Los Campesinos! at Leeds 2010
If you were one of those people that takes about three hundred photos a day during a festival, and you then wanted to create a slideshow montage of all those dodgy, humorous and memorable snaps from the weekend; the Los Campesinos! set would make for an excellent soundtrack to express how much fun you had.
There is a fabulously unkempt feel to the free-spirited nature of all things Los Campesinos! that grabs every imagination, battering it with so much energy that coming out of a live set you feel like you've just been to the gym. ' Death To Los Campesinos!' just asks for 'da da da da!'-ing and as an opener it blew the NME/Radio 1 stage to pieces. The twee prettiness-meets-boyish lyrical roughness of tracks like 'Miserabilia' and wonderfully awkward tongue-in-cheek storytelling of 'Straight In At 101' made for an atmosphere unlike any at the festival until then. The vast orchestral feel to the multi-instrumental group, punctuated by choral outbursts, was perfect for that Saturday afternoon.
Despite great reaction and a strong set, the Cardiff-based seven-piece were astoundingly humble and delightfully sweet. They decided to dedicate 'You! Me! Dancing!' to violinist Harriet to celebrate her birthday, firstly apologising that their rush for time meant they 'can't do their show as spectacularly as they would do normally', which was nonsense; but they petitioned to the obliging crowd to give a big cheer for Harriet at the end of the irresistibly infectious song. 'The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future' provided a dramatic highlight, before closing the set on 'Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks', dedicating that track to the stage crew and security staff. Awwww in't that lovely? This was, of course a good idea to sweeten the security staff up a little before singer Gareth Campesinos! launched himself into the crowd and scaling a speaker. Ahem.
A triumphant set from an an effortlessly infectious band.