Los Campesinos! Announce Romance Is Boring 10th Anniversary Reissue + Two London Shows
To commemorate it’s 10th birthday, Los Campesinos! will reissue their 2010 album Romance Is Boring, on Valentine’s Day (14th February 2020). The celebrations will be marked by a double header at Islington Assembly Hall, London, where the band will play the album in full, plus a second set of hits:
Friday 14th February 2020 - Islington Assembly Hall, London Saturday 15th February 2020 - Islington Assembly Hall, London (Both shows are fully accessible to those with disabilities, and gender neutral facilities will be in operation on the evening)
Tickets go onsale at 9am on Friday 27th September, but anyone pre-ordering the album (http://loscampesinos.myshopify.com/) before then will be sent a link allowing them to buy tickets immediately.
The remastered version of Romance Is Boring will be available on gold double vinyl, and there’s also an opportunity to get hold of its companion, the ‘All’s Well That Ends’ EP for the first time since 2010. Just 500 copies of the 10” EP are being pressed this time around, featuring brand-new artwork by LC!’s R N Taylor.
There are more exclusives to be grabbed as part of the pre-order, with all purchases receiving a Valentine’s Card signed by the band, plus "Romance Is Boring: an Oral History” an extensive ‘zine based around the album, taking in a decade’s worth of Los Camp! conversations. Get the album here.
- Looking back at Romance Is Boring...*
Los Campesinos! seemed so sure of themselves in the beginning. Hold On Now, Youngster… was the instantaneous Greatest Hits fronting as a debut; We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed the intentional evil twin. They carried themselves like critical favourites are expected to, with bulletproof taste and highly quotable interviews, studious enough with the canon to have a good laugh at its expense. By comparison, Romance is Boring appeared to be the quintessential third album identity crisis - significantly longer than what preceded it, bursting with ideas, delving into prog and emo and other places hip bands dared not tread in 2010.
But there was never any reason to question the band’s confidence. Two years after declaring “Death to Los Campesinos!”, Romance is Boring sacrificed short-term security for the bigger picture, reinvigorating the band for the next decade by daring to ask: who did they really think they are?
When label reps came to check in on the band’s recording sessions, Gareth claimed they were making their ‘Wowee Zowee’ - a sprawling, confounding third LP sure to be misunderstood by casual fans and critics in the short term - “But you’ve not made your 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain' yet!,” they protested. Counterargument: they made two classics already, but why would they wait anyways? This band had always come on too strong. A seven-minute debut single, three albums in 24 months, Gareth’s narrators spewing their guts both verbally and literally (“our bard of throwing up,” according to Pitchfork), always waking up in regret. And with Romance is Boring, Los Campesinos! intuitively got a jump on their own impending narrative, placing themselves at the fulcrum of where indie rock was actually going in the 2010s.
Guest vocals from Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart and orchestration from composer Jherek Bischoff were statements that “WE ARE A SERIOUS BAND”. While Gareth Campesinos! proclaiming, “I think we need more post-coital and less post-rock/feels like the buildup takes forever but you never get me off” on ‘Straight In At 101’ is a statement in the equal and opposite direction that they weren’t that serious. The first single was a darkly romantic and sweeping ballad, “slow and quite emo,” in Gareth’s words, while the title track is plainly anti-romantic and poisonously sweet. The arcane soccer references remain amongst American geographical signifiers, string interludes are introduced with post-hardcore time signatures. The most self-conscious Los Campesinos! record begins with the lyric, “…but let’s talk about you for a minute” and the most agitated song begs, “can we all please just calm the fuck down?”.
Though understandably placed into the lineage of twee-punk bands in the beginning, Romance is Boring began to shift the conversation around the band in a way that would only make sense ten years later as a thriving, underground UK emo scene has been largely created in their image. Bands with glockenspiels and streaking reverbed guitars, coed vocals, tricky wordplay and strident politics: a British American Football that actually sings about football, if you will. Romance is Boring probably didn’t win Los Campesinos! too many new fans in 2010 and it probably cost them a few - but this is the album that created the Los Campesinos! diehard.
Is there any other kind?