Camden Rocks is one of my favourite festivals. It has an incredible vibe and iconic venues, travelling down year after year I know there will always be friends there I can hook up with. This year was no exception, with The Virginmarys headlining The Underworld I knew there would be a huge gathering of fans, some coming from as far as Rotterdam. So we all meet in the blazing sun, with love and hugs galore, well wishes of a great day and it goes without saying where we’ll all be at the end of the night! As we go our separate ways, shiny new wristbands and planners in hand, there are as always too many band clashes but I’m anxious there’s one band I don’t want to miss, Weirds.
I head to The legendary Dublin Castle, renowned for it’s important contribution to the early careers of several bands in the early 90’s and bringing an increased interest in live music to the area. My first visit to this place and I’m instantly enamoured by the venue, walls adorned with posters and a dark back room with a raised stage sees the Weirds guys already sound checking. My friend and I grab a beer and we watch the room begin to fill up with anticipation.
Having caught Weirds in a support slot last year I knew their live show was heavy and intimate, I was not however expecting the insane growth of sound and performance. Swaggering through the crowd and practically eyeballing everyone, frontman Aidan Razzall (vocalist/keys) leaps onto the stage through a deafening drone like swell of noise and immediately owns it.
A grunge filled set infused with psychedelic keys and ferocious drumming (David Nash) spews out drawing an ever growing crowd, encouraged continually towards the stage by Aidan. Frantic distorted guitars are provided by Zachary Thomas, who practically tap dances on his array of effects pedals giving us mind blowing and catchy riffs, the room is feeling it and dancing along.
We’re treated to an array of new tracks from recently released debut album Swarmculture and it’s not long before Aidan is off stage lassoing the crowd with his mic lead and physically pulling us together and forward, I’ve said it before; I love this kind of intimidation at a gig, pure punk. Back on the stage a quick thank you of support, the band now dripping with sweat and ditching their shirts. Bass man Matthew Vaughn is as skilled as he is mesmerising, this band are the complete outfit. The set ends with Aidan on his knees mid crowd, wrapped completely in his own lead, part strangling himself as he screams hauntingly into the mic, the rest of the band are thrashing the living daylights out of their instruments and their amps scream feedback in disdain. The layers of sound are immense as they reverb around the walls and the bruised instruments are left on stage wailing as the band depart through the crowd and out the door to rapturous applause.
Ears ringing I leave with a huge grin on my face, I could leave happily at this point, but of course I’m not going to. I meet up with Ross then for the rest of the day so everything he says in his review, really! As the awful news of the terrorist attack starts to break we all hold each other a little tighter, raise our glasses and toast to the fact that these atrocities will never stop us doing what we love. Another fantastic festival Camden Rocks, until next time.