I’m home alone this weekend. This is not a common occurrence in our household – Stacey and I spend most weekends together, and if we’re not in the same place at the same time, it’s normally because I’ve headed down to Essex to see my family. However, this weekend is Stacey’s mum’s birthday, and she’s gone back to see her for the weekend; leaving me eating bowls of ice cream, watching crap TV and thinking about plans for the future.
I’ve already organised a surprise for Stace and I for Valentines Day – we’ve both booked a day off work and are going to enjoy a long weekend together – although I’ve yet to cave and tell her where we’re going. (Hint: I am VERY excited.) As well as this, in March, after Stacey’s birthday, we have tickets to go and see one of our favourite bands – Los Campesinos!
Los Campesinos! (or Los Camp!, or LC!) have undoubtedly been the soundtrack to our relationship. (I still can’t tell if this is a good or a bad thing.) Through the ups and downs of my final year of uni, moving in together, a number of relationship hurdles and everything that has happened since, Los Camp! have been the go-to band to celebrate and commiserate with. And I have Stacey to thank for passing them on to me.
When Stace and I got together, in January 2010, LC! had just released Romance is Boring. I have a whole reel of memories of the two of us, curled up in her tiny little single bed, with the album playing through her computer speakers on repeat because turning it off would have meant getting up and getting cold. I don’t really remember her having played a great deal of Los Campesinos! before this point (maybe one of the reasons I’ve never had any great attachment to You!Me!Dancing! or Death to Los Campesinos!) but Romance is Boring quickly became the most played album on my MP3 player. I loved the song Romance is Boring, and spent months where I’d recite the lyrics from the chorus (‘you’re pouting in your sleep, I’m waking, still yawning – we’re proving to each other that romance is boring’) to anyone who would listen.
Stacey and I were quite quickly forced to spend much of our time apart – she left St Andrews when I still had 5 months left to complete my degree, and so our weeks were punctuated with work, class and travelling back and forth from my little room in St Andrews to her parents home in Angus. Los Campesinos! was such a relief during these trips – music that was so blessedly melancholic and dramatic about relationships, whilst I was constantly worried about whether I was doing the right thing with Stace, whether I was going to pass my degree, where I would live after graduation and if I’d ever find a job.
Anyway; in Feb, not long after Stace had moved back in with her parents, one of the few things we had planned for certain was a trip to Dundee to see Los Campesinos! during their tour. I had only had about a month to listen to the new album – and in fact any of their music at all – so the gig was a bit of a blur for me. I guess it didn’t help that Stace and I hadn’t seen each other in a few days, and her ex was at the gig too (never great, huh?) but walking out of that gig, I don’t think I would have said I was a LC! fan. How things change!
When Stace and I see Los Campesinos! in Edinburgh in March, it’ll be the 7th time I’ve seen them play live. I think it’ll be the 8th time Stace has seen them too. She and I have both obsessed over the new album, Hello Sadness, and Stace even managed to persuade the wonderful Gareth Campesinos! to send me a personalised birthday present. (I am sad to admit I have such a crush on Gareth Campesinos!. It’s so disappointing that I’m just so predictable. He’s a really nice guy – if you’re a fan of the band and get a chance, go and say hello to him.)
Anyway; this is not a long rambly post about why I love Los Campesinos! – if you’re interested in the band, you can find their website here – Los Campesinos! and I’m sure if you’re reading this, you can do a search on YouTube, too. But the thing about LC! is that their music has been there through everything that Stace and I have been through – to the point that I have said that it sometimes feels like the only thing we have in common is Los Campesinos! Maybe that’s a little extreme, but when you’re having a fight, there’s nothing which makes you feel more alone, or more vindicated than LC! – perfect for when you feel like everything’s going to shit. And I’m sure that Stace will agree with me on that one too.
We’ll be seeing LC! at the end of March here in Edinburgh – and I’m looking forward to standing in the front row with my girl, holding her hands and shouting out the words.Carley