Camden Rocks rolled around once again and this time brought with it an even bigger and better line up than ever before. We’ve always been big fans of the event so it is good to see it grow year on year and have a line up which was genuinely stacked with quality from top to bottom across all venues. You’re paying about 30 Quid, there are 20 stages and over 200 bands - exactly. Review by Tom Donno (TD) and Tara Couper (TC)

Considering how early it was in the day, Beasts (9/13) still managed to draw an impressive sized crowd down in The Underworld. Musically the quality was high but some of the vocals were muffled by some microphone issues. They delivered a heavy set chock full of some awesome riffs but the absolute star here was the drummer who’s kit sounded like an absolute tank. They did well for the early slot, getting those in the attendance suitably pumped up for the rest of the day. (TD)

Walking over to The Electric Ballroom through a blitz of sunshine and tourists, God Damn (12/13) were hitting the stage for their first of two performances on the day and immediately delivered evidence as to why they’re seriously on the rise at the moment. The two brothers on stage show an incredible level of maturity and the tightness between them is brilliant. They’re clearly a band who are seriously enjoying themselves at the moment and were clearly overjoyed by how busy The Electric Ballroom had become for their set. At times it feels staggering just how loud and how much noise they make considering the fact there are only two of them. Top band who will continue to grow and grow in the immediate future. (TD)

Moving back across to The Underworld, the ridiculously heavy Martyr Defiled (11/13) were hitting the stage and as we predicted in our preview guide, there were scenes of absolute bedlam from start to finish. Crushing riff after crushing riff just rained down on what became a packed out venue and as with any Metalcore show there were pits galore. Front man Matt Jones did brilliantly to dictate the carnage, at one point even moving out into the crowd to perform a track from the floor. Their album No Hope No Morality was pretty much the focal point of the set, and if you thought those tracks were heavy on record then you need to catch this lot live. Crushing. (TD)

Proud Gallery was jammed packed as what seemed like half the people attending Camden Rocks tried to cram into the tiny venue to catch Ginger Wildheart (12/13) perform what was effectively a streamlined version of his Songs & Words show. Ginger took his audience; which included Frank Turner, on an acoustic journey from 1996 to 2012 as he played a marvellous mix of songs from the Wildhearts and his various side projects; stopping every now and again to share debauched tales from his prolific career. Ginger’s set proved why he is so loved in the rock n’ roll world. (TC)

The Monarch has certainly played host to some excellent performances at Camden Rocks in recent years and today was no different with In Search Of Sun (11/13). The band had played one of the festival’s showcase events a couple of weeks earlier in an impressive gig at The Barfly, but today’s performance proved to be on a different level. Where they were slightly hampered with the late set time in The Barfly, the slot they had today seen them completely pack out the venue, and they responded in kind. As ever with their sets, the name of the game here is definitely with the guitars where the intertwining melodies drive forward an excellent live sound. The showpiece of the set saw the band divide the crowd between those drinking and those not - as the song came to its conclusion the drinkers were instructed to down their drinks whilst the rest head banged. It was good to see everyone get on board for a set that was clearly enjoyed by all. (TD)

Glen Matlock (8/13) was the next act to take to the Proud stage; sadly for Glen, he did not even get close to pulling the crowd Ginger Wildheart had. Whilst his set featured some classic tracks, some of his own, some covers, he just appeared to lack showmanship. Glen’s vocal and musical performance could not be faulted, however, his audience seemed disinterested in what was happening on stage and appeared more happy to chat amongst themselves. (TC)

Next it was over to Dingwall’s to catch eyeliner wearing quintet Fearless Vampire Killers (11/13), these guys have quite the cult following and as such, pulled in an impressive sized crowd who hung off every word, every note. The band’s energetic performance made for a perfect mid-festival boost as they were in fine form, proving themselves to be a cohesive unit worthy of their hype. (TC)

After a failed attempt to catch Funeral For A Friend at Barfly, there was a swift journey over to The Hawley Arms where we were lucky enough to stumble across Slydigs (12/13); we were virgins to this band, but instantly fell in love. Remember all that stuff we said about this being the perfect festival to make discoveries, well this proved our point. These northern rockers have an insane amount of energy and incredible charisma. Slydigs ensured there was not a still body in the pub during their set, as everyone - the band included - were beaming from start to finish. Slydigs are definitely a band to watch. (TC)

In what were a late addition to the festival line up, the extremely hard working (seriously how many shows have they done already this year?) While She Sleeps (10/13) hit the stage in an absolutely heaving Electric Ballroom. The last time the band had graced London they had put on an almost perfect performance, but whether today’s was let down by fatigue or something else, it just wasn’t of the same energy. It probably didn’t help that the sound system in the venue was playing up a bit, leaving some sections ridiculously quiet and lets not get too carried away as well - the band sounded incredibly tight. Admittedly we were unable to catch the show right up until the end and have since heard reports that things did improve, but if you were at The Forum a few weeks ago you couldn’t help but be left a little disappointed by today’s output. (TD)

The next act to hit the Hawley Arms stage was Rob Lynch (9/13), a London-based singer who instantly bonded with his audience, appearing to have a close relationship with his fans. Rob’s songs are warm, simple and familiar which are perfectly delivered by his strong and pitch-perfect vocals. Rob Lynch has had a big couple of years receiving much critical acclaim, his set at Camden Rocks highlighted the reasons for that; his songs are frank but romantic - his sheer talent for lyricism came shining through, song after song. It was evident during his set that his fans loved the opportunity to see Rob rocking out in such an intimate setting. (TC)

So this year at Camden Rocks the array of ‘big name’ headliners to choose from were so strong it had people running in circles trying to decide what to do. Well as you might have guessed, we decided to take the best option and head down to Turbowolf (12/13) at The Barfly. Considering the fact that the last two years Turbowolf have played this event they’ve been far and away the band of the day, it was no surprise that within the tight confines of The Barfly all hell broke loose. This is a band who’s stock has seriously risen recently, especially since the release of their second album Two Hands so it was unsurprising to see the place so packed out. Tracks from this album were well received indeed and triggered the same level of chaos as some of the older crowd favourites. Once again though, just generally as a gig Turbowolf just know how to bring a ruckus in the most fun way possible. Consistently brilliant. (TD)