The two bands I was really looking forward to seeing tonight were The Cribs and Glasvegas, both of whom I’ve seen before but never shot. The high energy persona and theatrics of Spector had the crowd well charged up and buzzing in time for Glasvegas to hit the stage, who I caught briefly earlier in the day for an acoustic set backstage at the ‘Crawls media centre.
Onstage at KOKO I was expecting the lighting to be really subdued for Glasvegas, which it was. So low level backlighting with the occasional flicker over frontman James Allan. That suits their mood, so I don’t really get it when other photographers squeeze in a bit of flash. The lighting built up with the energy of the opening numbers so by song four we had more to work with. I watched the rest of the set from the side of the stage and I have to say it was blinding, the crowd were punching the air and singing along throughout.
Its worth saying at this point that KOKO had their sound system well cranked up – I’ve never heard it this loud, absolutely thumping.
I thought that when The Cribs came on they’d have the lighting set up a bit brighter and more orthodox. But no, to start off with it had this lime green backlit wash with a deep blue frontlight. However it worked well for them, and made a big statement about the band – “We ain’t here to look commercial, sell you our records, or any of that other shit – we’re just here to rock this place”. Which they did in spades. They reeked of attitude, from the lighting to how they swaggered on stage & at times singing into their mics with their backs to the audience. That’s The Cribs all over, they rocked it. And from a personal point of view, at least this time I didn’t fracture a rib which is what happened when I got slammed against the barrier a couple of years ago when I saw them at Brixton Academy. Bonus.
Special mentions also for Niki and the Dove and Kyla La Grange. I saw the latter a year ago supporting Dry the River, she’s come on massively since then and it was great to check her out – one to watch for sure. I shot Niki and the Dove earlier this year for The Fly, very enjoyable pumping electro-pop with lots of personality from front-woman Mali.
Hat’s off to The Camden Crawl organisers for such a solid line-up. KOKO was full to the brim and absolutely kicking.
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