Bands play on first day of the London festival

Echo And The Bunnymen, The Big Pink, Wire and Chew Lips were among the bands who played on the first day of the Camden Crawl festival yesterday (April 24).

Also at the bash Idlewild replaced The Enemy to headline the Roundhouse after frontman Tom Clarke lost his voice. Earlier on Madness played a series of acoustic gigs and one on a double-decker bus.

Chew Lips were among the first of the bands to play in the evening session of the bash, playing at the Earl Of Camden to a backdrop of a lo-fi lightshow.

During a set that included ‘Salt Air’ and ‘Twin Galaxies’, frontwoman Tigs decided she was bored with the stage and instead climbed the bar to dance for ‘Toro’

She then had a go at gig-goers talking too loud by shouting, “Shut up at the back! It’s really boring listening to you!”. The band then finished with single ‘Solo’.

Hockey played at the Roundhouse, warming up a crowd disappointed by The Enemy’s cancellation.

Taking to the stage at 9.30pm, the Portland band opened with ‘Work’ and danced their way through a fun-filled set including ‘3am’ and ‘Learn To Lose’.

Elsewhere, coming on to the stage completely covered in smoke, The Big Pink played a rousing 10-song set at the Electric Ballroom.

Showcasing their brooding, melodic, feedback-drenched songs to a large crowd keen to see why there’s so much hype about them, the band put on an impressive show that drew largely on tracks from their forthcoming debut album.

Silhouetted singer Lauren Jones (daughter of The Clash‘s Mick) moved slowly around the stage, staring out the audience and occasionally engaging in some slowed-down head-banging.

Later at the venue headliners Wire drew a huge crowd. Coming onstage to rapturous applause, the legendary punk band took a comedic swipe at fellow Camden crawlers Echo And The Bunnymen, who were headlining Koko at the same time.

“Hello – you’re not the bunny hoppers, then?” bassist Graham Lewis asked the crowd sarcastically. He repeated the sentiment later in the set, proudly stating that his audience contained “no Bunnymen here”.

The band refused to bow to crowd pressure and play their classics. Despite near-constant calls for ’12XU’, they staunchly ignored all requests, even taking a pop at the audience at one point for shouting out song titles.

“The last time we played in here was, like, 1980,” guitarist Colin Newman said. “It was full of nasty skinheads and Sham 69 fans who were all shouting “’12XU’! ’12UX’!” Things really, really don’t change, do they?!”

Instead they concentrated on more obscure, heavier tracks from their back catalogue, with the likes of ‘I Don’t Understand’ and ‘Mr Suit’ both drawing enthusiastic responses from the crowd.

Wire‘s headline rivals Echo And The Bunnymen played last-on at Koko, taking to the stage slightly later than their 10pm billing.

Frontman Ian McCulloch wore his trademark black coat and shades, leading the band through renditions of fan favourites including ‘The Killing Moon’, ‘Lips Like Sugar’ and ‘Seven Seas’ in front of the huge crowd, who rammed out the multi-tier venue.

The band also played ‘Think I Need It To’ – a song set to appear on the band’s next album that showcases a searing riff and euphoric chorus.

The Camden Crawl continues today (April 25) with the likes of Kasabian, Billy Bragg and The Maccabees all set to play.