April, 2012

Apr 12

Jack White debuts solo show in Camden

If Edward Scissorhands had got himself a successful hand transplant and swapped his outrageous snipping skills for guitar picking, I think he would bear more than a slight resemblance to Jack White.

It’s Monday the 23rd of April, and Jack White is marking the release date of his new album ‘Blunderbuss’, by playing his first ever UK gig as a solo artist.

White is touring with two bands. One all male, and one all female. He enters the stage tonight surrounded by women and promptly explodes into the White Stripes classic Dead Leaves On The Dirty Ground. The band encircling the wiry-haired dervish consists of a piano, a violin, a backing vocalist, a pedal steel, a double bass and a particularly fantastic drummer.

The gig plays like a Jack White retrospective. Songs from the new album are juxtaposed with old classics from The White Stripes and The Racontours as well as his work with Dangermouse.

Highlights included a face-melting rendition of the solo heavy Ball and a Biscuit, immediately followed by the two and a half minute storm in an eggcup that is Sixteen Saltines. By the time the inevitable Seven Nation Army rolled around the entire audience was singing along with the riff like a crowd of plaid clad football hooligans.

A more comprehensive tour of the UK is scheduled for the summer. Get a ticket. Or get two and see him play with the boys as well.

Words: Dickon Drury

Apr 12

Coming soon: The Skellies launch Superficial in Camden

Last weekend The Camden Store’s latest tip, The Skellies, took to the stage to deliver a pumped-up set for the Purple Turtle’s Saturday night crowd. If you haven’t come across them before, these lads are a local outfit, busy making their name known around Camden with their own mods and rockers club night and a bevy of bolshy songs up their Fred Perry sleeves.

With a re-jazzed line-up the band has been moving towards a decidedly more rock and roll sound, which will be cemented with the launch of their new single Superficial at their biggest headline show to date back at the Purple Turtle on May 12th. We recommend getting yourselves along for a taste of proper live music.

Apr 12

Yngve and The Innocent return to Camden

This time last year we were getting ready to host Yngve and The Innocent at our Right Royal Knee’s Up (can we have another royal wedding please, that was FUN).  A few days ago they were back in Camden to launch their latest single You’ll Be Mine at the Lock Tavern.

The jaunty toe-tapper of a tune precedes the release of the group’s debut album ‘The Sadness of Remembering’, which happily landed on The Camden Store doormat this week. Brothers Yngve and Demian Wieland and their band are proper self-starters that have had to be pretty inventive to get this record up and running. They toured relentlessly in order to fund the necessary studio time, and then raised an impressive sum through pre-sales to get it ready for distribution.

It’s genuinely heart-warming to hear their reflective yet unrepentantly upbeat collection of songs pulled together, leading us to rediscover old favourites such as You’ve Been Released and Draw A Line. If anyone deserves some success, it’s them.

You can listen to the album sampler here.

Apr 12

Free Willy

Free things are a mixed bag. There is an overwhelming abundance of depressing free things, like The Metro or single use toiletries. Then are the slightly less depressing things like the Evening Standard Magazine, refills and ropey wi-fi. Then you get the things that are free due to some massive, glaringly obvious, human error or scam, such as an inheritance from an unknown rich Nigerian uncle which you need to pay a small admin charge to receive, or a Willy Mason gig.

Having arrived at the newly opened Colonel Fawcett, a perfectly pleasant up-market pub, one suspected the ‘free’ gig was either a clever ruse to attract new customers or we were going to be sat down and made to listen to a time-share pitch sung by Willy. However the huge crowd was in for a treat not involving a Spanish villa, but Willy performing three sets from each of his albums from the last ten years.

The large upstairs room, which is due to host more gigs in the near future, was throbbing with Willy fans and notably many ex-pat Americans who had made the journey to see their country man perform. The set began as it would finish, with Mason, looking like a 60-a-day Marlboro man, on his own on stage with just his guitar for company.

The rolling American country music was perfectly suited to the intimate venue, lit up by fairy lights. After playing several songs from his first album he had a brief interlude before returning to play the big crowd pleasers, which transformed the Colonel’s crowd into an impeccable backing choir, singing along to We Can Be Strong. Listening to the broad range of his material was a funny experience, there are songs everyone knows and then those you didn’t realise were Mason’s but recognize, and all the melodies, like that of If The Ocean Gets Rough, have a hint of familiarity in a rather pleasant way.

The choir continued to oblige by singing (shouting) along to Save Myself with Mason politely allowing the crowd to dominate by sharing the verses. The set later went on to show case new material that didn’t stray too far away from his personal acoustic style and story-like lyrics.

As he rounded off a generously lengthy set, the slightly bemused audience dispersed wondering as to how they had been treated to an amazing performance from a well-established artist for completely gratis. The best things in life are free, indeed.

Photobucket Words: Cameron Smith