If you’re still feeling the effects of the weekend two days later, then it’s a sign of a good rocking festival and the Camden Crawl certainly left a lingering impact.
With eight venues across Dublin city to choose from and five venues hosting fringe events there was plenty of choice for music lovers at the weekend. Whatever your musical destiny turned out to be there was a wealth of talent to enjoy with the biggest complaint being too much to see too little time. The times and venues for acts were selected democratically, leaving the element of surprise for festival goers until they picked up their tickets. The festival is billed as a launch pad for new artists, so there were no headliners and venue size didn’t necessarily translate to the popularity of the band. Even the distances between some venues encouraged festival goers to go with the flow of things rather than stringently plan their night.
Duke Special kicked things off upstairs in Whelans to a packed room. Arriving a half hour after the official start time, naively expecting the schedule to be on Irish time, we weren’t even able to get a glimpse of the dreadlocked man. This twist of fate had us leaving Whelans in time to get settled in at the Village for the evening and meant we were in plenty of time for Jape, who were well worth seeing up close. Liking our close proximity to the stage, even if it meant it was near impossible to get to the bar, we slowly got closer to gain prime position for We Are Scientists and were rewarded with a bottle of water and a photo with Chris Cain. While the set started mellow everyone was going crazy towards the end as Nobody Move Nobody Gets Hurt and Rules Don’t Stop Me got the crowd going. Being in the mosh pitt was worth it even if we were in danger of being kicked in the head by Keith Murray as he followed suit of one fan and crowd surfed through the revellers.
Saturday night started with the more chilled Katie Kim, where she set the tone at the Button Factory with a hauntingly beautiful set that included Chris Issac’s Wicked Games. As the crowds gathered in we stayed put for Gaz Coombes and Mystery Jets. Meanwhile across town other audiences enjoyed Fionn Regan and the infamous Rubberbandits among others.
Both nights were followed with DJ sets in the Grand Social Club, The Mercantile and The Workmans Club, catering for the variety of audiences the Camden Crawl attracted.The festival atmosphere could be felt around town as a more eclectic mix of people than usual crawled the streets. The Camden Crawl Dublin is to become an annual event and is sure to gather momentum as a cheap, cosy alternative to the outdoor festival. That said, it nicely sets the bar high for the remainder of festival season as a sweet taster of events to come.
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