Super Furry Animals - Rock City, Nottingham - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Super Furry Animals - Rock City, Nottingham

by Lawrence Poole Rating: Release Date:

Dangerous and much-mocked leader in the US? Conservative domination on this side of the pond? In perhaps the most depressing political climate for a generation, there’s no doubt we need SFA and their quirky, madcap brilliance more than ever.

Despite being lumped in with the good, bad and ugly on the Britpop cannon back in 1996, the Super Furries were never comfortable being branded as members of The Good Mixer set and understandably so. Their brand of surf-tinged, indie-psych pop had them quickly labelled as leftfield outsiders with a  very particular, yet loyal and ardent fanbase.

Nine eclectic, strange and at times, utterly sublime studio albums later and frontman Gruff Rhys and Co are in town to treat the masses to full renditions of their first two long-players, Fuzzy Logic and Radiator to mark 20 years since their debut.

Eschewing the Christmas-jumper clad madness unfolding outside, hundreds of revellers orally marinated in nostalgia for a couple of thoroughly joyous hours. Sporting CSI-style overalls and the kind of dazzling lighting spectrum, which wouldn’t have looked out of place in an arena setting, the five-piece blitzed through their first offering from their debut in fine style. Something 4 The Weekend, Hometown Unicorn and If You Don’t Want Me To Destroy You were all rapturously received, while a touching tribute to their writing inspiration, the late Howard Marks, was also warmly welcomed.

Cue cards announcing their following up release, 1997’s Radiator, saw things take a more cerebral direction, with layered textured sounds replacing the jangling guitar licks and horn blasts from their first outing.

Demons, a lush She’s Got Spies and climatic Mountain People, all sounded excellent and by the time the rabble-rousing, The Man Don’t Give A F*ck’ was aired, many a bearded hipster was throwing caution to the wind and moshing with the best of them while the band spurred them on in trademark hairy monster costumes.

Far better musicians than perhaps given credit for, unlike a lot of these ‘album in its entirety’ tours which are a step too far (The Fratellis, Kula Shaker anyone?) – this show was a timely and completely warranted reminder of the band’s beguiling genius. Fuzzy Logic or not – there is definitely still plenty of reason to their rhymes.

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