Formerly the Barfly, the Camden Assembly is at the forefront of London’s music scene and it’s easy to see why. As London became rapidly gentrified, the ruins of the skaggy indie rock of the noughties held on to its last breath in the Barfly before shutting up shop. The Camden Assembly however, caters for all kinds of tastes and creeds by hosting nights ranging from indie to grime and hard house. Tonight, the Assembly takes us on a journey through alt rock via shoegaze and grunge.
Lewisham’s very own Inevitable Daydream open the stage. Heavy grungy tones and visceral raw energy fills the room. Showing a wonderful blend of excessive riffs and quirky lyrics, the three piece know how to pack a punch in all the right places. Excessively more out there in the flesh than on recording, Inevitable Daydream don’t hold back with their use of weird effects, which make for outlandish yet epic sounds. The final song of their set descends into what feels like a gargantuan mega jam and bookmarks them at a great point, showcasing to us exactly what they stand for without becoming too cumbersome.
Furs & Masks follow, with their jolty take on macho rock ‘n’ roll. Massive guitars and memorable melodies are what’s in store from the trio. A modern take on the 60’s cut, ‘Runaway’ by Del Shannon is not only fuzzy and charming but gives us a sense of the versatility that the band has as a collective. Marching on through the set, knocking back the tunes, Furs & Masks establish themselves as confident mad men, that look like they are ready to set the place on fire. It’s electric and sounds like The Libertines on steroids.
Beaming in from outer space, Little Green Men take to the stage. Bubbling up a delightful concoction of Smashing Pumpkins-esque alternative with upbeat garage rock. Gunning with two vocalists can be a risky move, but for Little Green Men it’s a great combination. Taking turns to lead, neither gets in the way of one another or overstepping the mark. The crowd are all riled up for this lot as the pit opens and despite all the running and flailing around, there’s a genuine sense of solidarity between the crowd and the band. ‘I Wanna Be an Astronaut’ which I can only describe as ‘Space Oddity’ if Bowie was in Nirvana, stands out massively. From the sweet melodic bass line and angelic falsetto backing vocals to the harsh and heavy ending, these space invaders know how to get people moving.
Last but not least, the sugary sweet Honey Lung round off the night. A wholesome blend of shoegazey tones and big punchy riffs, these guys really are the definition of bittersweet. Taking to the stage with unprecedented energy, the whole room bounces in unison. Honey Lung sound colossal tonight bursting into their debut single ‘Something’ and three quarters of the room turns into a pit. Frontman and guitarist Jamie Batten knows how to wield his weapon, effortlessly ripping away at the strings. A blend of silky smooth tones that’s held together by a bassist and drummer that couldn’t be more in tune with each other.
Treating the crowd a new song tonight, Honey Lung are clearly looking to expand their sound. A lot heavier in nature with more interplay between the two guitar parts, the new stuff goes down a storm. Parts of it almost sounds surfy, before it breaks and leaves a sickly-sweet feeling in the pit of the stomach.
Collectively, the bands of the night showed such force and exuberance that is not only promising but admirable. There’s a real comradery between each of the bands that made the night feel special. With such a range of talent, it’s hard not to feel like there’s a scene is blossoming. All unique in their own ways yet bonded by the quest to play music.