Monday, April 14, 2008

Concert: Los Campesinos

In the depths of January I went on spec to a gig in the Village by this indie band called Los Campesinos, about whom I knew next to nothing. On my part, this was largely an attempt to get over an instance of midwinter psychic malaise. In this it largely failed, with my lethargy and mopiness meaning that I was unable to fully engage with the music being played. I may therefore have ended up judging it too harshly.

Before the main attraction, we saw one of the support bands they had brought over with them from Blighty, a group called Johnny Foreigner. This three-piece consisted of a man on guitar and vocals, a woman on bass and vocals, and someone else on drums. Their music was basically not that good, seeming almost emo at times. However, the in-between-song chit-chat of the two fronters was very entertaining. The woman bassist also had a certain gothic jailbait sex appeal, so the band are not without redeeming features.

Los Campesinos themselves are from Wales, have a huge line-up, consist of both men and women, and play all kinds of instruments including xylophones. They position themselves in an indie tradition, not that of Blur and other false indie bands, but a one going back to Sarah Records acts and other oppositional figures. At the same time, their music does not sound like they are just some kind of Field Mice tribute act. However, they did not really gel with me. I think this might have been down to my own miserabilism rather than to any negative qualities they themselves had. I was also struck by how young both they and their fans were. Maybe if I still had my best days ahead of me then I would have been able to throw myself into supporting this group, but I don't, so I can't.

image source


Andrew Sherman said...

Sometimes I think your reviews do too much pandah-ing to the bands.

ian said...

You know, that bass player with Johnny Foreigner looked a bit like a panda.

Chinn said...

Hmm, I see what you mean about the gothic bass player. Although from the picture you have alongside the article I think they are all going with the heavy eye makeup thing.