As its name may suggest, The Camden Crawl encourages – no, compels you – to get happy, tipsy, drunk, whatever you want to call it. And who is Wonderland to argue with these higher forces?
Spanning the entire length of Camden High Street (and various back streets) – hipsters and hip hop heads were spotted on every corner, brandishing huge line-up sheets, heads cocked in an effort to decide how best to arrange their day so as to see as many of the exciting acts on offer as possible.
Home to legends like the likes of Amy Winehouse, there’s something quite magical about Camden and it’s many, many music houses. With a host of big names the likes of Yasmin, Ghetts, Lady Leshurr, Josh Kumra and Sneakbo performing, the Sunday did seem to scream predominantly urban (just how I like it).
Arguably this years line up wasn’t as star studded as that of previous years – case in point OFWGKTA’s surprise performance at the crawl last year, which almost had the riot police called in. That said, the cozy feel created by the predominantly London-based acts couldn’t really be classed as an annulling factor.
Pint sized Lady Leshurr, who’s name has been on the lips of many of late – including those of Busta Rhymes – who she is oft compared to due to their dual ability to spit quick fire lines quicker than the ear can pick up – gave a supremely impressive performance. Rendering genres obsolete, reggae and grime infused beats strummed out by her live band further mesmerized.
Meanwhile, Ghetts’s energetic performance and infectious positive attitude at the Electric Ballroom brought a smile to even the biggest disbeliever. Half naked girl adorned on his sweatshirt the artist formerly known as Ghetto performed tracks the likes of “Artillery” which had the whole crowd swaying violently back and forth.
Over at Jazz Café the atmosphere was thick with the melancholic sounds of Josh Kumra and his wailing acoustic. Having already perched himself atop of the charts with his feature on Wretch 32’s hit “Don’t Go,” the upcoming singer/songwriter had the packed out venue hanging on his every well-sung word.
Sunday however belonged to Clement Marfo and The Frontline – the seven piece, Warner signees who pride themselves on successfully fusing together an amalgamation of hip-hop, rock and pop with a seemingly unquenchable amount of energy and abundance of charisma. Unleashing pop hooks, rap verses and rock accompaniments onto (three) stages that could barely hold their esteem – their performances – and their affiliation with legends of the genre the likes of Kano, Ghetts and Sway – with whom they have oft-collaborated, beckon bigger platforms that are no doubt soon coming their way.
As the original and first urban multi-venue festival, however, the organization at the Camden Crawl was slightly below par. Acts mysteriously vanished from the line up – or were moved around the schedule, addled with poor time keeping on the part of the organizers. But with so many acts, and so many drinks – I for one wasn’t too bothered by it. Someone slightly more sober, however, may have been.
The Camden Crawl
Words: Alya Mooro
Images: Eddy Leonardo