After dark good times.
At times, there are possibly only so many times a person should see a band. No matter how good they are, how fresh and exciting can it be to see a band so regularly. Whenever stories abound of people whose main hobby or even career is to follow a band 100%, it leaves a hollow feeling, almost as if they are doing it for themselves, as if it wouldn't be a show if they weren't there. In some strange and twisted way, they possibly believe themselves to be as key an element as the band itself.
Okay, here is time for a small confession. Whilst being nowhere near that crazy, the Summercase festival was the 18th time this writer has caught the Super Furry Animals live. Spread over ten years that isn't too bad, just under twice a year and when you think that includes festival slots and support acts, even the Furrymania weekender, then it's justifiable....isn't it?
Any thoughts of doubt are quickly washed away by the spectacle and sounds served up by the band. Heck, Gruff coming on stage wearing a Power Rangers helmet is no longer new but it is still exciting and fun to see and given that the track he does it to is 'Slow Life', then it wouldn't be the same without it. Quickly following up with 'Juxtaposed Wit U', it's strange to consider that the Super Furries never made it bigger than what they are. They positively drip melodies and inventiveness and if their greatest hits was marketed properly, the band could have had a sizeable relaunch but no, it was allowed to slip by without too much. Given that the single released was a live version of set closer, 'The Man Don't Give A Fuck', it's perhaps unsurprising that not too much radio airplay was given over to the release.
With a mid set break to play material from recent album 'Love Kraft', the back to the core member line-up of the band accelerated towards the finish line and reminded everyone of just how many great moments they have.
'Ice Hockey Hair' was played and although the vocoded effect was dropped due to earlier problems, the song remains captivating and a hidden gem. Its finale of "now that you're here, tell me you're a non-believer" rang round the crowd and kicked off some pogoing. It was noticeable during the Furries' set that the crowd seemed to have more of a British element compared to the rest of the acts on show. Given their multi-lingual skills and love of melody, it was thought that SFA would appeal globally (drawing rings around the world in fact) but perhaps just not tonight.
With first Creation single 'God Show Me Magic' and a quick blast of 'Calimero' and its outro of "I feel no chicken tonight" crossing the line between brilliance and absurdity, the stage was set for the closer.
As the stage fell dark and the booming "All Governments are Liars and Murderers" message spreading throughout the crowd, the band launched into 'The Man Don't Give A Fuck.' The band were as tight as ever but the crowd never launched into it in the same manner as they would have done back in Britain and for once, the insanity was reigned in. With that, and the usual Ciaran techno freakout and a video tour of Barca showing on the big screen, the Super Furry Animals were done for the evening.
Yet another solid dependable show from one of the best bands around, the crowd just never lived up to the act.