They call it the start of the festival season, well let's face it with the best will in the world the joys of ProgPower UK are still to reach the wider world so I won't shatter the illusion by pointing out that for us the "festival season" actually began on March 31st, but that's merely a side issue.

In 2005, Camden Crawl returned after a significant gap and, just like The Carling Weekend, T in the Park, V and the rest of the predominantly Indie rock events on the calendar, has snowballed beyond the wildest dreams of those who had them back in the mid nineties.

Twelve months ago, and with the resurrection event successfully under its belt, the Crawl properly came of age, helping to launch the likes of Automatic, Fratellis, Mumm-Ra, Paolo Nutini, Wolfmother, Guillemots, Morning Runner and countless more to various levels of chart and touring success. So how to top it?...go two days, increase the number of venues, get even more bands plus more established acts and really go for it...why the hell not!

The 2007 Crawl took place on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th April, with events such as unsigned band performances, pop quizs and their very own talent contest Indie Idle running throughout the day, and the main gigs kicking off after 6 PM. Most venues were then open until 4 AM with secret band appearances and DJ sets keeping the party going into the early hours.

Walking around Camden on Thursday afternoon it was clear something was about to explode into life. It wasn't just the Rumblestrips drum in the middle of a roundabout by Mornington Crescent tube that gave the game away, but a few pubs were already staging live music. However with the size of venues and the number of people being as it was, unless you were desperate to catch music from as early as possible by shoe-horning your way into the Crescent, it was better to hold off until Cajun Dance Party got the action underway at 6.15.

For many the downfall of Camden Crawl is the amount of queuing to get into venues. Having checked various ticket websites earlier in the week Thursday still had some for sale and initially it looked as if there was to be limited standing in the street. That was until trying to get into the Dublin Castle for Simple Kid and iliketrains as those misguided individuals wanting to see Amy Winehouse were so keen to do that they were prepared to sacrifice everything else in order to guarantee their spot.

Those who joined them missed London singer songwriter Kid Harpoon in the Electric Ballroom, who was joined on stage by rising star Kate Nash, and Shy Child down the road in the Cuban Bar, both of whom really launched proceedings in their own unique way.

With so many bands set to appear over the two days, it was always a possibility that one would drop out somewhere. Sadly it was the excellent Cooper Temple Clause who failed to make it to the starting line, at the time citing exhaustion after four months on the road promoting their new album. Initially my reaction was to think that, as honourable as their desire not to want to put on a substandard set is, you had to wonder if given the amount of media and potential new fans there were wandering the streets waiting to be impressed, surely one of their two scheduled appearances could have been kept? However since the Camden Crawl it has come out that TCTC are calling it a day after three albums, read more

Brigade at the Kerrang! curated O! Bar may have benefited from a few floating guitar music lovers and duly obliged with an impressive set. O! Bar headliners Kids in Glass Houses proved that they're definitely one of the bands to look out for from this line-up, coming on stage to the intro from Michael Jackson's 'Black or White' the hotly tipped Welsh rockers played one of the stand out sets of day 1.

Elsewhere Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were showing off tracks from new album 'Baby 81', Les Incompetents' new incarnation Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man attracted a huge crowd for their five-song set in the NW1 Bar, former Arab Strap front man Malcolm Middleton wowed the punters in one of many sweltering venues and The Whip were playing the first of two belting sets although day 2's is likely to have been the more packed out.

Day 1 was headlined by Ash at the Electric Ballroom and the Damned at Koko. The more popular predictably was Ash, who gave the Camden Crawl a taster of what those who checked out their recent UK Uni tour heard, tracks from up-coming album 'Twilight Of The Innocents'. It was also a hit heavy set with 'Burn Baby Burn', 'Angel Interceptor', 'Kung Fu' and 'Girl From Mars' all played. Crawlers that couldn't get into Ash or who decided to take up the opportunity to see one of the UK's legendary acts were treated to a set from the Damned that reached great heights at times but also gave the impression that for those who aren't die-hards, this is a band who may have had its best years.

