Sunday, March 04, 2007

Los Weekend

Los Campesinos!/Sky Larkin/Johnny Foreigner/Kate Goes, Barfly, Birmingham, Friday March 2 2007.

So there your correspondent was a week or so back, getting his chopsticks in a twist whilst sampling the Vietnamese cuisine at Cafe Soya (lovely dumplings, by the way), trying to persuade some of the great and the good of Birmingham's blogging elite past and present to entertain the notion of coming along to the Los Campesinos! gig. And if not, why not, etc. Great steaming noodles, the excuses were pathetic!

"High stakes gambling in Vegas" offered the Huxster. Red card offence, and we're not referring to the Jack Of Hearts!

"Tokyo long enough (away?)" replied the Prykemeister. On an Eastern Promise, presumably...

"Looking after a mad woman in Edinburgh" ventured A. But Care In The Community should never get in the way of a good gig, surely!

"I've been to see them 153 times already" added Cardiff correspondent Ben "and blogged about it".

Well, OK, that last one was a lie that we made up because Dead Kenny can't remember Ben's exact mumbled excuse (living about 200 miles away might have had something to do with it, though). But you get the picture, this was a gig everyone was falling over themselves to avoid, including Russ L who decided to get Wood and see Acorn Antiques: The Musical instead. So it was left to your humble and, indeed, socially excluded correspondent to venture into Digbeth's dungeon and report on the best collection of bands you could ever hope to see in Brum for a fiver. Could we stay sober and out of trouble long enough to do it justice? Well, of course we couldn't, but you know you want to read on, anyway:

Kate Goes have already gotten this party started by the time your sodden correspondent arrives on the scene, and as befits a band given the Prykemeister seal of approval, they deliver skewiff anti-folk with a good-natured studenty enthusiasm. All of which could be more irritating than engaging were it not for the fact they have some really good songs, a particular highlight being their choon about Kung Fu, which ends with a hearty 'Fuk Yu!'. Proof positive that passive aggression kills tweepop stereotyping. Stone dead. We'd go and see this band again, and only partially to find out who Kate is, and whether she does indeed go.

Next up Johnny Foreigner smuggle themselves up on stage with their own brand of black market prophylaptic rock which owes something of a debt to The Pixies. Short sharp songs with shouty singing and helter-skeltering guitar riffs delivered with a sexy swagger and given long and vaguely amusing titles (eg. Yr All Just Jealous Of My One Good Song) are the order of the day and our limbs have no option but to obey. Just don't tell the Revenue, 'kay?

The dictionary definition for skylarking is 'to play actively and boisterously' but it's a case of never mind the frolics when Leeds hopefuls Sky Larkin enter the fray. From their pre-publicity we were expecting something ethereal and folky but, although there is a bit of rootsiness about them, there is an equal measure of rock raunchiness and the lead singer has a piercing gaze that suggests she doesn't suffer fools gladly. And indeed you'd be a muppet to miss out on the opportunity to catch Sky Larkin before they soar sonically towards the stratosphere with the broad appeal of songs like 'Somersault' sure to vault them towards victory. Or at the very least a spot on Later...with Jools Holland.

First came across Cardiff headliners and veritable internet sensations Los Campesinos! when skatterbrain posted the mp3 of 'You!Me!Dancing!' last summer, after which Simon and Ben were also early adopters long before NME got their lardy past-it arse into gear with them. If you even have to get past the majesty of 'Y!M!D!' it's not hard to fathom what the big deal is about the band - they combine the accessible lo-fi feel of twee with the sweep and compassion of Arcade Fire and they have big thumping tunes with fuck-off choruses and they are HUGE FUN. More fun than TOKYO! More fun than VEGAS! On-a-par fun with looking after mad people in EDINBURGH! As anyone who witnessed your correspondent amidst the mosh upfront, banging people with balloons as he sang along at the top of his lungs (a fearful, if tuneful, bellow, to be sure) to 'You! Me! Dancing!', during which all three support bands joined onstage, would surely attest.

But, wait! Dead Kenny's too old for this sort of frenetic fun! NURSE, THE DEFRIBILATORS! Oh, OK, panic over. Just get me the NURSE!

Anyway, must go now, have to see a man about a horse tomorrow. Should be blindin'...

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11 Comments:

Blogger Simon said...

Good gig, then?

(I had an excuse as well - couldn't get there and/or back, and Kristin Hersh was playing locally. Still, there'll be other times.)

3:42 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Twas a more than ordinarily exciting gig, yeah, Simon. There seemed genuinely good spirits between all four (very good, but distinctly different) bands which helped contribute to the part atmosphere that kind of exploded around the point of 'You! Me! Dancing!' which was the inevitable highlight.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Russ L said...

Pfffft. You may whinge, but I know you weren't the only punter there. The Baron attended too.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Ah, was one of those Baron Nights, then.

Lord Bargain also went to see Los Campesinos! so it would have been a gentried threesome if only they hadn't lost Count.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

It's not just knights of the realm, Troubled Divas are also getting in on the Los Campesinos! act, an edited version of this review also appearing in the Nottingham Evening Post, apparently.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Er, try taking 150 off that total, Ken. I've probably fooled you into thinking it's been that many times because of the regularity with which they get a mention on SWSL - which, admittedly, is possibly approaching the 153 mark...

Anyways, glad you enjoyed them - kinda guessed you would...

11:56 PM  
Anonymous alexei foreign said...

thanks for yr kind words. we`re hella flattered. but, the song is called, yr all just jealous of my von dutch hat. i really need to ennuciate properly.. just as long but less amusing.
x alexei

3:42 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Hehe, I really must clean my ears out with something other than beer.

Feel free to use my title for the sequel!

10:54 PM  
Anonymous alison said...

Mad woman in Edinburgh was 'managed' with chocolate soup. But it sounds like I missed out on something even better than chocolate!

Next time ...

1:44 PM  
Blogger Phill said...

Ah but Kenny - did you see it snow in the desert? - did you stay in a luxury suite with a view over the Las Vegas strip? Did you narrowly avoid death (possibly) by tangling with a Tony Soprano type character over the green baize of the poker table. Did you eat a $3.99 steak dinner at 3am?

And I went to a gig too - to see Bobby Conn - check him out - he's good!

5:27 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Ah but Kenny - did you see it snow in the desert?

Yeah, but Phill, to be fair, I did warn you to pack some Head 'n' Shoulders, mate.

And Alison, yeah the cocoa derivative analogy works - it was the gig equivalent of being gently basted with chocolate gloop using a huge wooden spoon. With a suitably nutty aftertaste, natch.

10:45 PM  

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