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CAMDEN CRAWL -
:: Three Trapped Tigers :: The Whip :: Echo & The Bunnymen ::
24 April 2009 / Venues / London
By Liz Tray

As I sat in the sumptuous Koko I wondered aloud to my friends – why haven’t we done the Crawl before? It was perhaps down to a bit of snobbery, given the NME-drenched nature of the event and the subsequent fear of being inside my own episode of Nathan Barley, caught as I was in the midst of the hippest Londoners. As ever, nothing matters but what you hear.

We began with a down to earth pub show with a band that are anything but. I’d seen THREE TRAPPED TIGERS supporting the wonderful Crystal Antlers a few months ago and we simply couldn’t walk past the MONARCH without popping in to see if they were as good as I remembered. A bizarre hybrid of Battles and Aphex Twin, with a touch of Kid A era Radiohead this London 3 piece are an aural assault unlike anything I’ve heard. Seen by a small and enthusiastic crowd, 3TT thanked us for eschewing The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, playing at the same time at the nearby Roundhouse, in their favour. The pleasure was all mine. Shame on the Crawl organisers for hiding them away in a pub and forgetting to list them on the website.

As often required, a pint was sunk and then it was off down the high street – such is the nature of the event that, like a small festival but with better toilets, one must make choices. Would we head to the Jazz Café to see Mumford & Sons? The Electric Ballroom to see Dinosaur Pile Up? The Dublin Castle for Idlewild? My initial vote was for the Jazz Café but one of our group had his heart set on Mancunian electro band THE WHIP. An unexpected pleasure on the way was catching the end of a MADNESS’ set. They were playing on a London bus, at the top of Inverness Street. It was a rather classic moment with the surrounding crowds swaying in the evening sun to It Must Be Love.

When we arrived at KOKO to see THE WHIP not even switching drinks could make this band sound any better. It seems like the PA wasn’t giving them their best show. I understand that there is an immediate nature to electro, you can hammer it out in your home studio and create it on stage with minimum fuss. But, whilst The Whip showed loads of energy, sonically it appeared as though the member behind the MacBook was the sole creator. The drummer was gamely bashing away, but may as well have been playing with cotton wool sticks for all the noise it made.

Now we were settled I abandoned the Jazz Café idea for staying put to watch ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN. I’d seen electro and IDM and just fancied some songs. The venue, by now packed to the rafters, greeted the band like old friends. As they began I remembered exactly how much bands like The Stone Roses and Oasis have stolen from them. It’s trendier to say you pinched Marr’s guitar style and the combined Lennon/Lydon swagger but Echo & The Bunnymen are one of the great underrated and influential British bands. I must mention that the sound quality was quite superb, credit to the venue. With Killing Moon and The Cutter to end the show these were iconic pop songs that finished off my first Camden Crawl perfectly.


Resources:
Three Trapped Tigers
The Whip
Echo & The Bunnymen

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