I woke up on day two of the Camden Crawl with a bit of a hangover. By no means the worst hangover I have ever had but worse than I was expecting. Fidgeting to find my phone to tell me the time I realise that its way too early for breakfast yet and I get a little more sleep. When it is about half past nine I decide to go downstairs to catch the end of breakfast. When the man who checked me into the hostel said that breakfast “wasn’t much” I didn’t realise quite how little he meant. A table in the corner had on it drinks, cornflakes and toast making equipment. A glass of water and some toast was really all that I wanted though with this hangover. I sat by myself and scoured through the timetable for today to see what I was going to see.

After making that plan I went for a shower. It was now, after getting my bag out of the expensive lockers that I realised that in my haste to leave yesterday that I had not packed any underwear or socks, or shower gel, or shampoo, or conditioner, or soap. So I had a quick shower stealing  what I could from the bottles people had left in the toilet areas, no one seamed to notice. After this quite filthy affair I went out into the streets of Camden once more. “First things first” I said to myself, “Get rid of this hangover”. I thought to myself how much stronger those Brewdog beers must have been for me to feel this bad. I found a cheap shop which was selling two bottles of “rejuvenating juice drink”, in other words apple and grape juice. One word for this stuff – foul, and I had bought two bottles of the stuff. I sat by the side of the canal, forcing it down, because it may taste like the back end of a Ford Transit but as fruit juice it should be doing some good (what your saying you have never licked a van before?).

Anyway, first band of the day was “Never a hero“. While they were on stage in their ridiculous masks (clearly trying to do something along the lines of slipknot but failing) they said that they are on all the major rock TV channels Kerrang! and Scuzz etc.. This I can believe. They have just charisma to get away with the local acts when they were starting out and just enough talent to make it big on the rock TV stations. I don’t think that they will be bothering any of the big guns, radio 1, NME, Q, any time soon though, all of their qualities seemed to be enough to scrape them through this far but I doubt it will send them much higher in popular music. Just the way that the front man said thank you to the crowd at the end of a song while holding up one thumb to me seemed to be a bit, well, unprofessional.

Following them were “Hill Valley High“. A bit more indie rock than some of the other bands which generally get to perform on the Red Bull stage and boy were they arrogant. The music was completely overshadowed by the front man trying to tell the crowd that none of us were “too cool” to stand at the front. You just want to shout at him “its only mid day, most of us are hung over, we need something more sedate for this hour and we don’t appreciate being told what to do by an upstart like you, now shut up, sing your songs and be grateful we haven’t all walked off”. On a lighter note the songs themselves were OK and I could see them going somewhere. It’s always the arseholes that make it!

Third act outside in the Camden Gardens and its starting to get a bit cold. “Throwing up” were a girl fronted punk band who were pretty good, made me laugh a few times. Punk isn’t usually my cup of tea but I stuck around to hear their set, even as the wind started to pick up because I did like them a lot. It wasn’t just me who liked them three, how to put this nicely, less youthful members of the audience, with an amazing fashion sense were having a whale of a time listening to them. These three were also at the Red Bull stage last year and they were dad dancing like there was no tomorrow. I managed to take a few snaps (right).

I moved into the warmth of Heros bar to see “Matthew and me“, an Indie band from Totnes. Really excellent. There not so easy to pin down in a category but well worth a listen. I really hope an album is coming out from these guys very soon because I do want some of this in on my iPod. The only downside was the bar has a projector behind it showing the film; secretary, on loop. If you haven’t seen it there is a lot of graphic female masturbation and sex in it which can be slightly distracting.

Now I hate to be negative about anyone but when Kellie Lloyd said she has come all the way from Australia to perform this one show, I really do think she should have saved the air fare. I’m not saying that she was bad, the songs were well written country/rock songs which I probably would have liked but what with the porno-film distractions behind the bar, the loud chatter of no one particularly paying any attention to her, the rather echo-y room and the fact that she was OK but not brilliant, its not gonna sell any records from that performance. Perhaps she thinks that the gimmick of having some flexi-discs for sale was going to entice us. I didn’t see anyone approach her after her set.

I know that I saw “native tongue” because I tweeted about them. But I can not for the life of me remember what they sound like. Clearly a memorable act with lots of catchy rifts that I’ll have stuck in my head for days! Perhaps I was watching the film again. It was very distracting in its more… visual scenes. I ran out of money at the bar and had to leave briefly. I walked out and up the road to where the bouncer had told me there was a Tesco with a cash point. It wasn’t far. Funds replenished I decided to go into the store and buy a sandwich, I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was late afternoon by now. Amazingly the self service till still needed a member of staff to check my ID, is ham and mustard now a prohibited item to the under 18s?

