Part of a series of gigs showcasing acts before Camden Rocks proper The Monarch plays host to five bands tonight kicking off with ultra melodic The Kings Parade. Boasting a keyboard alongside the regular strings and drums this four piece sound a little like a 60s throwback mixed with some strong 90s Brit rock. They impress without entirely overwhelming the already good audience.
JuiceBox take the tempo up a notch with their pacey indie rock. They may not have been together very long having formed in late 2017 and you can see a few little rough edges on their performance. They do have some catchy tunes though and given time to work on the inevitable early bedding in this trio look like they could do well.
Coming across as a kind of Arctic Monkeys from the near Arctic The Bongo Club are quirky without being silly. From the high riding guitar up front to the ever so safe tub thumping at the back you just have to love these Swedes and how they manage to effortlessly entertain. You do get the odd moment that is lost in translation though that is more than made up for when their groove kicks in.
The first thing you notice about Katalina Kicks is that they are on the button from the first note. Fast, furious and surgically sharp you instantly feel this is a band that have done a lot of gigs recently and that the hard work deserves to pay off. The second thing you notice very quickly after the first is that this band have a drummer that has the kind of personality and stage presence to almost steal the show. The show they put on is full of inventive music that is almost mesmerising. Katalina Kicks, remember the name because you’ll almost certainly be hearing it a lot more.
Fresh, or maybe not so fresh from their water rationing home of Cape Town The Soap Girls hit the stage in what has now become familiar fashion. If any band deserves to cover the old Sinatra song My Way then it’s these wonderful South Africans who put on a set full of great songs and mad cap moments. There’s a new album in the offing for the end of the year and we get a few tasty teasers mixed in with a bunch of favourites from last outing Societys Rejects. There’s an interlude while Millie has a guy change into a nappy full of chocolate dessert with messy results. There’s a reunion on stage with some old friends from their home land who amazingly happen to be in London. All the time the songs keep flowing interspersed with banter and a reoccurring wardrobe malfunction that leads to a hilarious exchange between Millie and manager mum Sam. The Soap Girls are back, and how we’ve missed them.