Kenley’s longtime friend and bass player, James Touzel, played a show with San Francisco-based band Kamp Camille at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood on Saturday night.
It was the first time James — a Georgetown, S.C., native (like Kenley) who has lived in San Fran since 2005 — had been to L.A. since Kenley and I moved here in January. The last time we saw James was as a groomsman at our wedding in January 2010. (Yes, he still has the mullet.)
You know how I always say I love music with a little twang or a lot of soul? Well, Kamp Camille has both. According to a story on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website, lead singer Chantelle Tibbs heard singer and guitar player Nathan Hughes playing in a dive bar and suggested they should get together and jam. Chantelle has a natural, easy, bluesy voice. I like the duo’s harmonies and that each of their songs seems to tell a story. Kamp Camille includes a drummer, a keyboard player and James on electric bass.
The Hotel Cafe seemed a perfect venue for their timeless sound. The venue has gained a national reputation for hosting singer-songwriters and feels intimate with a few tables and red velvet curtains framing the small stage. Its website’s Q&A section is hilarious and shows they’ve had plenty of experience dealing with egos of musicians, their friends and family, and the people who write about them.
We stuck around for the next two bands, and the venue filled up with a hip, 30-something crowd. The bands were all obviously talented, but the acts that followed Kamp Camille seemed to be trying a little too hard and ended up coming across as overly dramatic. Yep, we were definitely in Hollywood.
At the show, we met James’ older brother, Jeremy Touzel, who is a teacher in Orange County. Later, we all met up with another longtime bandmate, Ronnie Cleland — also a Georgetown native, one of our wedding groomsmen, and an L.A. resident himself.
Ronnie and his girlfriend, Enya, joined the Touzel brothers and us at our apartment for drinks and plenty of stories from back in the day in Columbia, S.C.: the one about when James almost burnt down the band’s house in Olympia, and the time when Ronnie called Kenley “the beast of love” at our rehearsal dinner.
Listen to Kamp Camille’s songs on their website and watch their video below. They’ll be returning to Hotel Cafe on Aug. 6 and will play at the Mar Vista Farmers Market on Aug. 7.