The 2011 lineup for the Gaymers Camden Crawl, or as I like to refer to it, London’s mini-SXSW has finally been released. The shindig which will take place at the end of April into the first Weekend of May, sees tons of venues hosting a bunch of bands and this year a bunch of NRBW are playing. Check out our picks for Saturday and Sunday below:
Saturday, April 30th
Sunday, May 1st
Banjo or Freakout
Welcome to one of our first previews on SXSW. It struck me the other day that in a month and a half basically everyone who is anyone is going to be showing up in Austin, TX for the best week of the year. Here’s 7 artists that I am super looking forward to seeing in ATX and I hope you’ll check them out and see them live while you can….
Avi Buffalo (Los Angeles CA)
Avi Buffalo is the ringleader/wunderkind of an awesome band that has been making waves in Los Angeles for some time now. He’s going to bring his fresh, vital, youthful sound to Austin for the first time. Personally, I prefer the boy-girl interplay of Avi Buffalo to the much more hyped version that the xx are peddling around town, but Avi’s sound has a really simply melodic, classic beauty to it that got the attention of Sup Pop and a good portion of Los Angeles. This kid and his band of children (they just graduated HS for god sakes!) have it all – it’s going to be a fun ride watching where they take it.
This guy is just straight up SO. TALENTED. I mentioned before that I had seen him busking on the streets of Brighton (he’s a friend of a friend) and he told me that he was playing a little pub called the George and I was flat out stunned. He plays violin like an angel. His voice works so beautifully with his instrument – its a waltz of epic proportion, I love the interplays between plucking the violin and playing it normally – he just writes wonderful songs that inspire so much emotion and are so stunning they suck the speech right out of the room. I really think SXSW is going to propel this guy to be where he deserves. I don’t know if this will appeal to people who would normally read this blog – but I can only emphatically say GO SEE HIM PLAY. You won’t regret it.
Beans on Toast has been a weird-folk-hero around town for a looong time. Prior to the end of last year, he’d never properly released anything (he gave away his tracks!) and had basically 0 internet presence – the only contact he’d had with America, that I’m aware of anyway, was two visits to SXSW (2008 & 2009 respectively). And then he released his 50-track epic-folk-masterwork ‘Standing on a Chair’ and he’s all over the place with his friends (Josh Weller, Johnny Fynn, Mumford & Sons etc etc). Seeing Beans on Toast live is scuh a pleasure – he’s got such a warm ethos, a hilarious manner and just puts on a great show. He’s definitely not the most skilled musician, but what he lacks in technically skill is made up for with his adorable grin, his songs that draw you in with wittiness and rhyme, and the fact that he literally stands on a chair.
I shouldn’t have to pitch Johnny Flynn to anyone but here it goes. The man makes gorgeous folk tunes – like, really masterful ones. His debut ‘A Larum’ overflowed with beautiful gems with wise-beyond-his-25-years lyrics (sung in his mellow voice) floating over acoustic picking or backed by his country tinged band or over elegent strings. His full band shows, with the Sussex Wit, are more of a fun romp and stomp, but get ready to get your breath taken away when he performs acoustic – ‘The Wrote & The Writ’ is one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful songs I’ve heard in … well, ever. Don’t miss him.
Woven Bones is a band that I was surprised to not hear of until they opened for the Growlers. They specialize in fuzzy, primal, intense garage rock. Their live set is ramshackle in all the right places held together by Mo Tucker-esque simple, primal drums and really stong bass. Andy sings with a bit of a southern drawl but it all comes together in a really tight little package. Definitely a band to watch.
Happy Birthday (Burlington VT)
It’s hard to sell a band off of only one song – that is, unless the song is like, really really great. And fortuntely, for us AND for HB, ‘Girls FM’ (the first track off their forthcoming debut) is really fucking good. It’s got an interesting hook, it’s got King Tuff’s awesome caterwaul vocals and it’s catchy as fuck. With the members, especially King Tuff’s general excellence, it’s hard to imagine this debut not being one of my favorites of the year and making a giant splash at SXSW. If you like this, check out King Tuff’s old stuff – his only album ‘Is Dead’ is actually amazing and you’ll see this kid’s got a loooot to offer. Let’s hope he took some of his garage-blues sensibilities and infused them with Happy Birthday’s stuff, yeah?
Best Coast (Los Angeles CA)
Bethany Constantino = Best Coast. While I love that her moniker says everything that I feel about East vs. West, I also love what she’s doing with Bobb Bruno on drums. Detractors will surely say she’s cashing in on the overdone lo-fi business, but I say fuck them, this is sticky-sweet lo-fi beachy goodness. ‘When I’m With You’ is pop brilliance, and her voice really melds to whatever she’s conveying in each song – raning from darling to a little rough and on ‘The Sun Was High (So Was I), well, soaring. This bitch is encapsulating a part of California that I hold near and dear to me – and it sounds so good. Don’t know what they’re like live, but I’m certainly going to be finding out.