Gruff Rhys tells NME.COM how the offer to play in front of a 72,000 home crowd came about...

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS frontman GRUFF RHYS has admitted the band were asked to entertain the crowd as this weekend’s WALES versus AZERBAIJAN soccer match by the stadium announcer!

As previously announced on NME.COM, the band will perform forthcoming single ‘Golden Retriever’, out June 30, before a 72,000 sell-out Cardiff Millennium Stadium crowd before the crucial European Championship qualifier on Saturday (March 29).

Rhys told NME.COM: “The guy who asked us does the half-time announcements at Cardiff City and Wales games. He’s a great bloke, and he really knows his music.

“When Wales beat Italy in Cardiff last year (2-1 in October) he played ‘The Harder They Come’ (by Jimmy Cliff) and ‘Shaddap You Face’ (by Joe Dolce Music Theatre).

“The guy phoned up and asked us to play at this one. It’s gonna be our biggest ever gig.”

When asked if he thought the currently unbeaten Wales were going to qualify for next year’s finals in Portugal. having not qualified for a major tournament since 1958, Rhys commented: “We would never take anything for granted!”

As previously revealed on NME.COM, the band release new LP ‘Phantom Power’ on July 14 through Epic.

SFA are expected to preview the LP on April 19 at London’s Royal Festival Hall, as part of the [/a]-curated ‘Down The Dustpipe’ festival.

Tickets, which cost between £17.50 and £22.50, can be bought by calling 020 7960 4242 or [url=]clicking here.

The band’s first major show of the year, however, takes place in Bethesda, Gwynedd, north Wales, on June 21. The concert, subject to license, will occur in a 5,000 capacity tent, to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great Bethesda Quarry Strike, which took place from 1900-03 and became Britain’s longest ever strike. The all-day event – for which the full line-up will be announced shortly – is part of a yearlong commemorative festival in Bethesda.

To buy tickets, [url=]click here or call the NME Ticketline on 0870 1 663 663.

The band have also confirmed for the Move festival at Lancashire County Cricket Ground, Manchester on July 11, where they will be main support to [a].

To buy tickets, [url=]click here or call the NME Ticketline on 0870 1 663 663.