Camden Crawl launch party (with Two Wounded birds)

It’s that time of year where we air out our festival sleeping bags only so we can wear an extra layer during evening coursework,  while tents are hibernating with no resonance of festiva

It’s that time of year where we air out our festival sleeping bags only so we can wear an extra layer during evening coursework,  while tents are hibernating with no resonance of festival feeling.  The days are getting shorter and gloomier and it’s often tempting to opt for a helping of X Factor on a Saturday rather than braving the cold.

However, there’s now something to look forward to, as the early bird tickets for Camden Crawl 2012 went on sale on Wednesday.  To celebrate, the first in a series of variety nights was held to promote the diversity of next year’s programme.

The free night at the Star of Kings kicked off with happy hour, free popcorn and a quiz run by Rough Trade.  It was certainly very warm in there, and a stone’s throw from King’s Cross.

In a bid to cross-pollinate the arts, the night was described by CC organisers as ‘four great nights out in one.’  Following the quiz, (well done winners ‘Tulisa’s attic,’) there was comedy from Tiernan Douieb and Phil Nichol.  It was a tough gig but both acts warmed up the crowd well with some side-splitting gags including themes of diabetes, political correctness and comic songs.

The night doubled as a single launch for Two Wounded Birds, whose ‘Together Forever’ is released Monday (Moshi Moshi Records.)  The four-piece surf band with front man Johnny Danger and his signature black chop, rocked the stage, cool as cucumbers.

This band, who formed in 2008, have accelerated the punk movement of the 1980s that translated 50s rock ‘n’ roll into a new breed of surf punk and made it their own.  Their sound is full of pedal-induced flexes, creating bendy waves that curl around Danger’s stunning vocal.

A big attraction of the band (if you read their MySpace comments!) is bassist Ally Blackgrove, who is a total hotty.  (Unfortunately both her and I were rocking the same outfit – Damn you, Topshop!)  Ally told me there’s some exciting things coming up from the band (they’ve already done a tour with The Drums, and been rated by Brian Wilson and Debbie Harry!)  The band promised a full interview to Kettle once they have confirmed a few bits and bobs.  Watch this space.

The new single was well received and the band kicked off with heavy instrumental and pleased fans by performing favourites such as ‘My Lonesome’ and ‘All We Wanna Do.’

The next band was Young Legionnaire who gave the drum kit a very good seeing to.  This three-piece noisy ensemble at times sounded like angsty teens letting off some steam in the garage but also showed promise with some nice riffs and quirky choice of chords.

Although perhaps not so much to my taste, the band bantered with the crowd and got a good reaction.  Check out their MySpace to make your own mind up.

The night was rounded off with a DJ Set from Good Girls Gone Bad, I hung around waiting for the promised surprises for a little bit but then retreated to bed.  (It was a Wed night after all.)

The free-entry Camden Crawl Variety nights are on every fortnight and the next one is on 9th November.  Next time Echo Lake and Icona Pop are playing after comedians James Redmond and Joel Dommett.  They’ll be another quiz as well.  I’ve seen Echo Lake and they produce some very tangy, dreamy instrumental topped by their lead singers velvety vocals.  Very much worth seeing AND it’s free.

Variety is held at The Star of Kings, 126 York Way, London N1 0AX.  

For more info:  Early Bird Weekend Tickets are £57.50 for a limited period.  This ticket gains you access to 50 venues over Camden Crawl Weekend: Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th May 2012.