Pop review: Super Furry Animals UEA, Norwich
Tuesday 26 May 1998
Such joie de vivre was understandable, for Super Furry Animals' "love" show has recently developed into a mini-extravaganza which bombards the sensorium. Gruff stood stage right with a huge, inflatable thought-bubble above his head. At strategic moments, words and images were projected on to it. To his left, the giant inflatable light bulb above Huw Bunford cast the lead-guitarist as a man of ideas. Centre stage was dominated by a brace of kettle drums.
While we read their minds on the inflatables, our ears were sweetly blasted by a quadraphonic sound-system previously used by both Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead. This was particularly effective at the end of "Smokin'", with textured throbs of analogue synth shafting us from behind, hitting our aural G-spots and drawing us into the vortex of the song's Funkadelic- meets-Rod Stewart chorus. Whether the song is a marijuana-nation anthem, or - as Gruff recently joked - a rallying call for Britain's mackerel fishermen, it grooves mightily.
Earlier, "Ice Hockey Hair" (those helmets play havoc with your barnet, apparently) was a mid-set highlight. This title track from the band's new EP funnels psychedelia and acid house influences into test tubes fizzing with pop suss. With it's "now that you're here tell me you're a non-believer" outre-hook grafted on a la "Hey Jude", the audience found its climactic qualities irresistible.
Those kettle drums, incidentally, were played just once. A decadent appendage to the sonic arsenal, they were a reminder that SFA are shifting up a gear on all fronts. Perhaps Creation records have realised that, with the Gallagher brothers poised at the top of the down escalator, and the Super Furry's penning monster tunes on an almost weekly basis, these former patrons of the Welsh anarcho-punk circuit are worthy of a little more financial muscle.
The closing two numbers of their near-two-hour-set were divine. First, we got "God Show Me Magic" - its indie T-Rex hook clear proof that he did - then they closed with "The Man Don't Give A Fuck". As the sensurround sound kicked-in to add ironic weight to the song's 52 expletives, I watched a girl being ported out on a St John's ambulance stretcher. Just mild hysteria, I think.
Life & Style blogs
Three in every four British men will be obese by 2030, says World Health Organisation
How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
The 12 most sexually satisfied countries in the world revealed
Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
- 1 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 2 Pub landlord captures moment customer falls over on CCTV – just like Del Boy did on Only Fools and Horses
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...
£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...