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Music

Los Campesinos! Rock Sala Rosa

Posted by Sepideh / April 9, 2009

Los CampesinosAfter watching Donnie Darko the night before I didn't know quite how to feel when Gareth, the lead singer of Welsh collective Los Campesinos!, playing at Sala Rosa last Tuesday, declared that "this next song is about how we are all going to die alone". Hmmm, I thought to myself, should I be evoking images of the time-travelling granny who whispers in Donnie's ear that all creatures in this world die alone? Should I be sombre and self-indulgently reflect on my own fate? Should I...? Well, as it actually turned out, I didn't.

The fact is that these guys blew me away. Though in a bad mood before the show and so much more inclined to go with a sombre flow, to my surprise I found my initial foot-tapping morph into a little bum-shuffle and then into full-blown body ripples. "These guys are cool!" I thought to myself. Not only was it auditorially pleasing, with the wide array of instruments tingling my triangle appropriately; the visual entertainment in the form of Gareth's face modulating from pink to pillar box red as he charged the vocals was certainly a sight for sore eyes.

I would have been interviewing the collective before the show had they not been ambushed by the border monkeys on their way into Canada, but I still managed to chat with them after their performance. It wasn't hard. In fact it was very, very easy. They were circulating the crowd when all was said and sung, chatting to folks and helping out at the merchandise desk. Not only did I like their music I decided, I really liked their unpretentious manner too.

I wondered how it was that their performance so effortlessly blended the lines between artists and crowd. At one point Gareth just meandered in amongst the bodies and started moshing with a bunch of boys up front, carrying on singing all the while. It was as if he were just dancing and singing along in a club with his mates. As it happens, the band are pretty conscious of this, telling me that but two years ago they remember being members of the crowd themselves and they have not, and will not, detach themselves from that memory. Nice one.

Turns out none of them are actually Welsh after all though they met at Cardiff University. They are a blend of Englanders and one Russian doll. Apparently the Spanish name "the Peasants" emerged as a bit of a fluke (because one of them was fluent in Spanish) and not because they are diehard Commies, or Latin lovies. No real tie in whatsoever but I guess it adds a little twist to what you expect from the band and what you end up getting.

The more we chatted, the more earthy and grounded I found them. Even more so when I heard how aware they are of the ephemeral nature of stardom. Given the chance to make their break a year before graduation, they made the difficult choice of first finishing their degrees and hoping another opportunity would present itself at a later stage. "When all this ends, we are going to have to get 'real' jobs", explained Gareth, "it was important not to lose sight of that. This isn't going to last forever."

Whether it lasts forever, for a while, or for not long at all I thought, the soul, spirit and charm that these guys invest make the performance of "The Peasants!" absolutely anything but poor.

Photo by Kim Rottmayer

Discussion

17 Comments

Scrag41 / April 9, 2009 at 04:17 pm
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Looks like Golzari has a little crush on Aleks. Cute!
filth / April 14, 2009 at 05:48 am
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'auditorially pleasing', 'unpretentious manner'.

Shame the author doesnt share this attribute.
baraye mossadegh / April 18, 2009 at 04:29 am
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You have the power inside you to free Iran
filth / April 20, 2009 at 06:21 am
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yeah right fing murderers
jer / April 20, 2009 at 03:15 pm
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Editor's note:
@ baraye...we're glad you liked the piece enough to suggest (sarcastically or not) that one small rock review could change the course of a nation, but try to keep the comments in context. It has a tendency to lead other commenters way off track (see below).

@filth...I'm not sure the best place for you to share your anti-Iranian perspectives (or anti-any other nation/community) is in response to a music review about a faux-Welsh group out of England. If you have to be a troll, attack our writers on the grounds of their writing as you did in your first comment (which although I don't agree, is at least more of a critique than the first commenter). But we have to draw the line at sweeping hateful statements based on a narrow understanding of an author's nationality/gender/sexuality/group identity etc.
filth / April 22, 2009 at 10:46 am
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erm how about you suck my balls
filth / April 22, 2009 at 10:55 am
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ok sod the iran hating...the review was pretentious to say the least...it seems that this author is more concerned with providing proof of her personal clever dictionary than actually reviewing the band
filth / April 22, 2009 at 10:57 am
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i have the power to free my own balls
Jay / April 23, 2009 at 06:21 am
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It's a good review....fact...and they're a good band
filth / April 29, 2009 at 04:14 pm
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what makes it a fact...The Fact that opinions are relative you stupid twonk
Micro / February 4, 2015 at 05:21 am
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that, I do think the vast majority of such peerofmrrs start off with some degree of natural hypermobility but these days now more is known the elite(eg Royal Ballet school) dance or gymnastics trainers will rule out children who are naturally hypermobile as they know how damaging it will be to their bodies later in life. I need to sort out some videos/images of my hip popping in and out for the blog though!FB: Thank you so much for Barack. It was really lovely to see you yesterday, such a fun day and don't worry, I was knackered before you turned up ;) See you again soon xMommy Kim: Love you too!! Hope things are starting to settle down by now. MrN: Blushes! Thank you :)Madison: I always like to see photos of bloggers I read so figured why not! Cas: I'm so lucky to live next to a beach, curls an' all! Cogi: Aww, thank you :)Anon: Yes, single. Terminally so...I'm thinking of putting myself and Bendy Cat on ebay, the highest bidder gets lumbered with us both! Thanks for your compliment:)
golu dolls / February 1, 2019 at 09:50 pm
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nice post
kanchipuramsarees / February 1, 2019 at 09:50 pm
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nice post
kanchipuramsarees / February 1, 2019 at 09:50 pm
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nice post
herbal powder / February 1, 2019 at 09:51 pm
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nice post

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