Los Campesinos!’ First Ever Glockenspiel: Charity Auction by Gareth
February 2, 2010, 12:54 pm
Filed under: WHEAT
FIRST OFF…we are auctioning off Los Campesinos!’ first ever glockenspiel, to raise money for the relief effort in Haiti. At my time of writing, the auction ends in about 30 hours. If you would like to bid on the item, a piece of ROCK AND ROLL HISTORY, then you can do so, here:


Below is a piece I wrote about my ‘relationship’ with the glockenspiel, for our Drowned In Sound takeover week:

In the past three years of doing interviews I’ve constantly been amazed at how much interviewers seem to care about the fact some of our songs include a glockenspiel. Not just casual mentions but whole interviews centering around the thing, as if there’s actually anything interesting to be said about it.

The glockenspiel was an accident. I borrowed it from school one time to use in mine and Kim’s old band, and kind of forgot to ever return it. It wasn’t a deliberate steal, but I don’t feel too guilty about it as glockenspiels were ten a penny at my school. Thrust into the hand of any poor, uninterested child in compulsory music lessons, after they’d mastered Merrily We Roll Along on the recorder, and driven the teachers nuts by exhausting every preset rhythm track on the keyboards.

In the band’s formative stages our songs were either the ‘pop hits’ of yore (Death To Los Campesinos! (then catchily known as Track 1), Y! M! D!, Broken Heartbeats…) or these by numbers post-rock efforts we knocked up (I actually thought they were alright). Having no musical ability and enough common sense not to insist upon doing some spoken word whine about girls on top of these songs, I turned to the glock for something to do with my hands. And it stuck. I wish I just opted to use the opportunity to go to the bar.

It’s served us well. For better, for worse I think we’d be near the top of any list of “bands what use a glock”, and I’m sure it’s a buzz word that piqued a few peoples’ interest in us, but it’s become the bane of my existence. I look around onstage and see my friends thrashing at guitars, or hitting the shit out of drums, or even masterfully taming a violin, and then I look to the end of my arm and see myself clutching at this dainty beater, and as I do so I physically feel my testosterone levels decline.

Y’see, I KNOW that nobody looks at somebody playing a glockenspiel and thinks “He’s cool, I want to be like him”. They more likely think “he wets the bed”. Nobody’s ever got laid off the back of playing the glockenspiel, and let’s face it, that’s the whole reason people start bands in the first place. It would almost be worth it if I could play it well, but I play glock in the same way Richie Edwards played the guitar. I’m mostly just coasting along thanks to my good looks.

People have come up to me after gigs (some of them GROWN ADULTS) and said that they’ve bought a glockenspiel (actually, they usually say “xylophone”, but I know what they mean) off the back of liking our band. I feel awful. It’s like how Davina McCall would feel if someone came up to her and said “I loved you in Streetmate so I started taking smack”.

And so, it’s with a heart full of helium that I’m auctioning off Los Campesinos!’ first ever glockenspiel. This piece of crap was used on our initial demos, the Sticking Fingers Into Sockets EP, and on Hold On Now, Youngster… . It’s travelled all over the world, had numerous pints of beer spilt over it and always been treated with a firm but sensual hand, emasculating me time after time. All money made from the sale of the thing will be donated to the relief effort in Haiti, so if you’d like to own it (and I know that YOU obviously don’t), please bid far more than it’s actually worth.


22 Comments so far
Leave a comment

uhm, am i really first? ok. how about $40?

Comment by leslie

That quote on your glock is beat. I nominate, “You’re a genius all the time”.

Comment by Eric

I wish I wasn’t unemployed and could afford to bid 😦

(Instead I’ve started a money pot to save all my pennies and buy a harp. Joanna Newsom rival in 2040, here I come.)

Comment by Samuel

$50. Winning this would solidify my LC! freakiness.

Comment by Jeni

Whoops! Did not click on link. Apologies.

Comment by Jeni

I actually find your glockenspiel-ing quite attractive. But that in and of itself is probably unattractive to you, which unfortunately means we probably won’t be making any eye contact. Damn it.

Comment by LanaBStar

I’v been looking for a glock for awhile, and i love you guys, i have 150 to spend on it so yeah, thats my bid

Comment by Julien Bankier

Gareth, I look at you and think, “He’s cool, I want to be like him.” 🙂

Great idea for an auction, i only wish i had some money to bid!

Comment by Madeline

I got a glockenspiel because of Gareth also… It’s the same kind that Feist and Noah and the Whale use, and it was $20. I would most definitely bid on this if I had some money, but sadly I do not.

Comment by Robert

286 USD is more than my poor student bank account will let me spend with a clear conscience. how about you auction some of your other stuff that wont go for as much? sweaty t-shirts… used towels… that sort of thing.

Comment by KiaMarie

was that a bid, or just a lamentation?

Comment by Julien Bankier

“Don’t be afraid to make eye contact with hot girls”

This is a rule.

Comment by Grant

I think playing the glockenspiel is very masculine.

Comment by Victoria

Hey Gareth – at least you don’t have to put colour coded stickers on the keys to know which ones to hit! S+E x

Comment by slanted and enchanted

I really enjoyed your post Gareth, nice one pal 😉 .

I’d like to make a bid, just wondering what the current figure was and where I can make a offer?

Also, in light of all the $’s, my bid would be in £’s!

Comment by Jamie

You don’t play the glockenspiel like one would imagine it should be played, and I mean that it the best of ways.

It’s cool to see you take out your frustrations and/or demonstrate your emotions by beating on such an innocent instrument 🙂

Regardless, it’s cool that you’re willing to give up such a memorable part of your band (memorable to LC! and it’s fans) for such a great cause.

Hope someone bids loads and loads of money on it.

Comment by Hugo Robledo

This is the music dept. at Norton Hill School. Can we have our Glockenspeil back please. 😉

Comment by Headmaster

Hey, I took that picture! Shoulda watermarked it better 😛 It IS a good looking instrument. I enjoyed it.

Comment by Felicia McCaulley

nobody should buy it so gareth is stuck with it. I’d gladly give $100 to gareth so that he’d keep it and continue to use the “piece of crap.” That is like half of the reason why I started listening to LC! in the first place. I figured any band that could find a way to fit a glock into their sound must be legit. But now gareth has gone and broken my dreams of how a proper band can run. Gareth, you’ve made 2010 the year that LC has broken my heart.

Comment by Florida Awaits You!!!

Well, I somehow came late to the party. However, I thought it was worth my while to go ahead and post even though the 30 hour deadline is far past. In the case you (Gareth) are still willing to take bids, I’ll put in $250.

P.S. I too would like you to keep the glock because I think its plain awesome. The coolest way to rock out is with something that’s not even supposed to be rocked out with in the first place. If you’re gonna sell it though, it would have a treasured place at my house.

Comment by Getty Hall

I really enjoyed your writing.

And it left me without any desire to own the instrument.

Comment by Andrew

[…] use of their many instruments (including Gareth Campesinos! glockenspiel, which has almost become legend) contributed to an album that you couldn’t help but dance to. The songs didn’t just […]

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