London Calling – festival preview

London Calling
Paradiso. Amsterdam
November 2nd & 3rd 2012

Taking its name from The Clash’s third album, the Dutch music festival “London Calling” celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Held twice a year at Paradiso in Amsterdam, London Calling is a main showcase for upcoming artists from the UK and US. Ged Hawes introduces us to this institution.

It all started in July 1992 when four bands including Supergrass (or The Jennifers as they were then) took to the stage at the legendary venue. Blur, The Libertines, Editors, Bloc Party, Ash and Franz Ferdinand are amongst the names to have played London Calling and for many of them it was their Dutch debut or the first time they’d played outside of the UK. The brainchild of Ben Kamsma, the event is seen as a gateway to Benelux for UK artists but for us ex-pats living here its also a great chance to see the artists that are breaking through back home.

Over the 2nd and 3rd of November more than 20 artists will play London Calling, ranging from the American multi-instrumentalist George Lewis Jr. (Twin Shadow to you) to the exciting punk and dark new wave fuelled all girl-band Savages from London (see their Jools Holland performance below). There is the odd band who have been around for a while and this year that comes in the form of The Walkmen who headline Saturday night ahead of Jessie Ware making her Dutch debut.

I’ll be picking out the best of the weekend’s action and hopefully chatting to some of the artists in the build up or at the festival.

The line-up’s still being added to but currently looks like this:

Friday 2nd November

Hooded Fang
Cloud Nothings
Twin Shadow
Joy Formidable
Gross Magic
Stubborn Heart

Saturday 3rd November

Jessie Ware
Wild Nothing
The Walkmen
Micachu & The Shapes
Melody’s Echo Chamber
Theme Park

For more details & info about buying tickets visit the googly translated version of the site here.

All words by Ged Hawes. More Louder Than War articles by Ged can be found here.

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  1. February in ’98 I was walking down Damrak and a cheap, photocopied flyer peeling off a wall caught my eye. It was for a festival called ‘London Calling’ and was happening that very evening. A ticket agencey on the corner of Liedsepline sorted us with tickets and that night, for the princely sum of about 6 quid, we got to see Stereophonics (this was 1st album Stereophonics before they descended into the dirge we associate them with theses days!) , Catatonia, The Dandy Warhols (who were quite simply stunning), and the much missed Dust Junkys and Earl Brutus.
    Not a bad night out by any standards and the Paradiso is an incredible venue with immense sound in the main hall.

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