Billy Curtis

Camden Rocks 2017 Festival Review

With dozens of iconic live music venues and an unrivalled musical heritage, the cultural melting pot that is Camden Town has long been established as London’s rock ‘n’ roll capital. Its pubs, clubs and theatres provided the launchpad for some of the UK’s biggest acts, including Pink Floyd, Madness and The Libertines – so what better place to welcome 250 bands for an all-day feast of live music.

The multi-venue layout of the festival offered not only a chance to discover a huge variety of acts, but also the opportunity to see a collection of London’s most influential live music venues in all their glory. The only difficulty was trying to visit them all in one day!

The festival’s roster reflected the progressive nature of Camden’s music scene, as up-and-coming bands joined the line-up alongside headlining acts such as Carl Barât and Feeder, who both played at many of the town’s venues in their early years.

After a full day of venue-hopping, we landed at Koko as Reverend And The Makers took to the stage in the early evening. With a back-catalogue of five consecutive top-twenty studio albums, it’s safe to say the Sheffield-based rockers know how to get the crowd going.

Kicking things off with their signature opening song, Bassline, the band delivered a feel-good set which had the crowd jumping from start to finish, with front-man Jon McClure triumphantly declaring “This is what you get with Reverend And The Makers: banger, after banger, after banger!” – a packed out Koko seemed to agree.

Reverend And The Makers on-stage Koko, Camden Rocks 2017

Photo: NextFest

Next up were The Coral, who touched on the whole spectrum of their experimental 20-year career with a setlist that ranged from psychedelia to indie and folk-rock, throwing in a number of songs from their most recent Distance Inbetween album plus classics such as In The Morning and Dreaming of You.

And finally, arriving at the festival off the back of their two-legged All Bright Electric tour, 2017 headliners Feeder sent the crowd into a frenzy with an incredible headlining set. Returning to their old stomping ground, where they wrote hits such as High and Just A Day in their breakthrough years, you could tell Grant, Taka & co were really up for this one.

Photo: Camden Rocks

Smatterings of Feeder merch suggested there were plenty of fans in attendance, and they’ll have been delighted when the band chucked in favourites such as Buck Rogers, Seven Days In The Sun, and Just The Way I’m Feeling, which prompted mass sing-alongs from all corners of the venue.

After paying an emotional tribute to their late drummer Jon Lee, the set ended rather fittingly with the entire crowd jumping around to the band’s 2001 single Just A Day, rounding off an incredible few hours of live music in Camden Town.

For the full 2019 line-up, head to our Camden Rocks festival page.

For more festivals like Camden Rocks, check out our 2019 festival listings.


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