Los Campesinos! @ The Cluny Newcastle 30th April 2017
They’re your ex-girlfriend’s favourite band and they led the indie summer revolution of 2008, but Los Campesinos! are finally back on the scene.
And on a bank holiday Sunday in Newcastle they did the unthinkable and persuaded a room full of Geordies to give up the delights of Osbourne Road for over an hour of sweaty joy as they sold out their much-anticipated gig.
Lead signer Gareth Campesinos said that the last two shows the band have played in the city there’s been a fight, but the atmosphere in the room was more one of peace and love as the band delivered their show in support of RUSHONROCK rated 7/10 album Sick Scenes.
There is no getting away from the fact that their debut album Hold On Now Youngster… is their most successful, but that was a long time ago now and the Cardiff University formed seven-piece have got a lot more good material under their belt than some would assume.
One of those is the excellent Renato Dall’Ara (2008) which is filled with all the best bits that make Los Campesinos! so easy and enjoyable to listen to and it’s almost made to kick a gig off with as the Cluny was immediately filled with woo-ing, hair swinging and singing along.
Sick Scenes is the band’s sixth album and with that comes a balancing act between old and new, but with a 21 song tracklist nobody could complain that they didn’t get value for money as Romance Is Boring, Here’s to the Fourth Time!, Cemetery Gaits and My Year in Lists all got some airtime.
Putting such a big group on a small stage like the Cluny was always going to take some creative positioning and while it was a struggle to see past Gareth and Kim, it didn’t really matter much as the frontman engaged and entertained the audience and wasn’t afraid to give it back as good as he got.
But if there can be any criticism of an otherwise excellent show it was that Kim’s voice, so crucial and beautiful, was lost amongst the noise just when it was needed the most. And perhaps it would have been better to go out with You! Me! Dancing! instead of the slower Miserabilia.
However that final point is nothing more than picking at straws from an otherwise near-flawless show from a band who deserve to be back in the limelight.