By Desh Kapur, Rock At Night Manchester Correspondent
Venue Cymru Arena, Llandudno – North Wales -December 3, 2016–SUPER FURRY ANIMALS – Bill Ryder-Jones
Obviously my letter to Santa had arrived at the North Pole and yes, I had been a good boy after all, because here I was reporting for Rock at Night at a gig combining the seminal and may I humbly and in my opinion say, the best Welsh band of the past 20 or so years, Super Furry Animals, a band still carrying the label of Brit Pop but in so many different ways (think psychodelia meets electronica on the way to a coffee with Indie and you might get close!) with Bill Ryder-Jones, a man who put the cool into the supercool The Coral before leaving to pursue more solitary musings.
The amuse bouche was in fact the aforementioned Mr. Ryder-Jones, a man I had wanted to see live for quite some time now and a man not here to disappoint. It has been 20 years since The Coral, a band he had joined at the tender age of 13 and after battles with illness, has returned to tour with The Arctic Monkeys in support of the album AM and released a further 3 albums of melancholic reflection, the latest being the excellent West Kirby County Primary. Half an hour later, after music that inspired memories of Sonic Youth and Sub Pop layered with Lou Reed/Velvet Underground especially on the stand out, “Satellites”, he was gone, but it had not been long enough to get the full picture of his amazing talent and I truly look forward to seeing him headline his own shows and playing much longer than he did tonight, much longer.
Yet soon the techs were setting about the stage and the excited crowd started streaming into the room in anticipation of the main event, two hours of their heroes, Super Furry Animals. The band have been touring the UK in tandem with the re-release of their first two albums, Fuzzy Logic and Radiator. The albums have been remastered and contain some alternative beginnings and endings, alongsideunreleased tracks and B-sides with 35 being on Fuzzy Logic alone. Playing both albums in full tonight, this had all the hallmarks of something memorable for the true fan, bliss!
Taking to the stage in white boiler suits and with a quick ‘hello’ from Guyff, we were soon taken on a journey of track after track, effortlessly and lovingly performed , with the appreciative audience holding nothing back. I had forgotten how wonderful this band were and especially those first two albums, and it was an amazing experience to be catapulted back to that time when music was so inspirational in Britain, back to that brilliance.
Then it all came too quickly to an end, but not before a rousing version of the iconic ‘ The man don’t give a fuck’ .Oh yes! With its atmospheric acoustic opening paired with the voice of Guyff, it walked its way towards the chorus and when it arrived threw the room into a flood of bobbing heads and searing voices, all wanting to join in, all wanting the moment to last beyond this day. The stripped back second verse was no different and it became more majestic still, with a solo beyond solos and as the band left to the rising crackle of feedback and an almost frenzied buzz of the crowd , we knew we had seen and been with the best of them. And so, when they returned for one last rendition and solo, yeti suits on, it was proven so and finally with a cheeky shoulder to shoulder pose and a wave they too were gone. What a night, a night for the fans and words now failed me, except to say, as the Welsh would say, Diolch yn fawr Super Furry Animals, until the next time.
Super Furry Animals
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