With The Peasants as Bradford Welcomes Back Los Campesinos! More
Written By Michael Wood Thursday, April 17th, 2008
Los Campesinos!, The Luvvers, UltCult BD1 Live at St George's Hall, Bradford
After blazing through Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats the band introduce themselves. "We are Los Campesinos! and we are from Cardiff, which is near Bristol."
It is the type of comment which typifies the seven strong popster from South Wales and one is not sure if it is a flippant quip or a heartfelt claim on the heritage of that City.
UltCult look young enough to not have been at school when Sarah 100 came out but they resonate with the same DIY spiked joy that bands like Talulah Gosh, Even As We Speak and The Sea Urchins used to put through the Bristol record label with a sly mix of Kevin Shields edged on.
They are three girls, two guys and small glockenspiel - glockenspiels are the instrument de jour tonight - and they sound like the fastest relationships one could have started and ended in a single night.
Odious Emporium opens the set and is impressive. Five Bedrooms and Two Lounges closes and stands out and what passes in-between is far from dull. They depart to impressed noises.
Noises describes The Luvvers who are a musically tight four piece of lads - the very sort that will later be described as "saying nothing [to me] about [my] life" and they are fronted by a bleached blonde haircut who seems to ape style and lack substance.
Substances concern Los Campesinos! and Gareth Campesinos jokes that they are on crack but the band are more like the sound of a bunch of teenagers on sugar rush. They are a band to fall in love with mixing smartness - smugness even - of lyrics with an excess of energy in performance and ring in an ill fitted innocence that gives them charm. They credit Blank Generation's Adam Simons with giving them a first gig outside either capital and are genuine in doing so. "We would have had to get proper jobs..." Gareth comments.
This ebullient charm runs through the night. Drop It Doe Eyes - sung by Aleksandra Campesinos who swaps from side keyboard duties to the front - is a joy and the Pavement cover Frontwards sounds superb. Harriet Campesinos - see what they have done with the names? - draws a bow over her violin creating depth to what would be a sound of kids hitting tin and looking over the instrumentation the seven have one can see where the Arcade Fire comparisons come in. Had Arcade Fire gown up in Cardiff and listened to Heavenly they probably would sound like this.
Gareth retreats to the back of the stage and joins Ollie Campesinos drumming the famed start of You! Me! Dancing! and they go from good to great with the half full St George's Hall moving with a total joyous lack of unison. They finish on Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks after stand out version of We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives which exceeds the album and sees Gareth bounding around the stage. They are a band who are going interesting places and owe much of that to the start and support they got in Bradford.
Tonight they repaid us.