I ate my sandwich and got back in time for the next band “heathers“. These were a duo of Irish singers, both fantastically talented and with just one guitar they kept the audience in silence, which no other band in that venue could do all day, not completely at least. Still the porn behind the bar is unrelenting. This was followed by a band called Blast, my tweet was not complementary about them. Another non-memory I’m afraid.

After this the timetable switched from the daytime to the evening and things started to improve. The first act of the evening was an Irish guy called Toby Kaar, who for one bloke made a lot of noise which filled the room. It really suited the venue with his dance style. Really worth a listen if you are into a more modern approach to mixes, he is sort of a male Grimes.

Now, the reason which I had chosen to pick hero’s as where I was going to hang around all day, Lucy Rose. I have heard her music on the radio before and on a few TV adverts. She has a very nice voice and  I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately most of the other people in the venue had other ideas and had decided that they were going to talk very loudly and drown out her delicate voice. From where I was, near the back of the bar, I could hardly hear her at all and with the crowd as dense as it was, there was no chance of moving forward to get a better position on the speakers. After this I decided that it was better that I left. I crossed the road and went back to the Abbey Tavern, where I had seen François and the Atlas Mountains, yesterday.

The Abbey Tavern was a lot more packed out hat it had been yesterday. It took me a good ten minutes to get to the bar and by which time Liz Green had started her set. A drummer, a double bassist and herself with her voice and an acoustic guitar playing just lovely folk songs which weren’t too deep in their sentiment and weren’t all just about dancing about. A large group left half way through, Liz made a joke about how we, the ones who had stayed, were so much better than all of them. I would have to agree that it was good that they left because I managed to get one of their seats, turn it round and bag myself a front row seat in a standing crowd. I can’t say enough good things about this set, she interacted with the audience, was funny and a talented singer and musician. Along with her accompanying musicians who were also great at their respective crafts you can’t go wrong for a good time.

The night ended with a walk to Underworld, near the tube station. A second attempt to see Clock Opera. The underworld I find to be much more a ‘proper’ venue, scummy toilets, sticky floors, terrible beer but with a huge stage and a cloakroom it has everything you need to see a good band properly. This time I was sure that Clock Opera by account of the merch they had for sale by the side of the bar. The venue was fairly sparsely populated to my surprise, I thought that they were more popular than this. I hung around at the back of the main pit area with no one really in front of me, until the band came on and like locusts people scurried in from all over the place ll at once. I wondered for a moment where they had all come from, but then paid it no mind and concentrated on listening to the band play. Near the end of their set which was impressive and well worth the second visit, they asked if anyone came to see them yesterday at the Purple Turtle, to which they apologised for and explained that no one had told them that they were playing.

Clock Opera finished too soon (a good sign that you enjoyed the set) and I made my way back towards the hostel, Subway came calling again and I queued behind the chaviest of chavs,  asking for there sub to have “some lettuce, but not too much lettuce though because its got worms in it”. The man behind the counter clearly wanted to get rid of the chav and severed her from roll to extras and payment while I had to stand, wait and watch this offence to civilisation happen in front of my eyes. When he got back to me I asked for “a foot long…” “I’m sorry Sir he have no bread”. WHAT. The guy behind me blew up, saying “let me get this straight, this is a subway, where your main line of food is, lets face it, sandwiched, and you haven’t got any bread?!?!?” I was really a bit too surprised to say anything which would constructively add to what  the gentleman had already so successfully put. The man behind the bar explained that at this time of night they only bake more bread for another subway store down the road. The man in the queue told me to avoid that subway because they are “a bit grotty”. I took his advice and went to the kebab shop down the road instead.

After my burger from the kebab house, I went back to my room where another group quickly followed me back, turning on all of the lights, making a racket and generally doing everything you could to keep everyone else awake. Once they realised I was there, however, they were polite enough to pipe down. Unlike the next group who couldn’t give a rats arse. They blundered in a few hours after I had gone to bed and then blundered out again at about 6 in the morning, early enough so that you can get back to sleep but not early enough that it will be a long and rested sleep. In the end I got up quite early, had a quick slice of toast and walked back to St. Pancras from Camden via the toe path of the canal. It is amazing how you can be in the middle of such a vibrant and intensely noisy city like London and between two of the busist areas lies a route which is so calm and peaceful.

I got home in time to watch the Luton game at the Engine and Tender.