A venue upgrade and a sold-out crowd, Camp Cope come to life in London.
Having had their venue upgraded, for their first ever London show, months before their inaugural UK tour, Camp Cope must have had a good feeling ahead of this show. The Melbourne three-piece were booked to play the Boston Music Room but due to incredible ticket sales were bumped up to neighbouring venue, Tufnell Park’s The Dome. After months of waiting, it was finally time to catch one of the most exciting bands on the Run for Cover record label live and in the flesh. Despite having cancelled their show in Nottingham just three days earlier, Camp Cope seemed to be firing on full cylinders in front of the 600 strong crowd in London.
The band walked onto the stage in somewhat of an unexpected fashion. Not waiting for the song that was blaring through the PA system to finish, they bounced out to take up their positions on stage. Greeted by a wash of screams, everyone in the room seemed to share a feeling of excitement. Kicking off with a cover of Green Day’s Warning didn’t seem to sit particularly warmly with the audience but after a messy transition into Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams it felt as though usual service had been resumed. The ringing of “the only thing that stops a bad man with a gun, is a good man with a gun” bounced around the room chorally. The bar was set with this song. The band then hopped straight into two offerings from their latest album, How to Socialise and Make Friends. Playing the titular song and Face of God, both tracks were delivered tightly and sported powerful messages. The opening four songs of the set gave the impression that the band were going to showcase a diverse range of songs from their discography, which was music to my ears.
Testament to this Done, Footscray Station and Keep Growing came next in the evening’s proceedings. Done opened with its iconic bassline being hummed by the audience. The highlight of the song came towards its conclusion as the band cut away and allowed for Georgia Maq to dance her way through the “and you said something along the lines of ‘I love you’” lyric beautifully. Footscray Station came complete with a humorous story about pissing yourself and from here the band rolled effortlessly into Keep Growing. This portion of the set was great and felt as if the band were making up for lost time, having never performed in the UK before.
UFO Lighter brought us back to the latest catalogue of Camp Cope releases. Each of the songs they performed could have been brand new judging by the energy given from the band whilst performing them. Lost (Season One) was a highlight of the set. The shouts of “LOST” in their appropriate corners of the songs echoed over the band, who were still playing at an impressive tempo. However, the evening wouldn’t have been complete without The Opener. Once again, the crowd took it upon themselves to hum the opening bassline before the song jolted to life. Naturally, the lyrics to this one were sung back at the band loudest of any song performed on the night. This song is adored by fans and as Camp Cope headlined a sold-out venue on the other side of the planet, it must have been more than what they could ever have hoped for when they wrote it. However, my only questions about the performance came from the audience, which seemed a little sombre. I understand that Camp Cope don’t write music that demands movement and I don’t think the band would expect that anyway, but during the middle portion of the set, there was minimal head nodding or recognition that we were sharing a special moment with the band. Obviously, there were moments that broke this exception, but it was a little disappointing that not everyone seemed as up for it as those of us that had been waiting patiently since April.
Nonetheless, Camp Cope put on an unforgettable performance. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long to see them on British soil again. The band are one of the most exciting prospects around right now and they bring with them a catalogue of important messages. Listen to their music and support the cause. All in all, a great showing. Here’s to the next one.
4/5 Bytes. Callum Huthwaite.