Super Furry Animals - Manchester Academy / Night & Day - 16.6.01
Despite the techno beats and DVD's there's always been something quite traditional about the Super Furries. It sounds patronizing to say so but its definitely a Welsh thing. Take a city like Manchester where there's always some new fashion or fad around the corner or London where its so scene led that there is no such thing as taste makers. Wales has always had that kind of mainstream culture where there really only is two choices - The conventional chart music or traditional folk music. Its in the middle of these polar opposites that the SFA stand proud and if you think about it techno music is quite old hat nowadays.
So much for secret acoustic gigs!!!! The place is rammed full with a mixture of journo's, C-list Manchester celebs (I.e. - Alfie) and a splattering of fans with a nose for things like this. After Gruff mounts a table for a near perfect rendition of "Fire In My Heart" it all goes strangely and perversely pear shaped. The balls are released and a comedy bingo caller selects the songs out of 100. A novel idea but a little tedious when the band can't remember one for the first half hour. Once started there's no stopping them with "Guacamole", "Demons" and "The Man Don't Give A Fuck" rolled out one after the other. Chuck in a couple of b-sides, a few off "Myng" and you're left with a near perfect set-list.....
.....which makes the proper show something of a let down. Its not that its not good. It is. But its just not a greatest hits set. Using the quadraphonic sound system to the full with a "Rings Around The World" vocal intro is perhaps a moment of genius. In terms of technology you'd find very few guitar band trying to push the boundaries and its these little pleasures that make it worth trawling though gig after gig after gig. With the aforementioned album to promote much of the bands greatest moments are pushed aside for newies such as "Presidential Suite" and "Juxtaposed With U". Real classic tunes but unlike most of tonight's audience i've had the chance to listen to the album already and that always gives you a different perspective on things.
Changing the habit of a life-time they choose not to close with "The Man Don't Give A Fuck" - still as fresh and full of attitude as the first day you heard it and ultimately the only thing to follow it is a 10 minute punk-techno crossover by the name of "Stooges". Everything that ever changed the face of music thrown into a mixer and spat out at 100 miles an hour. Perfection crystallized in ten. Its getting better all the time and when history is written is will be the Super Furries in there as a truly innovative band. If you haven't taken notice yet then wake up and smell the roses.