A Rare Welsh Treat

October 18th, 2010

Los Campesinos! – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 15, 2010

Fans packed into Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday for a rare live Stateside show by Los Campesinos!. The indie-pop ensemble seems to not take much very seriously, except their music, which is probably the best way to keep such a sizable extended-band family together while touring overseas. The eight members met at school in Wales and have since made multiple lineup changes over the course of making two official albums. Gareth Campesinos! (you have to love a band whose members change their last names) leads the group with overwhelming energy, bouncing across the stage, going from half chanting, half screaming to whispering skewed pop-culture-referenced lyrics like “I feel like we need more post-coital and less post-rock/ Feels like the buildup takes forever and you never get me off.”

An over-the-top infectious live energy, perhaps only equaled by the Swedish punk-pop band Love Is All’s, makes tracks from their latest album, Romance Is Boring, sound like a lounge cover band. But Josephine Olausson may have met her match in Gareth Campesinos!, although his band has twice as many instruments to stack layers of catchy choruses in all genres. The multiple drum kits, keyboards and guitars push the main rhythms forward, while the rest of the eclectic orchestra adds violin, flute and trumpet to his uncannily accurate melodies aimed at a miked glockenspiel. From the first song, the crowd followed every note, creating their own spontaneous clapped rhythms. “You guys will have to go buy our record again so we can afford to do this all the time…. We’ll play different songs and everything.” And later, answering the 16-and-overs’ prayers, Gareth walked offstage down into the middle of the audience to finish out the show. —Jason Dean