I have recently acquired quite a disliking for Camden. I never really minded it before. It just seemed like a bizarre little bit of London with some really odd clothes shops in it. Recently, however, I have found that more and more people are trying to get money off me, mainly charity workers or alternatively scabby looking people who by their appearance and pushiness I can only assume are smackheads. My hatred of Camden was fortified when someone from one of the aforementioned groups (I'll leave it to you to decide which one) nicked some money off me as I was on my way to the Camden Underworld on the night that Trumans Water were playing, which left me feeling completely stupid and naïve that I let it happen. The situation then was not helped by both Camden's so called 'Community' police, who offered absolutely zero sympathy or help, being quite contented to continue doing absolutely bollocks all, or my mate who was with me at the time, who, despite trying his very best to be sympathetic by saying things like, "I could see that coming a mile off", actually managed to make me feel a lot worse.

Needless to say, when I finally got into the Underworld, I wasn't actually in a gigging mood, feeling more inclined to find the bastard that robbed me and kick the living shit out of him (I'm not usually a violent person, but just this once I was willing to make an exception). I decided to stay anyway, as I'd already paid for my ticket, and I'd already lost enough money as it was

As the Phil Collins 3 took to the stage, however, I started to forget my troubles a bit (at least temporarily, anyway). The Phil Collins 3' s gimmick when they play live is to don some nice fancy dress costumes, and that night was no exception. They came on stage as Danger Mouse, Lisa Simpson, The Incredible Hulk, some bloke in a loin cloth with a long grey beard, and some kind of primary school tin foil spaceman and picked up their instruments and proceeded to play some really noisy, thrashy metalcore. To be honest, I couldn't tell you whether their songs were good or not, They were too fast and loud for any tune to be distinguished, but they certainly were entertaining.

I'm Being Good were on next, who are a band I really love, so there was no way I was going to let Camden bother me while they were on. Singer/guitarist Andrew Clare's hand has been improving over the past few months, and so he doesn't have to use a slide half as much in their sets as he has been doing, and so a few more of their more complex songs are reappearing in their set-lists. The majority of their set was made up of songs from the recently released compilation of early EPs and other compilation recordings, '8 of Us R Dead', which tend to be thrashier than their recent releases, but songs like 'Buzz Tactic X' and newer recordings from the 2 minutemen 2 compilation ''Nostalgic for Fake Times ', are absolute belters, and combined with their more progressive stuff from the albums 'Poisonous Life and 'SubPplot', makes for a fantastic set, with 'Hangman' making a perfect closer with it's steady build up and killer bass-line.

I'd not heard Ten Grand before this gig, but I certainly was not disappointed. The band still fitted into the art-core sound of the other bands on this set, but their melodic vocals and more frequent quiet bits made them a lot more accessible than any of the other bands that appeared on the bill, and their guitarists really knew how to throw shapes.

After those three sets, Trumans Water ended up being a bit disappointing. Their sound was slightly muggy, meaning that their usually brilliant tunes lost some of their punch, and that lack of stage movement was a bit of an anti-climax straight after the relentless energy of Ten Grand. Their songs are still great though, and if they'd played on their own, they would've come off looking a lot better. It was just a bad choice of support acts as far as they were concerned.

I still don't think I'm going to be making too many trips to Camden in the future, but if this lot play there again, I might just be persuaded.











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Commenting On: Camden Underworld, London, 3/6/2003 - Trumans Water, Ten Grand, I'm Being Good








ie London, England

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