All These Sick Scenes: Los Campesinos! at the TLA

Los Campesinos! | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman |

“Enjoy this night, because I know for a fact that we’re not likely to be invited back.” It seems impossible that it’s been six whole years since hearing those words, the last time Los Campesinos! played in Philadelphia. At one of the first ever shows at the newly inagurated Union Transfer, the Welsh post-twee band celebrated the same thing they always have been — that the present is the only thing we’re ever guaranteed, even as bleak as it may seem. It’s a common theme in the band’s work, and existence as a whole. Even while remaining prominent cult favorites, eleven years into their so-called career, the future band has never been assured. At the TLA on Wednesday night, they approached the end of an impossible US tour and proved that there’s a certain kind of charming nostalgia hidden within bitter nihilism. Continue reading →


This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Los Campesinos! at Union Transfer, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia at Tower Theatre

Los Campesinos! has finally embraced the misery it has hinted at for years. From Hold On Now, Youngster… to We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed to Romance Is Boring, Los Campesinos! has made a steady decline into twee-pop depression. The Welsh band’s latest album, appropriately titled Hello Sadness, doesn’t even pretend to be happy. It is an obvious reflection of the break-up that inspired it. The music itself remains unbearably anxious and involved, with countless beats and instruments, but the affect is much gloomier. Lyrics like, “This dripping from my broken heart/Is never running dry,” destroy any delusion of cheerfulness. The sound of Hello Sadness is still boisterous, but, as a whole, it is a melancholic departure from Los Campesinos!’s previous albums. There is a certain palatable maturity to it that isn’t present on any of its predecessors. Los Campesinos! will be performing with Reading Rainbow at 8 p.m. at Union Transfer; tickets to the all ages show are $15 – $18. —Caitlyn Grabenstein

Also Playing: XPN Welcomes Bell X1 + Favourite Sons at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $18–$20); Todd Rundgren’s Utopia at Tower Theatre (8 p.m., $49.50–$90); Hot Rod Circuit + Cartel, Smoke Signals, The Front Bottoms at Theatre Of Living Arts (7 p.m., all ages, $26); Joe Lally + The Gerunds, Helen Money at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., 21+, $10); The Levee Drivers + Satellite Hearts, Thom McCarthy at The Fire (8:30 p.m., 21+, $7); TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb + Psalmships, The Looks Of It at North Star Bar (9 p.m., 21+, $10)

XPN Welcomes Drive-By Truckers and Jessica Lea Mayfield at Theatre Of Living Arts (8 p.m., $35); XPN Welcomes Chris Smither at World Cafe Live (7:30 p.m., $30–$42); Purling Hiss + Puerto Rico Flowers at Johnny Brenda’s (9:30 p.m., 21+, $10–$12); Peter Murphy + She Wants Revenge at The Trocadero (9 p.m., all ages, $23.50–$25); Summer Fiction + Steve Goldberg And The Arch Enemies, Brown Recluse at The Barbary (7 p.m., 21+, $10); The Fleeting Ends + LP Stiles at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., 21+, $8–$10)

Mastodon + The Dillinger Escape Plan, Red Fang at The Trocadero (7 p.m., all ages, SOLD OUT); Tom Rush at World Cafe Live (7:30 p.m., $35–$45)


Listen to Hello Sadness, the new album by Los Campesinos! (performing Nov. 18th at Union Transfer)

Photo by Jon Bergman

From NPR Music:

The U.K. band Los Campesinos! makes an ornery and quotable ruckus of the kind that could only come from seven talented brats clamoring to be heard over the din they create collectively. A single Los Campesinos! song can produce enough memorable lines to fill a dozen email signatures, provided it’s possible to parse the words over singer Gareth’s Welsh-accented mushmouth and the mad clatter that constantly threatens to drown him out.

“By Your Hand,” which kicks off Hello Sadness — the band’s fourth full-length album in four years, out Nov. 15 — is full of salty zingers about hands in trousers and a lover who vomits down the front of the protagonist’s rental tux. Conflict rages on and off through the song, with Gareth proclaiming this “a good night for a fistfight,” but the ever-escalating cataclysm that accompanies it is pure joy, complete with shout-along choruses.

You can read NPR’s full write-up and listen to the album in its entirety hereLos Campesinos! performs with Reading Rainbow at 8 p.m. Friday, November 18th, at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are $15-$18. —Marielle Mondon


Listen to the new single “Hello Sadness” by Los Campesinos! (performing at Union Transfer on Nov. 18th)

The members of Los Campesinos! have released the title track from their upcoming album, Hello Sadness (due out November 15th in North America via Arts & Crafts). The track is relatively mellow, constructed of bold words that convey the sentiment the album title implies. Stream “Hello Sadness” here (via Pitchfork) and check out the previously released single “By Your Hand.” Los Campesinos! performs at Union Transfer November 18th.—Caitlyn Grabenstein