In my time, I’ve been to several gigs in Camden Town. Most of them, though, have been at the end of Parkway closest to Camden Town tube station – at the Jazz Café.
Tonight, I’m venturing further up the road. I’m going to the Dublin Castle – my first time visiting this pub which has a special place in British rock folklore. This is where Madness started their music career back in the late 70s. In the following decades, it’s been a launch pad for several indie bands who’ve gone on to greater things (and a few that haven’t). Supergrass, Travis and the Cardigans are just a few of the many who played here in their early days. The band I’ve come here to see are playing their first ever gig and I’m hoping some of the fabled Dublin Castle stardust will rub off on them.
Before I go any further, I should declare an interest. This band once paid me to write about them. Well, sort of. That was three years ago, and they were a different band then. Back then, there were five of them; they were called CL6 (yes, I know I said there were five of them) and they were strictly soul boys. Now they’re down to three, they’re called The Glovz, and their sound is unashamedly pop.
I have to admit I wasn’t 100% convinced by their choice of opening song, a cover of that “come fill my little world right up” song by The Feeling. But once they settled down into performing their own material, those doubts vanished. They have really crafted some fine pop tunes. ‘Beautiful’ is a merry romp reminiscent of ELO; ‘Starvin’’ and ‘So Special’ are joyously upbeat, and ‘Make It Work’ struck a chord with everyone in the room who’d ever had relationship problems (i.e. everyone). Great tunes all… and just as we were getting into it, the gig was over. But then, they were first on a bill of four acts…
The guys will be back round these parts next week. They entered a competition to win a slot supporting V.V. Brown on her nationwide tour, and have made it onto the shortlist. Next Thursday, they’ll battle it out with some other bands at another legendary Camden dive, the Barfly. They should do well – and no, they haven’t paid me to write that.