Yes indeed we got two for the price of one when we asked Slydigs about their upcoming appearance at Camden Rocks Festival. We chat to Louis Menguy lead guitarist and surely the man with the most masculine surname on the planet along with vocalist and sunglasses wearer Dean Fairhurst. A word of advice though, if they ask you for assistance with a hat, politely decline.
When did your relationship with Camden start?
(LM) Back in the early days of Slydigs we used to head down to Camden to play sporadic gigs throughout the town, having no money & no place to stay our sleeping quarters were reduced to the back of our drummers Transit van which we would park on Sainsbury’s car park. After our gigs the whole band along with equipment plus anyone else who wanted to tag along would come and crash in the back of the van, sometimes this would go on for up to 3 days before we would head home. I think that was the start of our relationship with Camden.
(DF) I think the first memory I have of Camden was hearing about it through my cousin around 2001 maybe 2002 when the Strokes played in Camden Barfly and it was the beginning of the big indie scene. I naturally assumed that Camden must be the place to be for Live music. I’d read about the affiliation with the 1960’s, fashion, all those hippy gatherings that happened there. I always wanted to stumble across a shop that sold clothes there that no one else had. I remember reading about a shop that was situated in Camden in the 1960’s were people like Jimi Hendrix would come and rent a jacket for a TV appearance and then the following week someone out of another band would be renting the same jacket performing somewhere else. Stories like that enticed my intrigue, oh the wonders of Camden Tarrrn (sic)! I think the first time I ever visited Camden I just naturally felt right at home. There seemed to be a sense of artistry in the air which I never really experienced before then. I thought that was interesting. We visited Haight & Ashbury in San Fran while we were on Tour with the Who. Theres obvious some similarities. Both great places attract the artist types, forward thinking dreamers. I just love the vibe really. Great place to hang out and cause mischief.
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Have you played in Camden before?
(LM) Yes, over the years we have played a number of venues throughout Camden, from Dingwalls to Proud to Hawley Arms and many more in between
What was your reaction when you knew you would be playing there this year?
(LM) Our reaction was one of excitement as we know the buzz that Camden Rocks creates throughout the town and we are looking forward to being a part of that.
(DF) The buzz comes from the fans. As soon as we announced our participation in it, in came all the noise and excitement from the fans. Theres always a great atmosphere there and a perfect place for Rock n Rollers like our roudy bunch.
From the initial announcement of bands who are you looking forward to seeing?
(LM) I wouldn’t mind seeing The Rifles play as we supported them a few years back in Manchester and they put on a great show, also Carl Barat and the Jackals and Dirty Thrills would be great to catch too!
(DF) Wouldn’t mind seeing The Frankly’s, Carl Barat, Dirty Thrills and Broken Witt Rebels depending on what time we’re on. Good thing about the festival you can just stumble in somewhere and find a great new band you haven’t heard of.
Have you been to Camden Market, what did you buy?
(LM) Funny you should ask that, we have a running joke about going buying a hat from Camden market every time we play London. This came about when we supported the Who at the 02 arena. Our plan was to get there the night before, have a civilised drink at the hotel and get to bed early. Pete our drummer persuaded us to head into Camden to help him buy a hat for the gig. To cut a long story short we ended up out all night in Camden and Pete had to play the biggest gig of his life the next night with a broken finger….don’t think we ever did get that hat come to think of it.
(DF) I always have a gander when I go. That’s whats great about it really, there’s always something new to find in there, takes a bit of time but there’s some great shops. Think me and Louis had one of those naff photos done once were you dress up as cowboys and indians and all that jazz. We had some time to kill before we went meeting our management. I’ve got the picture somewhere. I got to play the dame so obviously I was made up. I think I gave it my manager, don’t think he appreciated it as much as we did.
Which Camden venue is the best to play at?
(LM) That’s a tough one because we haven’t played all the venues and there’s still a few we would really like to play. Dingwall’s was a great venue to play, and although we haven’t played in it yet The Blues Kitchen is one of our favourites to visit.
(DF) Dingwall’s is great and certainly was when we played there. I like the intimate places, that’s were it all goes off!
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Did you know that The Worlds End pub was built on the site of a witch’s house, directly opposite the local gibbet, do you know any Camden trivia?
(LM) Unfortunately I’m not really up to scratch on my Camden trivia being a northern monkey, I have loads of trivia about our hometown of Warrington the problem is no one gives a f**k!
Why should I as a gig goer make an effort to see you guys at Camden this year?
(LM) Well Camden Rocks falls just after the release of our new EP and UK Tour so by the time we hit Camden we will be firing on all cylinders and showcasing some of our new tunes. Also we’ve just spent a year blowing the roof off arenas all over the world with The Who, what more could you want???
Anyone fancy buying a hat from Camden market? 😉 (We warned you – GIGsoup)
(DF) Well our ethos is built around ‘good time Rock n Roll’ which always proves to be the best part of any night, when the boys play those dirty Rock n Roll numbers. Live, we’re fast paced, we don’t just go through the motions like some bands, we appreciate the crowd. Nothings more important to us than having a good time together onstage and we let the audience in on it. We’ve become accustom to the truth that any life show is a two way thing. You need the audience to enjoy it as much as you so we always give it everything. And we entice the interaction, action and reaction. I think we’ve honed our stage craft enough to stand up next to any band on there but most importantly the set will have a variety of tunes that sets us apart. We know when to hold off and we know when to hit them between the eyes. By the end people will understand why they came along. You need to see for your self what the impact of supporting bands like The Who and Vintage Trouble has had on us. Live, on stage is where we belong and its the best place to see us in our own habitat. See you down the front x