Nov 12

Cranking up the hype machine for Haim


We’ve heard Haim described as “three sisters – like Hanson, but with Destiny Child’s dance moves”.  That sounds like a recipe for disaster, but their Californian blend of folk-pop and R&B honestly really, really works.

With shows at Camden’s Dingwalls and the Roundhouse already under their belts, the band are returning to London next Wednesday with a show at KCLSU. Haim are destined for some serious hype, but it will be with good reason. They’ve already caught the attention of big name British acts, having supported both Mumford & Sons and Ellie Goulding, and with dates lined up to open for Florence and the Machine in December.

Their one EP Forever showcases three slam-dunking tunes, each one better than the last, and there are enough YouTube performances out there to suggest they’ve got plenty more of these beauties lined up in their back pockets. This was our soundtrack of choice pedalling around Venice Beach earlier in the year, and it’s just as delicious back home. We’ll be front row next week – we suggest you are too.

Jul 12

M. Ward: Koko, July 2012

It was with a slight sense of apprehension that I headed down to Koko to see M. Ward play Camden on the last night of his European tour.

I had been a genuine fan of his breakthrough album ‘Post-War’ back in 2006, but was markedly less enthused by his twee and rather restrictive She & Him collaborations with Zooey Deschanel, and his latest offering ‘A Wasteland Companion’ released earlier this year.  Would he stick to his new material or would I get to enjoy a nostalgic trip down a musical memory lane?

As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. M(atthew) Ward treated us to a healthy dose of songs both old and new, peppered with a few happy surprises.

Bittersweet Poison Cup and Chinese Translation were both honoured and elicited delighted cheers from the crowd. Tracks from the new album such as Primitive Girl and Sweetheart that had previously left me cold thankfully came to life on stage, and I was left with a greater appreciation for the record once Ward had shown us how they were meant to be played. A couple of unexpected covers were thrown in for good measure, including Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven and a perhaps overly syrupy rendition of anti-folk hero Daniel Johnston’s Story Of An Artist.

The sweetly husky voice that draws you into his recordings was just as seductive live, and left us wondering exactly how he manages to perfect the gritty yet oh-so smooth vocal combo – I reckon if it was breakfast it would be a slice of burnt toast drenched in honey, except rather than tasting better than it sounds it would sound better than it tastes…

Ward’s lack of on-stage chat and genre-spanning set make him a tricky man to pin down, but his genuine love of music shone throughout the show as he and the band delivered a schizophrenic smattering of country, blues, rock and sturdy folk songs. Whoever he is and whatever he is about, I hope he sticks with what he excels in – showcasing his gorgeous voice with the help of some good solid tunes.

Photobucket Words: Daisy Drury

Jun 12

Kyla La Grange announces Camden Barfly show

We first came across Kyla La Grange in Camden over a year ago, and have been keenly monitoring her progress ever since. Kyla boasts all the ingredients you’d expect to see from the next female success story on London’s music scene – the guitar-toting beauty does a great line in gothic folk, delivered with nymph-like tippy-toe charm.

She already has three epic releases under her belt plus an album lined up for July, and now she’s capturing the imagination of the national music press with a headline slot at the Guardian blog’s New Band of the Day gig at the Barfly on Thursday 14 June. If you’re looking for just one night out in Camden this week, make it this show. Kyla’s barefooted performances are guaranteed to get you in the mood for the summer festival season, and she’ll be supported by more new favourites including We Were Evergreen and Seasfire.

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.