Live Review: Camden Rocks Presents One Dayer Headlined by My Latest Failure!
It’s the end of April and bright sunshine is the perfect accompaniment to our journey into the Big Smoke for a Camden Rocks Presents All Dayer at the legendary Fiddler’s Elbow. Headlined by Hardcore injected Punk trio My Latest Failure, it just so happens to be our first one dayer of the year, offering a mix of Alt, Rock and Metal from all over the Underground scene as bands fight tooth and nail to get themselves heard. But first, Nandos and spicy bean burgers washed down with bottles of Sagres and no… no endorsements were involved in the creating of that sentence. At the last minute Nether Sun and 10 Gauge have pulled out of the show so we get 10 instead of 12…
Opening todays event are Solatia [7/10] who float somewhere between Hard Rock and Metal in their sound, their Grunge styled vocals and big rhythms making them a tasty start. They don’t miss a beat, with dirge laden riffs providing a backbone to a performance which has plenty of verve and swagger. It’s not their first rodeo and they’re well rehearsed, making up for what they lack in originality with style so while they may not doing anything you haven’t heard before, they do what they do very well. Next up are Calvaria [6/10] who suffer technical issues but bring out an impromptu drum and bass jam while sorting out their guitar which is a nice touch. It’s clear from the outset that the band have a powerful rhythm section and a vocalist of talent however they don’t seem as confident in their direction or sound as they should be. It feels like perhaps some members of the band want to go heavier but something is holding them back. That being said “Raven” is an impressive beast and one to be checked out again later. By the time Kodama [9/10] take to the stage it’s clear who everyone is here to see as the place is packed for them. A well oiled machine, they light the place up with Groove laden Metalcore and are the first band to use unclean vocals. The quartet from North London should be far higher on the bill, their set is tight and packed with venom and punch with recent single “Control” going down a storm.
A little bit Mathcore, a little bit “Make Yourself” era Incubus, the life affirming tales of Blue Eyed Giants [8/10] are nothing if not interesting. They have a few technical issues as well as a lack of backing vocals but not only do they pull out the stops with rhythmic prowess and vocal versatility but get begged for one more song by a packed house. That sees them run over their allotted set time but as their are a couple of pull outs that can’t be replaced due to short notice, they’re permitted to oblige with “Black And Blue” to bring the curtain down on a riff packed set. At this point things get a little surreal as Octrain [7/10] take to the stage for a set of witty and wordy songs like “Better Break Up” with Alternative Rock vibes. They seem a little out of place after some of the heavier bands and would have gone down a lot better earlier on in the day. However, that being said the event is one that confirms variety is the spice of life and Octrain aren’t phased and simply have fun with it, happy to go with the flow. Next up is Leoni Jane Kennedy [8/10] who offers an unexpected moment of soulful majesty. She plays solo material as a guitarist and vocalist, supported by a well versed bassist and drummer who help bring the funk. Citing Rush as an inspiration, music masters degree studying student Kennedy has a bright future ahead of her and reminds of Sarah Longfield in her performance.
Bringing back the energy that Kodama brought out of the audience earlier on Broken Calling [9/10] may not have enough space on stage but make full use of the space in front of it with their guitarists taking it in turn to run the gauntlet. A cover of “Liquor, Sex and Weed” by Kid Bookie goes down a storm as a nostalgic throwback to the Nu-Metal era while their original compositions live long in the memory. Things then get weird as Worship The Sacrifice [8/10] take to the stage as the Schizophrenic Death Metal act have plenty of attitude and don’t take themselves too seriously. On a bill that has pretty much everything and the kitchen sink seeing them here is not as much of a surprise as you’d think and their lead guitarist offers something of a side show of his own. Put simply, constantly pulling faces and doing little dances the Cannibal Corpse t-shirt wearer is the kind of legend that makes a show memorable. A powerhouse of a band they give Battersea power station a run for its money with a set that is nothing short of a lethal dose of pure cathartic venom. Then there is the bullet belt style guitar strap. After that primal concrete slab of brutality Cosmoths [7/10] are a big sonic swing offering Psychedelic Stoner Rock with Progressive leanings. Their set is littered with melancholic melodies and riffs fit for worshipping while deep and metaphoric meanings are thinly veiled. The highlight of their set is “Season Of Dust“, an upbeat song about climate change.
All of that brings us to our headliner, Hardcore injected Punk trio My Latest Failure [9/10] who play an absolute blinder despite the prospect of sabotage. While ripping though their set with a little gallows humour in between the songs from frontman and guitarist Chris Underhill, a dude who is a little, shall we say… intoxicated, steps up onto the stage and starts dancing and playing air guitar. While he means no harm, he gets removed from the stage by the staff no less than three times before being ejected from the venue. That sideshow doesn’t distract from a set that includes not one but two new songs as the band continue to work on the cunningly titled “Failures Vol. 3” in the background. Melancholic and Foo Fighters esq “Bad Dreams” sounds huge live, while “Voices” and “Self Reflection” are the most sing-a-long ear worm fun you can have without losing a limb. The energy in the show is what this band are about and they bring it by the barrel load. On the kit, Jamie looks like Animal from the Muppets evil twin, his face not giving the impression of enthusiasm despite not missing a beat. Bassist Andy on the other hand keeps the groove rumbling, his backing vocals a vital cog in the machine of the band live. Unlike the last time we saw them when Underhill had to repeat a solo twice he nails it first time, the only thing that is missing is him ripping his his jeans attempting to do the splits on the final song.