If you want to know where in Camden to buy a pair of knee-high boots, a gimp mask and a chequered belt you’re in luck. Ben Bridges of Imperial Leisure, a high energy ska punk band with a conscience tells us all about what Camden means to him whilst Habitats, a self-proclaimed indie-alternative-tropical groove act from Basingstoke on the other hand, are very happy to start rumours about the availability of mutant pigeons. Both will be doing their thing at Camden Rocks this summer
When did your relationship with Camden start?
(H)I am not entirely sure if any of us ever stood foot in Camden until our first show there to be honest. We know dribs and drabs of its history as being a classic place to have a shindig and do the pogo with the punks.
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Have you played in Camden before?
(BB) Many, many times, playing and partying in Camden is so addictive, never a dull moment. You may have seen us guerrilla gigging the streets at Christmas all dressed as Santa raising money for Calm and the LHC centre! We nearly brought the high street to a close!!
(H) Well, Fiddlers Elbow was our first show in London and although we were a three piece back then (under a different name), that show will always have some special connection with us. Broken strings, tuning in the bathroom and putting holes in the techs drumkit is shit that stays with you. Other than that, I would say it was the first area where we gigged regularly, playing Hawley Arms, Barfly & Lock Tavern were among our favourites as Habitats. It was also where we met our beloved Lawyer who keeps us out of trouble so that was a bonus.
What was your reaction when you knew you would be playing there this year?
(H) Yeah hyped. It has been a long long long time since we had a strum in Camden so I think we are going to be on our worst behaviour.
(BB) Getting the confirmation we would be on this year’s Camden Rocks was a real lift, playing along side some of punk rocks biggest legends is something you don’t get to do every day, can’t wait to get on stage and rip it up!
From the initial announcement of bands who are you looking forward to seeing?
(BB) Too many to name! Think like most people I’ll be sure to be at The Damned set. But what I actually look forward to most is going from bar to bar randomly, talking to people i meet and hopefully discovering a kick ass new band.
(H) Anyone and everyone, no preference. that‘s how a lot of wars start.
Have you been to Camden Market, what did you buy?
(H) Fuck… it ranges from noodles and hippie throws to knee high leather boots and a tatty gimp mask.
(BB) Well being that we are a ska punk band, I picked myself up a bargain chequered belt for just a fiver, nice! I’ll be wearing it on stage for sure.
Which Camden venue is the best to play at?
(H) We would probably have to say the Lock as it had the best vibe in terms of crowd and general atmosphere. Dingwalls was alright as well, fucking big for us.
(BB) Oooh tough question, Camden’s got some wicked venues. Probably have to choose Dublin Castle as the number 1 spot for me, it’s got great history and I love to see bands in small places, feels more intense and passionate
Do you know any Camden trivia?
(H) I am told you can purchase a three legged pigeon on the illegal black market that‘s situated directly underneath Morrisons. Apparently there is a secret passage that runs through the sewer system but you need to collect all the meat galleons that are scattered in and about car parking meters.
Why should I as a gig goer make an effort to see you guys at Camden this year?
(H) Just Because.
(BB) If you’re looking for something different ‘n’ exciting, and if you’re partial to a bit of jump around while getting sprayed with champers then we the band for you!
Tickets available HERE