Saturday, 23 April 2016

Super Furry Animals / Ffug - Live at Northumbria University Union, Newcastle [23rd April 2016]

[2016.04.23] Tom Hollingworth, for NARC Magazine.

NUU was steadily buzzing, filled almost to capacity at the beginning of the night, as Ffug offered a boring support set sadly their own enthusiasm for could not leaven.

Out of a pulsating blue flush on the stage, with matching heartbeat, Super Furry Animals, in their white coveralls, blossomed with Slow Life and Ice Hockey Hair. As the set progressed, drawing from a catalogue reaching back from as far as the mid-90s, these present performances further clarified the strength in the design and imagination of that songwriting; strong melodies and textures that sound fresh and positive today.

Rhys’ vocals really cut through the PA tonight. At the coda of Run Christian Run, the overlaying cries cleansed like a waterfall. The sonic experience was married with typically playful visual idiosyncrasies, such as laser lights, queue cards and costumes; often registering as absurd and glorious, but somehow never contrived.

After a string of hits, including Juxtaposed With You and Receptacle For The Respectable, SFA finish with The Man Don’t Give A Fuck. As the troop return to the stage with a reprise of that song’s ever-relevant chorus, Rhys raises his final placard with ‘Resist Phoney Encores’ on it, marking out a dignified exit for this band which show no evidence of rust.

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