With Ash and The Damned rolling back the years on Thursday, the Charlatans had something to live up to for the second night. The demand was unquestionably there with a massive queue outside Koko to see Tim Burgess and co play the likes of 'Weirdo', 'The Only One I Know' and 'North Country Boy'. This sight was to be a common one for Friday as the popular Camden Crawl passtime of standing outside venues going nowhere very fast was back with a vengeance on the second day and was far more noticeable than twenty four hours earlier. Travis, Blood Red Shoes and Calvin Harris were just some of the acts causing an NW1 roadblock, however for the people too impatient to wait, there were plenty of gems to be found and arguably Friday was the stronger of the two days.

Pete and the Pirates got the Art Rocker curated Purple Turtle off to a cracking start, their simple and effective indie rock getting those who were in the mood for dancing at 7 in the evening moving. The unquestionable genius of Killa Kella drew a large number to the Electric Ballroom but most heartening from a personal point of view was the response R13 favourite Frank Turner got at the O! Bar. Having seen him play small pubs in Kingston as well as his regular Nambucca haunt while building up the fan base, the site of a rammed venue at what has become an important launch pad for artists looking to move that next stage up was one of this year's lasting images.

A solo performance that probably didn't have the same attention but was arguably even better than Frank's was The Brakes' man Eamon Hamilton in the Underworld. With bigger names in most venues at half ten the Underworld was far from heaving, but this only served to create the strongest artist fan/bond I saw throughout the festival. This set provoked a mass stage invasion for the final song and those who were present were all thinking they'd seen one of their Camden Crawl highlights as they headed off into the night for more.

The after hours activity was much stronger for Friday night. Blood Red Shoes were at it again with Art Rocker, The Underworld hosted the Be Be See, meanwhile Biffy Clyro played their second London gig that night, hot footing it from supporting Bloc Party at Brixton to be the O! Bar's secret headliner. The sweatiest crowd award must surely go to electronica act The Whip in the Barfly. Sweatiest member of the sweatiest crowd prize probably goes to the guy standing in front of me who for some reason felt the need to wear his anorak through the whole set.

For the second night in a row the streets of Camden were packed with crawlers, some literally with the amount of alcohol consumed, with parties going on until nearly sunrise.

I've been to the last two Crawls, and my r13 reviewing partner in crime for 2007 Andy Reilly made it to 2005's return event. Camden Crawl has grown visibly year on year and for me the two-dayer format works well with a nicely balanced mix of established and emerging talent. It's great to have the opportunity to queue outside a really small venue to see bands that headline festivals and play arena tours, it's even better if you're one of the lucky ones that actually gets in! More importantly this is the perfect chance to check out bands you've read or heard about before the festival season kicks in and that's why it has been given this tag by some sections of the press as the start of the festival season.

Each year the media coverage is bigger than the last, the additions of tabloid fodder like Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse to the line-up meant that the likes of the Sun would have had somebody hanging around ready to capture their every move, more than likely one that was in the direction of the ground. There's nothing wrong with having big names to give an event credibility, and hopefully the mainstream press will see something new that takes their fancy in between watching ready made megastars. The rock and electro scenes were well represented and in the case of the latter there certainly seems to be an under current of acts waiting in the wings to deflect the attention away from the Nu-Ravers of this world. On the indie front there was plenty that was perfectly enjoyable but I couldn't help but think that the excitement is somewhat lacking compared to 2006 from this section of the musical spectrum.

It will be interesting to see how Camden Crawl grows from here. It's brilliant that there's a major event like this where you don't have to be by your computer the minute tickets go on sale and as yet there isn't the desperation that drives people on to Ebay to pay through the roof for a ticket that may or may not be genuine. Having been going to Reading since the turn of this decade and still vividly remembering the days when buying a ticket for that had no stress at all attached to it, I really hope Camden Crawl doesn't go the same way, I believe it's unlikely.

Like any festival you meet people who go every year regardless of who's playing, and given the reasonable cost of a ticket it's well within most people's reach to do this and with the variety of bands and promoters involved there really is something for most tastes. Camden Crawl is a must attend event for this reason, sure the queuing is a pain in the arse but as long as you're prepared to say "balls to this I'll go somewhere else" and not waste your evening away waiting to see one person then you'll stagger in the direction of the night bus knowing you just might have seen the following year's big thing.

Click here to read further Room Thirteen coverage of Camden Crawl 2007, including set reviews for Biffy Clyro, The Damned, Kids in Glass Houses, The Whip, Eamon Hamilton, Frank Turner, Calvin Harris, Killa Kella and Shy Child.