Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

Los Campesinos! and Sky Larkin
The Late Room, Manchester
Sunday, March 4th 2007

There’s something very special indeed about Los Campesinos! They’re not even out of university yet, but their beguiling, quaint indie-pop strains and powerful live performances mean they’ve already developed a bit of a reputation (and, on the whole, it’s been a good one). The Cardiff based seven-piece have already been snapped up by Wichita Records, who released their first double-A side single earlier this year.

Sky Larkin couldn’t be a better choice as an support act - the two bands go together so well that they’ve even had special Losky Campelarkinos! posters commissioned to mark this tour. The Leeds trio turn in an assured, confident performance with a set of melodious tunes, and singer Katie happily banters with the crowd, genially teasing her fellow bandmates.

There’s a great deal of anticipation for the main act, and, when they arrive, they don’t disappoint. Twee they may be, but Los Campesinos! really are fierce live, rising to the challenge posed by this notoriously tricky venue. At times, their spirited, slightly ramshackle performance feels like it’s going to completely fall apart, but it’s this sense of danger that keeps you interested. Between songs, the band’s frontman Gareth tells rambling anecdotes and, at times, looks like he really can’t believe what’s happening before his eyes.

A slightly reserved crowd offer hearty cheers for the two songs from the single, but the best reception of the night is undoubtedly reserved for the immense You! Me! Dancing! and upbeat set closer and fan favourite Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks. The responsibility of final exams might be calling for Los Campesinos!, but brace yourselves this summer. If their impressive progress continues, you may well be dancing like a fool to these songs up and down the land.

words: Kate Goodacre

Los Campesinos! will be playing at the Point in Cardiff on June 4th, and at the Scala in Kings’ Cross, London, on June 5th. Visit their website for more information.