Dark Knights of Camelot
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Dark Knights of Camelot


Band Rock Alternative


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This band hasn't logged any past gigs

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"Knights in White Satin"

In six days the lord made heaven and earth, on the seventh day he rested to give him the energy to create Dark Knights Of Camelot from the best bits of Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and late ’60s garage psychedelia.

Dark Knights of Camelot are one of those bands that give you goose pimples and suddenly make all other bands and music redundant.
- The Devil Has The Best Tuna

"Resurrecting Rock"

You can barely see Ben Shea’s his face when he sings, because it’s occluded by a never-ending fount of dark brown curls, and he tends to look away from the crowd. At one point, he rises to his tiptoes, then suddenly bends his torso completely over, giving full dramatic force to those seductive guitar bends.

Between songs, bassist Harry Crumpler engages the crowd with the affable demeanor of a southern gentleman. During songs, he bites down on his lip, closes his eyes halfway and gently rocks forward to show that he’s feeling the music. Drummer Simon Davenport has a hint of crazed mischief in his eye, a subtle preview of the ferocity he unleashes on his drum kit with equal rigor. They may look like ordinary guys, but the Hattiesburg-based Dark Knights of Camelot know how to rock.

Each band member began playing music as a kid. Shea began playing guitar at 10 or 11, and Crumpler started playing saxophone in sixth grade; but Davenport wins the crown for earliest musical interest. “I started on pots and pans, got my first drum set when I was like 6 or 8,” Davenport says. “I’ve always had a drum set since I can remember.”

“I never played it right, “ he sheepishly adds. “I used to stand up.”

By the time they became young adults, what was once child’s play had evolved into skilled musicianship and a dedication to making quality music. “We’re out here in the streets, and not too many people are rocking.” Crumpler says, reflecting on his time touring. “It’s disappointing to see so much lack of anything that’s good, genuine, truthful and not just a cultural niche.”

The band sees focusing on image and hype as a dead-end strategy and look instead to evolving musically. They have the humility and integrity to recognize the need for practice, hard work and even taking creative risks. Shea writes the band’s lyrics and develops “the original idea for the songs.” Then together, he says, the band “tweaks” and “explores” the songs.

Earlier this year, the Dark Knights began working with Misha Hercules and Olympic Records to record their first album. Choosing from their best songs, the band members tweaked each song to fit the record’s overall style. Shea says that the band recorded 75 percent of the album live “with all band members in the room.” Although perfecting the songs is a tedious process, the immediacy and intensity generated by the live rendering are invaluable. Hercules gets credit for keeping the production clean and balanced while still retaining the rock edge the band possesses.

The resulting five-song “Hurrication EP” is remarkably strong. A gritty, moody rock tone permeates the album and is a complementary contrast to the precise rhythmic changes and intelligent construction of each song.

Shea frequently sings in a deep druggish voice, but he can still summon an earnest line and a commanding scream. The sound’s most immediate relative is early- to mid-’90s rock, but with more complexity and structure.

Each song is solid, but I find myself frequenting the end of the EP. “Duple” opens with a repeating guitar riff moving forcibly toward a series of bends, while drums crash down precisely as if to keep the precarious guitar in line. The song feeds off the intricate rhythmic exchanges between the instruments, gradually building intensity toward a frenetic but controlled instrumental blaze with a winding guitar solo.

In contrast, “Luster Lack” which appears at the end of the EP and is a frequent show closer, evokes late-night reflection through iridescent guitar loops and legato stair step bass. As elsewhere on the EP, Shea’s lyrics are cryptic and often alienated, an assemblage of disjointed musings rather than narrative lines. He sings: “Bring me back some old paper foreign bills,/Triple stack, love is hiding in a pill./Luster Lack or result is always nil.” Despite being enigmatic, the lyrics’ bittersweet longing and the song’s emotional pull leaves you wanting to press the repeat button, despite the track’s lengthy seven-plus minutes.

On the heels of their third tour across the South and Northeast, the band members say they’ve been playing their best bills yet and had particular success in Canada. They return to Mississippi in May, playing a show May 1 at One to One Studio in Jackson and May 2 at the Thirsty Hippo in Hattiesburg. Sample their music at http://www.myspace.com/darkknightsofcamelot.

- Jackson Free Press

"Dark Knights of Camelot"

Dark Knights Of Camelot is a band that Conrad Noir saw somewhere a while back and he couldn’t stop gushing about their show afterward. They’re a combination of Queens Of The Stone Ago (the aspects of that group that I like, he assured me, since there’s a lot of aspects of them that I don’t like) and Dinosaur, Jr. “They’re really, really fucking good,” he told me and he shared with me their EP that he bought. “Of course they’re better in concert though,” he said. “Of course,” I said. “Of course,” he repeated. - www.counter-force.com

"In the Mix"

Dark Knights of Camelot are a trio that have a huge sound that you MUST experience. I love when musicians get so into the show that they start knocking shit over, like a keyboard, or beat their drums so hard the bass drum moves away from them and the cymbals start sliding down from the force. I mean honestly, that guy beat his drums like a pimp beats a ho for their money.
Will I ever see a bad show at the Blind Mule? I doubt it.

