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Camden Rocks is ready to roll!

Festival founder reveals the acts to look out for this year

16 February, 2017 — By Róisín Gadelrab

MOSES are tipped to be among the big hits at this year’s Camden Rocks

CAMDEN Rocks Festival has been slowly morphing into a monster annual event.

This year, more than 1,500 musicians forming 250 acts will play across 27 venues all over Camden Town, with Koko joining the roster and plans for an outdoor stage in the Stables Market amphitheatre.

The Damned, Ruts DC, Therapy?’s Andy Cairns, The Rifles, The King Blues and Milburn are amongst the names that have so far been revealed, with another 200 to be announced.

The festival, which takes place on June 3, has increased its capacity by about 2,000.

This year, festival founder and former 3 Colours Red guitarist Chris McCormack is ready to let his team take over the running, so he can do what he does best.

“I remember getting really stressed out on the first couple of Camden Rocks festivals, but now I want to enjoy the day, let everyone else do their jobs,” he said.

“I’ve got a great production team now, so I’m happy to leave it all to them, have a few beers and play with a few mates.

The Damned

“I’m going to play guitar with The Professional, the band Paul Cook formed with Steve Jones when Sex Pistols broke up back in the day. Sex Pistols were my all-time favourite band so that’ll be a huge kick, I love his drumming style. “I’m also going to play a song with Andy Cairns from Therapy? He wants to play a 3 Colours Red song for a laugh so I need to choose one and re-learn it! It’s been a while.”

Chris has always focused on making the festival industry-focused to give upcoming bands as much exposure as possible.

He said: “There’s always a huge amount of industry at the event. We use all the allocated guestlist for this purpose only and last year we had around 900 industry show up.”

And the work doesn’t stop there.

“I speak and continue to work with most bands I book for the festival,” he said. “It’s an ongoing thing. I’m constantly pushing agents and management towards certain bands I think are capable of doing well. It’s kind of what Camden Rocks is all about.”

Chris was so taken with one young band that he decided to manage them and gave them a spot at last year’s festival. Now, MOSES look set for big things.

He said: “They stand out a mile from the crowd – and I’ve been around a while. We’re about to release the second single on Propaganda/Autonomy in March and will be touring.

“I took the band to Steve Strange and Josh Javor at Xray … they’re the best agents in the business.

“It’s all looking really good for 2017 with most of the major festivals confirmed and major label interest.”

Ruts DC

And of this year’s bands, who is Chris most looking forward to seeing?

“I love The Damned. They were the band I saw more than any other growing up. I went to my first Damned concert when I was 11 years old… I walked 12 miles along a train line all the way to Newcastle with all my punk friends. It was something I’ll never forget, so it’s great to have them play of course.

“Moses will blow your mind, live… check some of their music out online and get yourself along to see them, you’ll love their energy.

“Hands Off Gretel have been playing some great shows for me this year and the singer’s a real star.”

As ever, Chris remains dedicated to keeping the festival in Camden.

He said: “Camden is the only place something of this size can really work, I think. It has all the bars/venues/clubs in close proximity to make it work so well.

“I went to The Great Escape last year and had to get cabs everywhere. With Camden Rocks you can walk to everywhere in minutes, which is a huge plus.”

Look out for potential surprise shows – as Chris points out, there is potential for the unexpected:

“I always have ideas of getting bands to collaborate on the day,” he said.

“There’s around 1,500 musicians in Camden that day and loads of them know each other, so it’s the perfect chemistry for some special appearances and jams. Let’s see what happens”

And don’t expect the festival to fit too neatly into any punk/rock genres.

Chris said: “Having added more venues it’s be even madder than usual. I’ve got a few good old-school punk bands this time around, with it being the 40th anniversary and all that. But it will still be a mass mix of genres as always. It’s basically all the best new and old high-energy guitar bands of all genres that takes place in around 27 music venues in Camden Town. The home of London rock ’n’ roll!”

• Tickets at £39.50 are available from

The line-up so far…

While there are still 200 more names to be announced, the line-up so far includes: The Damned, Orange Goblin, The Ruts DC, The King Blues, The Professionals, Hey! Hello!, Anti Nowhere League, The Urban Voodoo Machine, The RainBand, Young Kato, Stone Broken, Big Boy Bloater and the Limits, MOSES, Screaming Eagles, Imperial Leisure, Habitats, The Main Grains, Napoleon, Slydigs, Max Raptor, Losers, Cortes, Colour Of Noise, Courage My Love, Black Orchid Empire, Jasmine Rodgers, Straight Lines, Yonaka, Exist Immortal, The Anita Chellamah Band, Dirty Thrills, The Blinders, Inklings, MassMatiks, Hands Off Gretel, Fizzy Blood, Broken Witt Rebels, Louise Distras, Millie Manders & The ShutUp, Forte, Stereo Juggernaut, Black Sixteen, Lucie Barat & The Au Revoirs, HVMM, Halflives, Weirds, Frauds, Holding Absence, When We Were Wolves, Bare Knuckle Parade, Lupus-Dei, Liines, Tigress, Divides, Single By Sunday, John, Desert Planes, Happy Accidents, Brandy Row, Role Models, Tim Muddiman & The Strange, Chinese Missy, Alana Bondi, Itamar, Oxygen Thief, The Franklys, CUTE CUTE DEΔTH, Heel, The Kut, Secret Cameras, Yungblud, Kidbrother & Veridian.


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