Only three of the acts I saw at Camp ’09 were people I also saw at the first Camp. There’s a strange mix of nostalgia and fighting expectations in there. So what is it like, revisiting bands like old friends? Especially when most of Camp is spent making new ones.
The Sneaks, Camp A Low Hum, 6th and 8th February 2009
The Sneaks moved to London some time in 2007, so this was the first time I had seen them since then. It’s nice to know some things don’t change – there might be a few new songs, but what you get is what you want: half an hour of concentrated dance fun times.
They played twice, once on Friday night outdoors, and again on Sunday afternoon on the Noisy Stage. The latter would have been the best dance I had all camp – not only do The Sneaks have incredibly fun tunes, but when they’re tunes you know, it’s easier to rock out and let go.
So So Modern, Camp A Low Hum, 6th February 2009
It’s a funny feeling when you see your old favourite band in the first time in ages, and you find they’ve all grown up while you weren’t around to see it happen.
So you could say that So So Modern didn’t quite scratch the nostalgia itch that The Sneaks did. Because most of their material was new, and I didn’t know how I felt about it. They’re damn fine musicians, of course, and put on an amazing performance. They only played the once, on Friday night. I was sensible with them and didn’t even try to get close – the nature of the main stage, where the field cupped upwards at the edges, meant the view was pretty good anyway.
The new songs seem to be less random than the old – less of the spontaneous changes which made them so much fun to dance to. (Which admittedly means normal people probably find them more dance-able…) I’d like to get the chance to hear them again, but, in bloody annoying news, both their gigs later this month are while I’m away on a fieldtrip. The geology department just doesn’t want me to have fun.
Grayson Gilmour, Camp A Low Hum, 8th February 2009
Last time I saw Grayson, things were kinda spoiled by my sister fainting (no, not when he came on…). This time, luckily, we were all sitting down! It was full band again and it was beautiful.
There was no ambivalence about new material here… ‘Oh, Statis’ in particular is a fucking gorgeous song and I feel like I wish I’d been paying more attention, like I could recall it better. Which is pretty silly. I am totally looking forward to the new album, whenever that may be.