Future-facing, as ever, that’s the Super Furry Animals. Tonight they make a few concessions to the past, but instead they’re more concerned with showcasing the new Welsh-language album ‘Mwng’ (welsh for lion’s mane). And, oh yes, the indecipherable track names are out in full. “This translates as ‘People’s Faces Hanging Off Their Heads’,” mutters Gruff after an uncertain outburst of his native tongue. He could be lying. We’ll never know. What happens next, though, is a psychedelic soul tune Beck himself would sell his skinny white ass for. This is the new SFA, as usual quite spectacularly different from the old SFA, and it’s not just because they’re singing in Welsh. ‘Mwng’ promises to do just what, say, Blur have often tried to do: meld early Beatles with mid-period Beach Boys, like it’s the best idea in the world. And really, despite such dumb simplicity, it is.
“We’re gonna take you back to the last century,” goes Gruff, before they launch into a scorching ‘Ice Hockey Hair’. It’s an old song. It transcends it’s history. It’s great. Unlike most bands, SFA no longer have to rely on such a compelling nostalgia trip. They know that the best is yet to come.
The finale evolves from pop heaven bundled with a slice of ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon’ to krautrock nirvana, Stuart from Mogwai materialises onstage for a burst of determined anarchic tambourine abuse putting a full stop to an evening of unbridled perfection.
The best band in the country, unbelievably, have just got better.