Friday night’s action was immense, with a further ten venues opening up across the City. Unlike the Camden Crawl, the venues were all within walking distance; except you had to walk loads and often up bastard hills, avoiding hurtling cyclists.
I kicked off with locals Nine Volt, a snappy, incubus like emo-core band; inexperienced, young and full of hope. Next it was Holland’s Get Well Soon. Nihilistic, drawn out and monotonous, the defeatist instrumentation and eerie presence reminded of early Interpol. Afterwards, I found myself watching sludge metalheads Kruger, strangely, in a bright white art space, with a sombre crowd of 20 moody long hairs. I quickly exit to get over for the Curtis Mayfield meets Hendrix vibes of The Heavy, one of the best bands of the weekend, with their dirty southern blues and raunchy, stomping drumbeats making a lasting impression. On my way toward Vera, I pop my head in for Miss Platinum, a Danish Ms Dynamite; quite awful, hideously generic and a touch boring. Two tracks later, I scarper for Sweden’s Taxi Taxi, whose eerily playful chimes and innocent vocals didn’t help before going to see the well established, mesmerising Cult of Luna, blending progressive rock and metal seamlessly.
I scuttled back to Grand Theatre for Dutch heavyweight duo Pete Philly and Periquiste, who dazzled with the aid of live looping technology; the flowing rap of Pete and the jazz breaks combo fit perfect for a Ninja tune release.
New Killer Stars played at a cramped venue, the Oi punk sound needed to catch more attention and The Dirty Shambles, Britain’s continuation of Placebo style post rock made sure they were known. I forced my way into the seething mess of fans cramming into see Who Made Who at Vera; this time it was at breaking point, such was the case later on when attempting to watch Chrome Hoof. We ended up watching Pete and the Pirates after a short taster of jazz metal action.
The most triumphant gig, however, belonged to The Futureheads, who made a triumphant return previewing new material, and playing a blasting set of favourites.
My knee was swollen, and I was drenched in beer and sweat. Time to go home.