Flash! Flash! Flash! Photography – London Camden Underworld

By paul


This show was supposed to happen the following day at The Brixton Windmill but due to the venue double-booking we find ourselves in a slightly more northern part of South London at a venue that is nothing like I imagined it.

The Don Ramos Players were the main band affected by this change. With Smittens (bass) holding tickets for yet another UFC event they are opening today when they would have inevitably been far higher on the bill otherwise. This makes for a strange opening to the day, the crowd are barely assembled and still waking afternoon sleep from their eyes and the band are feeling this lack of energy and playing as though it were a sound-check. They lounge through the hits from the album and EP as well as a less than impressive Movielife cover, while taking long breaks in between where the band?s stellar banter really keeps the assembled crowd of band members and early birds entertained. The band admitted that this was unrehearsed and without a set-list and it showed, but they remained engaging throughout regardless. 2.5/5

Up next were Keeping Scores playing only their second show and in places it is quite obvious. The band are getting to know each other as musicians and at times this leads to some sloppy fingering or some missed drumbeats, and if you didn?t know that this was only their second performance then you might be a little less forgiving. However, as a frontman Ash Ward makes it difficult to not forgive the band any problem. His dance-moves alone make it almost impossible to take your eyes from him in fear of missing the next hilarious moment. The band themselves boast some great gruff-punk songs that scream positive times and with Ash screaming the vocals through a thick smile into people?s faces, a wall of death between four people, songs about plants and banter that runs the line between cringe worthy and genius as well as Faustino Asprilla in his prime, there is no way that you could come away without a smile on your face. 3.5/5

Clarkson?s sound remind me of a night when Richard Morgan (The Quarry) and I were heading back to his with the then Fleeing From Finales in their van. We were listening to different bands and then Livin? On A Prayer came on and we all sang along, drunkenly Rich and I more than the others. This love of Bon Jovi (as well as a sprinkling of Limbeck) is pretty evident in their sound and they seem to forget that they?re playing to twenty-two people (I counted) and act as though they?re headlining Wembley. Sam Little is still one of the top UK pop-punk vocalists but I?m not sure that it sits as well with this band as it does the former. I am pleasantly surprised with them though and their cover of Where Is The Love? by The Black Eyed Peas is incredible. 3/5

After a short break we are treated to Shapes, a band that are well executed noise and perfectly formed slabs of experimental instrumental thrashing indie-punk. With little knowledge in this kind of music comparisons to Battles and the like are inevitable but there are also hints of At The Drive-In and Refused to an extent too. By this point in the day my stomach had started rumbling but this band calmed that whilst also making me remember that vocals are just another instrument and, while a flute isn?t always necessary in music, neither is the human voice. Easily the highlight of my day and,, having been told after their set that this was an off day for them, I?m extremely excited to see them again soon. 4.5/5

It is almost a year to the day since I last saw The Quarry and a lot has changed for the band since then. They have recorded an as yet unreleased EP and are about to lose their bassist, but most importantly they have a second guitarist. This new addition has given the band some clarity where previously they always seemed a little muddled. Pix is an excellent drummer but no longer is he solely responsible for providing the driving force in the band. Richard Morgan has become an engaging frontman and he now has more licence for solos with the additional guitarist providing the riffs to back him up. Before today I wasn?t really a fan but as I assist in holding Morgan, mid-solo, up on our shoulders I am going to make sure that I don?t go another year without seeing them. 3.5/5

I finally gave in to my rumbling stomach and the call from the bar of Portugal vs. Turkey which meant that I missed Capitals. Apologies to those guys but Stockwell is a hard place to find food places.

The Attika State really do seem to split opinion with a knife?s edge. I personally sit in the ?like? camp but I can understand why people dislike them. The lead vocals are not a comfortable fit with the music and there is something lacking in the overall sound that I can?t quite put my finger on. But on the other hand they have hooks aplenty and the ability to write songs that mix a pop sensibility with real substance. As far as UK bands go they are definitely amongst the best; a great indie-pop-punk band with more hooks than a bait shop. 3.5/5

Next up were Punktastic Recording?s Our Time Down Here and I had somehow managed to never see them before today. I have to admit to being unimpressed. I wasn?t impressed by their recordings but presumed that they were just rough demos. Apparently they?re not and live they sound just as messy as the recordings. Everyone that I would normally regard as an authority on music of this ilk seems to really love them though and so I can only assume that I?m alone on this one but I left before the end. 1/5

I was told by everyone in 3F!P before Targets? set that they are amazing and would be right up my street. When people say this to me I know exactly what they?re implying, that this is an indie band. The problem is that Targets do not seem to be anything other than an average indie band. I really long to like the band and try to force my foot to tap and my head to nod, but there just isn?t anything imaginative about their performance tonight. I?m not sure if this is just because I know of bands doing this better or because, like Our Time Down Here, I just don?t get them, but tonight they don?t hit their Targets for me. 1.5/5