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Music Notes: Kingsley's Camden crawl

PUBLISHED: 16:14 01 May 2009 | UPDATED: 15:40 29 October 2010

Madness get nutty in Camden

Madness get nutty in Camden

Kingsley Harris

It's a Camden Crawl, double bill this week and next, as I headed off to the capital in search of the hottest sounds around. Anyone who has done the Crawl before will know it's not so much a crawl but a commando style route march, with hundreds of obstacles that will leave you with calves like Red Rum and feet with a hint of Gorgonzola.

Kingsley Harris

It's a Camden Crawl, double bill this week and next, as I headed off to the capital in search of the hottest sounds around. Anyone who has done the Crawl before will know it's not so much a crawl but a commando style route march, with hundreds of obstacles that will leave you with calves like Red Rum and feet with a hint of Gorgonzola.

The Camden Crawl first started way back in 1995 but an eight-year absence in the middle has kept it incredibly fresh and a major event on the festival circuit.

For years Camden has been the UK's venue central with famous names such as The Monarch, Dublin Castle, The Electric Ballroom and Dingwalls all in residence. Yes, a few names may have changed but in essence it's very much the same as it ever was.

It's a great idea but you have to wonder what was going through the mind of the person who suggested ramming thousands more people into an area of London that already attracts the largest weekly gathering.

This year's only Norwich representatives are THE BROWNIES, who have just finished recording their debut album Ourknife Yourback with Mercury nominated Andy Gill, due for release in June.

The band were invited down by music magazine trendsetters Artrocker to perform at the Purple Turtle after show slot, which also included ex Kaito artist Nikki Colk and her new ambient experimental band Factory Floor.

On arriving it was a mad dash to get passes for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs so I forgo the honours in favour of watching old favourites MADNESS, performing on an open top bus parked in Inverness Street Market.

The street and Camden are at a standstill within minutes as everyone joins in the nutty dance intro to One Step Beyond. Thirty-three years on and these guys still pull a big crowd. It's all relevant though as they work up some PR for their new single Dust Devil out in May. These were the guys to pogo to during my school disco days and it's great to see later generations picking up on them as well.

Well there is only so much bopping you can do in the middle of Camden High Street so I made my way to the Purple Turtle to catch new Leeds based alternate rock band, PULLED APART BY HORSES.

Currently flavour of the year with everyone; their stage performance and humour go hand in hand. Check out tracks like E=McHammer and The Crapsons on their myspace.

It might not be everyone's cup of tea but watching them you can't go 10-minutes without a smile forcing itself onto your face. Most gigs result in some kind of injury, but it's OK as it's normally to the band. Tune in next week for part deux including Echo & The Bunnymen, Your Twenties and Violet Violet at the 100 Club.

t The Brownies play Unit 5 as part of the Norwich Fringe Festival on May 13.

t Madness play Norfolk Showground on June 13.

t Pulled Apart by Horses play the Latitude Festival on July 17.

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