She lists Tunes to check out and among them are:
7. Wanna Be / Dark Knights of Camelot / Forthcoming EP
There is a hint of Interpol in this tune. Just a hint. A sprinkle. A pinch. I dig it. You will too. I have no doubt. And some Silversun Pickups too. Damnit, just listen to them and make your own conclusion. I am just pointing you in the proper direction.
8. Laster Luck / Dark Knights of Camelot / Forthcoming EP
When they played this live, I won't lie, I had some whiskey in my veins. The little riff in this song I just loved and I turned to my friends and said yo, I am totally digging that. Think the more relaxed side of Beck on Sea Change.
- Pop Rock Candy Mountain

"Bright Sparks"

Bright Sparks: Dark Knights of Camelot - Hurrication EP
Posted on Tuesday, July 14


Mississippi three piece Dark Knights of Camelot have created something impressive here. There’s nothing remotely “Joy Division” about them, which is a refreshing turn of events in today’s rock marketplace and cause for celebration in itself. Instead, they seem to have spent more than a few hours studying the Josh Homme approach to guitar playing and the singer seems to be cultivating a pretty decent Kurt Cobain impression, only with less throat-shedding guttural screaming involved, which again is rather pleasant. Queens Of The Stone Age’s Rated R album would be the closest example to what kind of sound these guys are aiming for, but the Dark Knights aren’t as manic as the Queens. Sure, you’d probably like to have a night on the tiles with both bands, but where QOTSA always give you the feeling that things may turn violent at any moment, a night with the Dark Knights would probably end up with a bunch of man hugs and a kebab on the way home. That still sounds good though, don’t you think? Well it is, it’s just not quite as exciting and life threatening. The Hurricane EP is a good, solid, tub thumping rock record though and it impresses from start to finish. Ok, it’s an EP and there are only five tracks so it hasn’t really got time to outstay its welcome, but there’s a good chance you’ll want to give it another spin as soon as it finishes.

The Dark Knights are fast, sharp and they can be ferocious at times, but there’s a great subtlety to the way they handle their arrangements too. Especially on closing track Luster Lack, which is part ballad, part full on wig-out and has more false endings than Return Of The King. It’s anthemic in ways that most indie bands try for years to perfect and never get anywhere near pulling off. It’s a marvel of a song and deserves to be heard in big, cavernous arenas the world over. At the end of the day all that’s left to say is that the Dark Knights Of Camelot are bloody good and if you like your rock hard and in no way EMO related, then you should run hell for leather to your latest independent record retailer and demand a copy of this little gem.

Bright Sparks indeed, King Arthur would be proud.

Words: Damian Leslie - Incendiary Magazine


Hurrication EP (Olympic Records)

Purple Undertones is receiving airplay.



Dark Knights of Camelot?fs debut release, the Hurrication EP, is their valiant, heavy-hitting response to modern day lackluster music. Born in Hattiesburg, MS this robust power trio sets themselves apart by embedding structurally complex songs with accessible melodic hooks. The songs mix epic and soulful themes with elements of Alternative, Classic Rock, Grunge, and Stoner Rock creating a bittersweet and hypnotic mood.
Residing in small town Mississippi unfettered by formulated scenes and trends, the Dark Knights of Camelot hone a fresh and unique sound that could only be created in the South, the birthplace of Rock and Roll, Blues, Jazz, and Country. With varied backgrounds and musical tastes, the members of Dark Knights of Camelot come together to form an entity larger than the sum of its parts. Behind the kit is Simon Davenport, who subtly incorporates the tasteful solidity of Steve Jordan, the raucousness of Dave Grohl, and the head-bobbing creativity of Zigaboo Modeliste. This group?fs massive and rich sound can be attributed to the double threat of guitarist and vocalist Ben Shea. Shea approaches each song with a mixture of colorful chords, bleeding melodic lines, and gritty, heartfelt solos echoing the past while plowing new ground. His druggish voice mumbles cryptic lyrics, leaving indirect clues for the listener to internalize their meaning.

The name Dark Knights of Camelot was first used in the summer of 2006 to represent a project that childhood best friends Shea and David Stark began. They independently released four songs entitled ?gRoughs.?h With Stark busy touring and recording with the Songs of William, Dark Knights of Camelot was more of a concept than a concrete band. As Shea?fs other project Stale Fashion began to gain more momentum, the idea of Dark Knights of Camelot was cast aside. After playing with Stale Fashion for a year, Shea left the band to rekindle the vision of Dark Knights of Camelot. In January 2008, Shea and bassist, keyboardist, and guitarist of This Orange Four, Harry Crumpler began working with each other. Brad Newton, longtime bandmate of Crumpler, became their interim drummer. There was only one perfect prospect for a full time drummer, Davenport, an enthusiastic drummer whom Shea had played with very briefly a few years prior. The newly formed three-piece immediately began fervently touring, and has continued to do so throughout the United States and Canada. After a two month tour in early 2009, Crumpler left the band. Simon and Shea have continued constant playing, writing, rehearsing, and promoting. Misha Hercules, engineeer and producer has joined the two as an interim bass player and keyboardist. The journey continues for the Dark Knights of Camelot.