Pissing About with Wolf Alice in Camden

Everyone agrees that Camden is the worst place in the world. Apart from Wolf Alice who think it's amazing.

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12 November 2013, 2:23pm

Now that Tribes have split, Wolf Alice are probably the last band in London that still think Camden is cool. That’s confusing to us because we think Camden is awful but think Wolf Alice are great. So, ahead of their headline show at Camden’s Dingwalls, we got them to take us out and about in NW1 and persuade us that it isn't just the place subcultures go to die.

Noisey: This interview is just going to be about Camden but if you like I can make five minutes of polite conversation about your band first.
Joel: Nah.

Cool. Why is that guy at the bar looking at us? Do you know him?
Joff: I fought him once. I said, do you want a drink. He said, “are you tryin to say I can’t afford to buy a drink?” I said no and then he grabbed me and then I walked away.

We were going to do this interview in the Wetherspoons but it’s shut down. Are you upset about that?
Joel: Nah, because I was in there at 10 in the morning the other day.

What having breakfast or a pint?
Joel: Having a breakfast pint, sitting with all the drinkers. Wetherspoons at 10 in the morning is a fucking wasteland.

Were you straight through crew?
Joel: Yeah it was horrible.

Do you have positive or negative feelings about Camden generally?
Joel: A lot of the stuff is a bit transparent and boring, you can focus on the markets and the trash that gets sold and the Euro tours that happen. But for example The Monarch is run by Dave Danger, and he’s been putting on shows for ages, like he put on one of my first gigs.

What else?
Joff: I don’t really care what happens in Camden. East London is pretentious, in Camden you can just do what you want. When I’m here, it’s always friendly and a bit more fun and chilled.
Ellie: But that’s because all your friends are here.
Joff: Yeah but I’ve got friends in East London as well, I just don’t really…
Joel: I just don’t really like them!
Joff: I dunno. Camden’s just, it’s Camden innit!

But it has got a bit of a bad rep.
Joff: Really?

I think so.
Joel: Yeah it does, of course it’s got a stigma man, it’s got like a trilby-wearing rose in your ear Pete Doherty poet thing.
Ellie: The other day we were looking at press shots of Rolling Stones, and we thought they looked so cool, but if we were wearing that today you’d be like, “look at those idiots from Camden!”

That’s part of it, it’s where subcultures come to die. Whenever anything big happens - whether it’s metal, rave , techno, indie the first time, indie the second time - anyone who’s left straggling on at the end congregates here.
Joff: I think that’s what makes it a good place, it hasn’t changed.
Ellie: It’s not terribly fashionable, it’s just all ,“we like that so we’re going to keep it here forever.”

Where do you stand on the legal weed stuff they sell in Camden market, like weed lollypops?
Joel: I think it’s dangerous and stupid, because no one knows what’s in it.

What, the weed lollypops?
Joel: Not the weed lollypops, anyone is welcome to try to get high off those, but the crap that they sell, like you know when mephedrone was just kinda legal or whatever, and the dubious packages that are called “fizz bomb speed erection”. It’s like you’re just snorting Daz, that shit has not been tested properly. My advice is to like do illegal drugs because they’re probably less dangerous.

I feel like you just need to trust your dealer. Who’s the least trustworthy member of Wolf Alice?
Joff: Dunno. mMaybe me.
Joel: You after a couple of glasses of wine.

Do you blab other people’s secrets?
Joff: No I’m really good at secrets, I’m just a freakishly good liar. I lie in every aspect of my life: friends, love, family.
Joel: You’re just not very good with legal drugs.
Joff: Yeah if you gave me a cannabis lollypop I’d probably tell you everything, but until that day..

So what’s the best place round here?
Ellie: Twins. It’s literally just a Portuguese sandwich shop but the guys are really nice and if you look a bit young they give you a student discount.

And it’s so much food you get
Joff: Oh wait Twins that blue cafe? Nah, that’s rubbish.

No! Twins is great.
Joel: Is that where you got the bad bacon sandwich you told me about?
Joff: Not a bad bacon sandwich, the worst bacon sandwich I’ve ever had. £2.20, two slices of white bread and it wasn’t even like bacon, it was microwave bacon and he heated it up for a bit on the grill and gave it to me.

Someone will probably tell me off for this post being too Londoncentric. So to finish off, what's your favourite chain restaurant in Britain?
Joff: OK I’m just going to throw it out there, and everyone’s probably going to freak when I say it, but Greggs has helped me feel a lot better. When I was in the van, I’d get out and get like eight sausage rolls, and feel like I could take anyone on.
Ellie: McDonalds. Sometimes I get a cheeseburger and a mayo chicken because I can’t decide what to order.
Joel: Nando’s. I’m trying to get a black card, that’s why I’m plugging it.

Can’t believe none of you said Wagamamas.
Joff: Above Wagamamas? Ahh man what’d I say Greggs for!

Ok you've convinced me. Camden isn't the worst place in the world. But it's still worse than the worst Greggs in the world. Bye guys.

Check out Wolf Alice's Blush EP on iTunes