INTERVIEW

“ON MORE THAN ON OCCASION TONIGHT we expect Los Campesinos! to push a button that launches a Technicolor rocket, complete with a glitter vapour trail. It will soar over our heads only to explode and cover us with a black sinister goo. Lift off will no doubt happen some time shortly after the Cardiff seven-piece […]

“ON MORE THAN ON OCCASION TONIGHT we expect Los Campesinos! to push a button that launches a Technicolor rocket, complete with a glitter vapour trail. It will soar over our heads only to explode and cover us with a black sinister goo. Lift off will no doubt happen some time shortly after the Cardiff seven-piece u-turn one of their impressive, skipping twee pop jollies into an equally as impressive hardcore crescendo finale. It’s something that the band do more than expected and extremely well – all smiles one minute until their youthful angst gets the better of them, resulting in keyboards sounding as if played by a herd of stampeding buffalo, while guitars and a violin squeal like dying monsters.

Los Campesinos!’ kinetic energy and sometimes apocalyptic 20 second blasts are a surprise that we welcome. There’s no doubt that on record this new Wichita signing sound well-crafted and brilliant, but so does Amy Winehouse and her live shows come across like pointless could-have-stayed-at-home-and-listened-to-the-album moments. So when we get flashes of Help She Can’t Swim as opposed to The Magic Numbers this evening we are relieved.

The intricate parts of ‘Don’t Tell Me To Do The Math’ are all in place on the Scala stage but it doesn’t refrain Los Campesinos! from playing hard, fast, at times out of tune and as if doing so seconds before Earth collides with the sun. Singer Aleksandra tries his damndest to dent his xylophone while yelping his adolescent tails of woe, his voice seemingly breaking and cracking like most fellas’ still do after a few jars, usually as the pub jukebox falls silent to change tunes, as bad luck would have it. It’s something that would almost require you getting used to if his camp hand gestures, floppy fringe and youthful exuberance weren’t present. Instead, we see Los Campesinos! for the septet of fresh, enthusiastic and fun uni leavers that they are.

Baby-faced, all of them, they’re having the time of their lives and as ‘You Me Dancing’ signals tonight, they deserve to be. The roar that goes up following the new single’s introduction is another false alarm of the bitter-sweet glitter/goo rocket but we for one are ready for the LC! cut and shut assault. Bring it! “

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