Monday, 8 October 2012

Live: An evening in Camden
Thanks to MaybeMaq for this photo
It’s surprisingly cold in Camden. What I’m led to believe is the opening to the first “cold snap” of the year is settling in and its caught most people unawares. Of course on a night time in Camden, the scantily clad and generally most eye-popping of all of London’s outfits can be found on the strip that links Mornington Crescent up to Chalk Farm.
Along that road, you have some of the finest venues London has to offer in the form of Jazz bars, boxes on the lock and at either end, the mighty KOKO and Roundhouse venues. Tonight, its’ as bustling as ever as the iTunes festival is in full swing as Andrea Bocelli brings the Roundhouse crowd to classical elation but its three small shows that have caught SI’s attention.

The first venue ventured is the Lock Tavern as Spring Offensive take to the darkened stage. The venue is filled to the brim as it takes about five minutes just to get to the bar and as the Oxford band (recently featured here) get into the swing of things with their new single “Not Drowning But Waving” which builds an otherwise passive and moody crowd into a moderate bob; not bad for a quiet London venue. Spring Offensive play a solid set, but it’s the sound that lets them down as the venue’s not so much tinny as lost in a mix of minor feedback and speakers that can’t quite cope.  Nonetheless, the five piece are in good spirits and their every-day office worker look and lyrics seem to go down well a treat, especially considering most people are only present at the Tavern for hype centric act Hey Sholay.

Instead of sticking around however, I race up the road.  Her Parents are about to rock out with the volume at 11 upstairs at the Barfly, but it’s a bit further afield to the Enterprise, a venue much less visited than the Barfly that has the set for SI. For two nights only in London and for the first time in a while, Rams’ Pocket Radio are hitting the stage. Complete with a full band and supported by live member Shauna Tohill, also known as Northern Ireland’s up and coming Silhouette.
Ram’s are on form, playing from a selection of both new and older material. It’s fresh and powerful music from the piano-led band. The bigger songs such as 1+2 should sound epic and last time we caught Rams’, they were supporting Snow Patrol at the Forum where sound comes as big as the venue, but sadly the Enterprise suffers the same problems as the Lock Tavern did earlier and the sound gets lost in a mix of overheated volumes. It’s another shame as a second good band gets lost in unnecessary noise but Ram’s power through and pull off a strong set that signals big things on the way.

Camden, cold and noisey and full to the lock with music, if only it could all sound great.

Braden Fletcher

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