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You Are, You Are A Furry Thing

Furry Yep, I said it. It's hard not to think Blur 1995 when listening to a lot of Super Furry Animals' tunes, and that's not a bad thing. Those were happy times in Britpop, before Gorillaz were churning out cartoon hits and an Oasis brothers feud was only in its infancy.

But while those memories are just that, SFA has pressed on, marrying numerous different styles over the years and garnering a strong cult following here in the U.S. We noticed a few things while in attendance at the Welsh space-prog-poppers Bowery Ballroom show last night on Feb. 25.

Lead Furry Gruff Rhys likes to chat between songs. What's quickly noticeable, and quite strange, is that his Welsh accent is much harder to understand when he's not singing. Only when he's strumming along to the guitar, playing the piano or walking around with a crash helmet on (which he did twice), was he easy to discern.

Rhys is also a bit of a joker; he crunched into a carrot for a rhythm effect; thanked his crew who he credited as actually writing all of the SFA material (the band just auditioned to play it), and they made up two new songs on the spot. Both were a cappella, and only contained one lyric each. "Earth" and "Earth 2" lacked in sound and innovation, but they did manage to convince most of the audience to put their hands upon their heads, and give "spirit fingers." Their deadpan convincing that this would help them somehow, well, fooled us, twice. Shame on us.

Oh, and they played some tunes too. Oldies such as "Ring Around the World," "Hello Sunshine," "Do or Die" and "Fire In My Heart" made appearances. But the highlight might have been the spacey, delightfully funky "The Gift That Keeps Giving." Rhys sat hunched over the piano, his voice sounding flawless as he hit the higher notes and some Theremin-sounding effects accompanied him.

Earlier in the evening, Rhys mentioned that it was "Wales Week" here in New York, prompting the band to celebrate the night before with Matador's Times New Viking. But they swore up and down that the honoring of their homeland and their tour conclusion was purely a coincidence. Sure. We believe you. -- Michael D. Ayers

February 27, 2008 | Permalink


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