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Spotlight on 'Camden Rocks: What You Need To Know And Who To Check Out'

Camden Rocks Festival 2017 is the biggest and best value multi-venue all-day music event of the UK festival calendar. Progressively expanding each year adding new venues - 2017 will take place across 25 of Camden Town’s legendary music venues, now including Koko - and features 250 bands, it’s become the annual highlight for many in the London locality, and far beyond.

With near 100 more bands and artists still to be announced, this year’s headliners include the likes of FEEDER, The Coral, The Damned, Milburn, The Rifles, Reverend and The Makers, Carl Barat & The Jackals and many more topping the 250-band-strong bill, together with some of the country’s finest up and coming new acts.

Camden Rocks’ previous years have seen special performances from a range of internationally acclaimed artists and prospering new bands including The Cribs, Funeral For A Friend, Bullet For My Valentine, Creeper, Slaves, Yuck, Heck, Billy Bragg, Ginger Wildheart, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Gnarwolves and many more.

Festival organiser Chris McCormack - formerly of Creation Records-signed quartet 3 Colours Red - promotes Camden’s best club nights all-year round under the Camden Rocks Presents moniker, putting on over 300 gigs each year, scouting the country’s finest new talent to showcase alongside some of the biggest names in rock, indie and punk at Camden Rocks Festival every year. “The festival is a total celebration of what Camden is all about as the creative hub of the UK music scene,” he adds. “The clubs and venues here have been, and continue to, host some of the now-biggest names in music in their fledging stages. In the past we've had Catfish & The Bottlemen playing the Barfly to 100 people. So many great bands have cut their teeth here and it’s a pleasure to continue to fly the flag high for new, up and coming bands alongside the big names each year.”

This years participating venues are as follows: Fiddlers Elbow,The Camden Assembly, The Monarch, Proud, The Hawley, Arms, Camden Market, Dingwalls, Dingwalls Canalside, Fifty Five Bar, The Devonshire Arms, The Good Mixer, The Dublin Castle, The Electric Ballroom, The Underworld, Bloc Bar, The Blackheart, Brewdog, The Forge, Belushis ,Be At One, KOKO, The Crowndale, The Winnicott.

With so many bands playing it is near impossible to do a full break down of exactly who you should see, but all the same here is our personal Top 10 must sees.

1. Emp!re

EMP!RE are a five piece Rock band from the South West of England, formed in early 2012. Though we do say Rock lightly as they do tend to genre hop from song to song which is in no way a bad thing. Lead singer Joe Green has quite simply one of the best voices and truly has to be heard to be believed, combined with the musicianship of the band you're onto a winner.

2. The Dirty Youth

The Dirty Youth are a British Rock band from South Wales that formed in late 2009. Forever a presence on the touring and festival circuits the band are deserving of their accolades and praise. With front woman Danni Monroe holding the torch high for female fronted Rock this band delivers on every level. Their live show is full of energy and you'd be a fool to miss them.

3. Hands Off Gretel

Hands Off Gretel are a 4-piece Alternative Rock band, formed late 2014 in South Yorkshire. Described by critics as a New Wave of 90's nostalga, influenced by late 80's/ early 90's Feminist 'Riot Grrrl' bands like 'Bikini Kill' and 'Hole', Hands Off Gretel have been inudundated with album and live reviews, all of which have raved about this exciting young band.

4. Max Raptor

The Midlands four-piece Max Raptor fuses classic British Punk attitude with an astute sensibility to a ballsy riff, forthright narrative and infectious hook-fuelled chant. Always on the road the band have refined their live set to the T they are not one to miss at this years festival.

5. Pulled Apart By Horses

Pulled Apart by Horses are an Alternative Rock band from Leeds, England, formed in early 2008. Known for their very frantic live performances during which band members have been known to be injured. You'll see their name all over the festival line ups this year and rightfully so. Whatever you do o the day make sure you take a moment to check out this insane 4 piece.

6. Louise Distras

Louise’s path from hardship to heart-felt anthems began when she ran away from home, aged 16, armed with a guitar and the few chords she knew. Inspired by Nirvana and the Punk-Rock gateway the Seattle legends provided, Louise turned her back on the bullying that had made her life unbearable and decided to play music for anyone who’d listen. Making waves on the Punk scene for some time now Louise is quite simply a powerhouse of a performer and her set will no doubt be something special.

7. Broken Witt Rebels

Birmingham quartet Broken Witt Rebels combine the power and intensity of indie rock with the finesse and delicacy of soulful blues. Heralded as one of the most exciting new live bands in the country. The arrangement of James Tranter’s dominant, layered guitar work, Danny Core’s strong and unique vocals, Luke Davis’s muddy harmonic bass playing and James Dudley's thunderous drumming are the framework of a band that’s enchanting and irresistible.

8. M O S E S

M O S E S are a London-based 4 piece band that wreak of attitude, brit-pop cool and reverb-laden guitar licks. Having seen them live a while back they are probably one of the more unique bands on the line up this year. They ooze energy and have to be seen to be believed.

9. Black Orchid Empire

Black Orchid Empire’s powerful music resonates with fans of QOTSA, Deftones and Royal Blood. The trio are all about the riffs. If you're looking for music that offers up complex timings and huge melody then look no further.

10. The Membranes

The band were formed out of Punk and DIY culture and then went on their own darker path. The band reformed a couple of years ago to play music on their own terms. If you're looking for a hit of pure Punk at this years festival then look no further than these guys. Punk royalty in every sense of the word.

Listen here -

When it's all said and done our top 10 is merely a spec on the landscape of incredible bands playing this year. Ultimately all bands are worthy of your time and with a line up like this there is no doubt you're going to have yourselves a great day.

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