Thursday, 17 November 2011

los campesinos! @ oran mor, 10th november

With low slung guitars and double denim uniform, Strange News From Another Star resemble a rockabilly-flecked Future of the Left (with whom frontman Jimmy Watkins also plays); all teeth, riffs, claws and barbs. “You’re in for a treat” Watkins promises as they depart. “I still get a raging erection every time I see Gareth on stage…”

The trouser-bothering Los Campesinos! are indeed on fine form, showing off the pick of Hello Sadness without over-loading on new material – not that a little thing like release-dates has prevented sections of the crowd from memorising every lyric already. LC! continue to inspire keen devotion, which makes for an exhilarating atmosphere: You! Me! Dancing! still fizzes electric joy; Miserabilia manages to feel life-affirming despite its less than cheery message (“a song about how every one of us is going to die alone”, as Gareth puts it), while new track To Tundra confirms there’s much more to their songwriting than infectious energy and a witty turn of phrase. But it’s Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks that steals the show at the close, uniting all with its defiant chants and earning the band their exclamation mark.

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