s lovelorn troubadour led his band through a 25-minute set, each song stripped to bare essentials - the drummer cross-legged on stage pounding on a single tom. His intimacy shone through, and while every others outside melted in the heat, those inside found their hearts melted by Bobby’s endearing voice. Latest single ‘Deja Vu’ and fan favourite ‘Gone So Far’ - with its lilting xylophone hooks - made sure to garner Cook and his men a few more friends and soulmates.

Taking over on decks duties next was Lisa Milberg, drummer with the Swedish supergroup The Concretes. After lazing in the bar’s cosy back garden for most of the day, indulging in a bit of BBQ action, she treated the punters to a glowing mix of obscure electro, indie gems, lo-fi faves and cool dance cuts.

Soon it was time for the action to move downstairs, for Turin Brakes were ready to play…
The five-piece crammed into the front corner of the downstairs bar, while all around the amassed crowd squeezed into every vantage point for a decent view of the Brakes in these exclusively small and intimate surroundings. “It’s bloody hot, isn’t it?” singer Olly Knights asked the crowd, stating the bleeding obvious!
Ahead of their forthcoming two-month Autumn tour, the band took the opportunity to run through tracks from their fourth album, ‘Dark On Fire’ (to be released September 17th on Virgin Records), much to the delight of their gathered fans who, incredibly, knew most of the words already and were singing along to every song - putting a smile on the faces of the band.
The new album’s title track sparked a charming singalong, while the crowd hushed when instructed to do so by Olly when introducing their “quiet song”, the delightful ‘Other Side’, and then picked things up a gear with the upbeat ‘Ghosts’, which Olly tells us is the song that made them want to make a new album. Saving their best known hits for later in the set, ‘Pain Killer’ was of course the pinnacle that dropped gleefully into the pool of beer and sweat and made sure that their hour long set was nothing less than a resounding success and a welcome return to a perennial favourite.
If you missed out on this once-in-a-lifetime gig, Clash will soon be posting videos and more pix to give you further glimpses into the day’s goings-on. Stay tuned…
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