Classic Rock goes to Camden Rocks

Chris McCormack, former guitarist for Brit rockers 3 Colours Red, has been a busy man since the band came to an end in 2005.

As well as working with Gary Numan and Adam Ant, the ever-cheerful Geordie has been keeping the rock flame alive and well north London with his Camden Rocks festival, one weekend of noise and mayhem across the area’s pubs and clubs.

It’s taking place this Saturday, May 31, and Classic Rock is, of course, all set to be at the heart of the action, sponsoring the Classic Rock Stage at the Jazz Cafe. Here are some of the treats on offer…

Johnny Borrell & Zazou The ex-Razorlight frontman splits opinion like Ben and Jerry split bananas, but few would deny he invests wholeheartedly in that rock star swagger. He’s back with his righteously weird new band Zazou, made up of a cellist, double bass player, sax dude and a bongo-wielding drummer, all dressed like wayward members of Dr Teeth And The Electric Mayhem. It definitely won’t be dull.

The Graveltones Making twice as much noise as bands with three times as many members, London rock’n’roll duo The Graveltones are already big favourites on TeamRock radio thanks to their wild and bluesy sound and their bold and bawdy attitude. Their red-blooded live shows are already causing quite the rumble, so catch them before they move on to bigger rooms.

Ginger Wildheart That the flame-haired Geordie smashed his Pledgemusic campaign to reach 555 per cent of his aim demonstrates just how much the music-buying world love him. Expect a full-throated singalong at the Jazz Cafe when he brings his timeless man-of-the-people anthems to Camden Rocks.

The Xcerts A grungy rock trio with a neat line in irresistible pop melodies, The Xcerts are snapping at the heels of their countrymen Biffy Clyro. Their debut album In The Cold Wind We Smile was a welcome blast of youthful energy, huge choruses and irrepressible positivity that should bring a smile to even the most sullen of faces.

Paul Hegley Band After hundreds of tracks were submitted to Sophie K’s Breaking Bands show on TeamRock Radio in our search for the most exciting new bands out there, Classic Rock editor Sian Llewellyn named the Paul Hegley Band as pick of an impressive bunch. A classic band in every sense, they’re surely on the brink of greatness.

The Petals Pedalling a timeless take on sun-drenched psychedelia, The Petals laid-back vibes will make sure it’s summer in Camden, even if it’s tanking it down outside the venue.

Strangefruit Frontwoman, pianist and violin player Jenny Maxwell’s voice has already gained fevered comparisons to PJ Harvey and Kate Bush, while guitarist Jamie Perrett and his bass-playing brother Peter - former Babyshambles members and sons of The Only Ones singer Peter - conspire with her to provide cinematically beautiful works of eerie brilliance.

4th Street Traffic They’re named after a Stereophonics lyric, so there’s little surprise that Rhymney Valley’s 4th Street Traffic specialise in stomping, tough but tender small-town anthems. Teary, boozy, blokey singsongs were made of this.

Saint Agnes Jon Tufnell and Kitty Austen may hail from London, but their hearts belong to the scorched earth and dusty horizons of the old wild west, with Ennio Morricone acting as their guiding light. This is psychedelic cowboy blues at its most affecting, arriving with a mouthful of true grit. Grab your poncho and a whisky and join them.

The RPM’s They’re so young they’ll probably get ID’d on their way to the stage, but don’t be fooled by their fresh-faced look. The RPM’s are an old school power trio with enough hooks to suggest they’ve been rocking out when they should have been doing their homework.

Tickets for Camden Rocks are still available

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.