KILLER WALES: Los Campesinos, TLA, Last Night
BY MICHAEL DONOVAN You’ve got to hand it to Los Campesinos! — the little Welsh band that could —they sure know how to cater to an American audience. Fast songs with infectious hooks that anyone can dance too? Check. Attractive-yet-prickly bass player who rejects Joe Fraternity’s professions of love from the back of the venue? Check. References to robots? Check. Los Campesinos! have discovered the formula for across-the-pond success, and it doesn’t hurt that they’ve pumped out two stellar albums in the past year, either. After solid opening sets by Sky Larkin and Ponytail, the LC! seven took the stage, bursting right into “Ways To Make It Through The Wall,” the first track off their most recent record, We are Beautiful, We are Doomed. Any fear of the twee-pop glee of their records being lost in translation disappeared — these peasants were in full control from the explosive opening chords of their first song, and they knew it. They spent the next hour and change giving a complete ear-pummeling to the TLA, blazing through the majority of both WAB, WAD and their debut Hold On Now, Youngster, as well as a little cocktease of Pavement’s “Box Elder.” The standouts of the night were “My Year In Lists” and “Death To Los Campesinos!,” both from the band’s debut, as well any of the thickly-accented meanderings of singer Gareth Campesinos!. “This is DIY happening right here, right now,” laughed Gareth as him and a roadie struggled to fix an uncooperative keyboard, followed by a quick toss of the only A-key the band had to share between two glockenspiels. The set felt a bit short, but such is the case with a band whose two albums barely clock in at over an hour in the first place. The night ended with some of the bands most anthemic moments. “We kid ourselves there’s future in the fucking//but there is no fucking future,” belted LC! in one of their last songs, “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed.” That may or may not be true for the future of society (fingers crossed for the O-man), but it couldn’t be more false for the Welsh septet. With another album slated for July release and a calendar full of dates, it doesn’t look like things are slowing down any time soon.
[Photo by MICHAEL DONOVAN]