[8] Los Campesinos!, ‘You! Me! Dancing!’

You! Me! Dancing! in 2007

It’s not really my bag, but I’ve loved this ever since I had to review it for Orange Music (eat your heart out, NME). All of Los Campesinos!’s songs are wordy, complicated, it’s just this is where lyric and tune come together to make something truly satisfying – touching, even. Of COURSE they “can’t dance a single step”, they’re indie kids! They flail about with their thumbs through the cuffs of their outsized jumpers. And boy are they indie kids; namechecking Twisted By Design, scoffing at the very idea of “dance heroes”, larking about in fountains at the end of the night. It’s twee, it’s niche, it just works.

To be honest, you probably wouldn’t tire of punching Gareth Campesinos!, but let’s not incite violence. Maybe a prod in the chest.

Junior says: Nothing, just lets it hurtle by. Junior’s mum asks, “This is a bit high, isn’t it?” Yeah, well.

Best bit: Backing vocals under “It’s sad that you think that we’re all just scenesters…”

The Jukebox Mercury Junior Barclaycard Music Prize Draw

Probably our dozen favourite British albums of the past 12 months:

David Holmes, The Holy Pictures
Bloc Party, Intimacy
Los Campesinos!, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
The Invisible, The Invisible
Higamos Hogamos, Higamos Hogamos
Dananananaykroyd, Hey Everyone!
The Horrors, Primary Colours
The Wave Pictures, If You Leave It Alone
Eg, Adventure Man
God Help The Girl, God Help The Girl
Little Boots, Hands
Damian Lazarus, Smoke The Monster Out

Winner to be announced when we get over the mediocrity of the list.

[2] Los Campesinos!, ‘You! Me! Dancing!’

Los Campesinos!, ‘You! Me! Dancing!’

It actually breaks my heart not to put this at No.1, but when you’re dealing with the single of the century, what can you do? I’m going to plagiarise myself here – I reviewed this single for a venerable website in June, and nailed my own thoughts:
“This Cardiff septet (a Cardiff septet! How long have we waited?) throw everything at the wall and see what paints it all the colours of the rainbow and gives it a kiss for luck. ‘You! Me! Dancing!’, with every exclamation mark a necessity, is a joyful romp through influences as diverse as New Order, Arcade Fire, The Strokes, the Boo Radleys and The Mighty Wah! with all the poignancy, passion and pop they suggest. A boyish vocal shyly mumbles “if there’s one thing I can never confess, it’s that I can’t dance a single step”, but if he wigs out to the glockenspiel and thrashing guitars and drums like the rest of us, he hasn’t got a problem.”
A few weeks later, we saw the seven of them at Glastonbury and found that a whole 45 minutes of glockenspiel-bashing was a lot to swallow, but they’ve wisely taken their time over a debut album, which’ll come out in February – perhaps it will offer some light and shade. The good news is ‘You! Me Dancing!’ doesn’t diminish one iota with countless plays, so brimming is it with fantastic ideas. Single of the Year in any other year.
In the latest example of what will doubtless be decades of pulling the rug out from underneath my feet, Junior didn’t pay it too much mind. She promised she was listening to it, but it’s tree decoration day and, frankly, what do you think is more appealing to a two-year-old? Los Campesinos! aren’t quite the angel at the top – there’s more than one tier of genius.