Festival Preview: Camden Rocks Festival 2015

Year on year, Camden has defined itself as a hotbed for live music, for both emerging and well established acts. These days, there is no single day that encompasses this as well as the day Camden Rocks Festival, and this year two hundred bands will flock to NW1 for more of the fantastic same. The festival team are still slowly letting slip the set times across the twenty stages boasted throughout many of Camden’s live music venues, but the day is already shaping up to be a hard hitting one from start to finish. If last year is anything to go by, there will certainly be a fair few tough decisions to be made regarding clashes as well, but for now we can get down to picking out the most notable acts on a truly stacked Camden Rocks lineup.

Headliners Bullet for my Valentine are the focal point for sure, following their late reveal this past Monday. With their only London show of the year, the booking is perfectly timed to coincide with the first tastes of new album Venom, and an apparent return to the barn-storming Bullet who have been MIA for so long. One of the standout metal outfits of the 21st Century, the quartet will top an Electric Ballroom bill which has been confirmed to include the likes of Black Spiders as well as …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead and more, even before the late addition of While She Sleeps to sweeten the pot even further, less than a week removed from a trio of killer showings at this year’s Slam Dunk festivals. For a band who have torn decisively into far bigger venues than this, the atmosphere within the Ballroom is sure to be nothing short of feral.

The bands going up against Bullet for my Valentine will certainly have a lot to do in order to stand out. Turbowolf are one such act, making a return to the Camden Barfly stage to head up one of the strongest single stage lineups the festival has to offer, alongside Feed the Rhino and Funeral for a Friend amongst others. With New Model Army, Jettblack and Turbowolf also closing out stages across the festival, there’s certainly something for everyone as the day draws to a close. Big names stand out all over the lineup however, with Ginger Wildheart’s name commanding immediate attention when glancing at the poster. Having packed out the Jazz Club at last year’s instalment of the raucous one-dayer, it’s Proud that’s the next venue in line where he’ll be backed up by the likes of Gun, Love Zombies and Michael Monroe.

the Barfly, Underworld, Electric Ballroom and Stillery butting heads for a massive multi-stage clash after the clock strikes eight. The four venues will be offering Feed the Rhino, Heaven’s Basement, While She Sleeps and Hawk Eyes respectively, all of whom are enjoying some fantastic form as of late. It’s cruel to be forced to decide between them, but with Skindred headlining the Underworld stage after a magnificent showing at this year’s Hit the Deck, Heaven’s Basement could be the wisest choice..

When the full schedule of times and stage splits was released this past weekend, however, an arguably even bigger clash arose that has a whole lot of people sweating about where they’ll be at 5PM this Saturday. Black Spiders, Max Raptor, The St. Pierre Snake Invasion, Dinosaur Pile-Up and Monument make it a near impossible decision, one that many could still be torn on right up to the bands taking the stage.

There are plenty other names that jump out on the bill as simply too hot right now to miss. Creeper had a sensational outing at the Great Escape Festival earlier this month, and Press to Meco, EofE and Brawlers seem to be having similarly impressive years thus far. With less than a week until the festival kicks off, there is still plenty up in the air and many attendees’ plans could still change considerably. For now though, there is little more to do besides sit back and applaud one of the most formidable one-day festival lineups that has been put together in years.

Camden Rocks Festival 2015 takes place on Saturday May 30th 2015.

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Words by Antony Lusmore (@VilinskiKonjic)

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