The 18 Carat Love Affair, The Indelicates, Black Daniel, Mr Solo, Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences - Notes from the Camden fringe

Jimmy Savage 27/04/2009

Away from the main Crawl venues, Jimmy Savage of the night's headlining band The 18 Carat Love Affair gives us his notes from one of the prime Camden Fringe Events at Camden head last Friday.(the 25th of April).

Things are a little different today in Camden. It's the Camden Crawl, it's 2004 again, cutting edge artists Kasabian and The Macabees play music for the Clapham Glastonbury set and famous peoples children, and there are thousands of them, dressed from head to toe in topshop and primark, sporting beehives and trilbies and having their photos taken out side The Hawley Arms whilst trying to spot Lily Allen. Thank god for Adie Nunn and her Fringe event. Not the sort of fringes you see in the Cock Tavern and The Dublin Castle.

This is what we saw.

19:00 -- Paul Hawkins And Thee Awkward Silences

Paul Hawkins looks like Harry Enfield in 1989, he plays honest and heartfelt songs about not getting any ever. Unfortunately for him he plays them to an empty room. I want to see this guy again with his full band.

19:30 -- Wojtek Godzisz

Ex Symposium songwriter Wojtek has a voice on him, and he knows how to use it. Starting with a Neil Young cover, harmonica and all and moving up to his own stuff, from his upcoming album on the Tiger Trap record label. He easily wins over the slowly filling room, and rightly so. A brilliant show. His cover of “Hyacinth House” sunglasses and all, is perfect.

20:00 -- Mr Solo

4 German girls about 18 or 19 shuffle up to the door clutching their 2 entry fee, they are dressed badly, really badly. The kind of badly that only Germans can do. Mr Solo dons his wig and spangled jumpsuit, suddenly we are at Wembley Stadium. His perfect pop fills the room. A true legend. The Germans go mental, dancing like they were dancing to Marty McFly at the enchantment under the see dance pre solo. Mr Solo is the unsung hero of UK pop music, the vessel, devant or however you know him he never fails to deliver.

20:30 -- Keith TOTP (And His Minor UK Indie Celebrity Allstar Backing Band)

I heard Keith's songs for the first time about 3 years ago when he unwittingly put them on my ipod. His minor UK celebrity indie hero 57 piece orchestra was a little low on members today but still an impressive collection, members of The Indelicates, Carter USM, Pop Shop and Robots in Disguise.
His songs are wonderful, personal and touching. The song “Call Me” is a catchy classic. No one has to tell Keith that he is a genius, he know this already, but any notion that he is arrogant is wiped out by the honesty of this ode to a friend. Finishing on “Two of the beatles are dead” my favourite albums are the blue and the read, two of the beatles are dead. TOTP indeed.

Elsewhere in Camden people are trying to spot Peaches Geldof and that big nosed lanky fellow, and the “genius” Mark Ronson, (Genius for making such huge amounts of money for producing such bland drivel) right here we are seeing something new develop, but I was not prepared for what I was about to see.

21:00 -- Black Daniel

Black Daniel are the best new band in the world, they sound like a cross between the beastie boys and the modern lovers. Don't take my word for it. I am not a music journalist. I can't do them justice, so I won't. Watch this band.

21:30 -- Mistakes In Animation

I was outside, sorry chaps.

22:00 -- The Indelicates

What can I say about the indelicates that hasn't already been said. Recently freed from their record company and “Up to something” they are on fine form. Simon dreams of a word where things are the other way round, where we are rich and famous and Amy Winehouse has to eat sawdust. I like it like it is. I like being able to watch something this beautiful in a room the size of my toilet. They end on a song called “You're the reason our children are ugly”. Fabulous.

22:30 -- Meateye & Dillon

I don't know why this band are on this bill, or any bill of “an alternative/ fringe nature”. They would be more suited playing to a room full of drunk rugby/Jack Johnson fans at the Swan in Stockwell. I just don't understand this kind of thing at all. They are very good at what they do. It is just not my thing at all.

The room gradually fills up with 586 friends and fans, sub girls friends and fans and the Art Brut crew. As I tune my guitar I realise that I am, in fact, quite pissed, not as pissed as Eddie Argos who tries to convince me that drinking neat smirnoff red is an idea for a night out, but he has just supported The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, so he's allowed to be pissed. We tune up, we mess about and people seem to enjoy it.

As we come off stage, Keith Yop of the pops insists that we run as fast as possible to the Purple Turtle, where we are taught a lesson in how to be a band by Robocop Kraus. Who are massive in Germany, and they do know how to dress themselves either. Eddie suggests that they are the best live band in the world, but I saw AC/DC last week at the O2.

Elsewhere in Camden, Kasbian play to 20000 MDMA soaked people who really prefer football to music. They can keep them. JIMMY SAVAGE

Photo credited to Andy Quirk.