Camden Crawl 2006: the definitive report

NME.COM reports back from the UK's first festival of the year

The UK’s first festival of 2006 has taken place in London tonight (April 20).

Kicking off earlier this afternoon, the Camden Crawl saw over 50 bands playing in venues across the famous Capital neighbourhood, with the event’s three secret headliners being revealed as Dirty Pretty Things, The Futureheads and Supergrass.

Throughout the seven hour crawl, the streets were packed with fans criss-crossing between the event’s various venues.

As previously reported, the event started with Wolfmother who played an extra, early set at 5pm at the G Lounge (they performed later at the Underworld too), before the music kicked off in earnest.

The three-piece drew a huge crowd for their set which included blistering renditions of ‘Appletree’, ‘Woman’ and former single ‘Mind’s Eye‘.

The venue was so packed that it was virtually impossible to catch a glimpse of the band, except for singer Andrew Stockdale‘s bushy hair.

Meanwhile at Koko, Dogs (6.30pm) got proceedings going with a riotous set which culminated with singer Johnny Cooke diving into the crowd during ‘Tuned To A Different Station’ before he quipped, “Is that the crappest stage dive you’ve ever seen or what?”.

At the Oh! Bar, Howling Bells (7.10pm) packed out the small pub as they performed a host of tracks from their forthcoming self-titled debut including new single ‘Low Happening’.

Returning to the G Lounge, Welsh newcomers The Automatic (8.15pm) drew one of the longest queues of the night with many fans lining the street hoping to see the band who will star on the forthcoming NME New Music Tour.

Unfortunately the majority failed to get in for the frantic 35 minute set which was watched by singer Ricky Wilson from labelmates Kaiser Chiefs.

Larrikin Love (8.30pm) drew a massive crowd with the biggest cheer coming for ‘On Sussex Downs’ at the Electric Ballroom, after which many fans stayed put in the venue to assure their spot for headliners Dirty Pretty Things.

Returning again to the Oh! Bar, NME.COM witnessed

The Paddingtons (9.20pm) performing an exuberant set featuring ‘First Comes First’.

With Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody among those in the crowd, The Futureheads (11.10pm) played their headlining set at Koko. However the gig was nearly cut short when a power failure during ‘Decent Days And Nights’, forced the band to leave the stage for 10 minutes.

Fortunately the technical issues were solved, leaving the band to cram in a host of new songs from their forthcoming album ‘News And Tributes’ including ‘Cope’, ‘Fallout’, ‘Worry About It Later’ and new single ‘Skip To The End’.

Over at the tiny pub venue the Dublin Castle Supergrass (11.30pm) won worst kept secret of the night with massive crowds turning out to see Gaz Coombes and co peform their smallest gig in over 10 years.

The venue was so packed inside that even friends of the band like actor Rhys Ifans were left standing in the doorway for the 50 minute set which included classic songs ‘Caught By The Fuzz’, ‘Pumping On Your Stereo’ and ‘Lenny’.

With a similar level of anticipation, Dirty Pretty Things (11.15pm) wowed fans at the Electric Ballroom – many of whom had stayed in the venue all night to see Carl Barat‘s men – as they previewed their debut album ‘Waterloo To Anywhere’.

With the new songs going down well, the loudest cheer of the night was reserved for single ‘Bang Bang Your Dead’, which sent the packed crowd into a wild frenzy.

For those with stamina remaining, The Klaxons (12.45am) began a hectic early morning set at Koko, while DJs at various venues around Camden began spinning records late into the night.

For even more from this year’s Camden Crawl check out the next issue of NME which will be on newsstands nationwide from April 26.