Neon Neon make live debut at SXSW pool party

Gruff Rhys' supergroup are joined by a special guest

Neon Neon were joined by Har Mar Superstar for their first ever live show at SXSW today (March 13).

Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys debuted his new “supergroup” with a warm-up show for an official showcase later this week, at the Sansa Playground private party this afternoon following a week of rehearsals in Los Angeles.

And Har Mar, also performing in Austin later tonight, joined the collective on guest vocals for ‘Trick For Treat’.

But it took all of the collective’s ingenuity to pull the show off after a bass-guitar related calamity threatened to nix the performance altogether.

The band – comprising Rhys, producer Boom Bip and bass player Cate LeBon – had been due to take the stage at 7.15pm. But a bass string broke during soundcheck, and with the support band The Whip having since left the remote venue, there was no replacement for miles around.

After an hour delay, Rhys finally took the stage and announced: “We’re a supergroup, like Crosby, Stills and Nash sort of thing. There’s a bass guitar on the way from downtown Austin, so we’re just going to play some songs (that we can get away with playing without bass) in random order.”

He explained: “Our friend Tom is bringing it over, you can feel the power of Tom bringing the guitar across the hills of Austin.”

He went on to explain the concept behind the band’s album ‘Stainless Style’, based upon the life of playboy and car manufacturer John DeLorean, explaining how opening song ‘Raquel’ was based upon tales of an affair DeLorean allegedly had with actress Raquel Welch.

‘I Lust U’ recounted “a dark period in DeLorean‘s life when he was having lots of affairs,” while ‘Michael Douglas’ describes the time when DeLorean “redesigned his own chin while sitting at pool parties in LA with Michael Douglas.” The irony was not lost that Neon Neon’s first gig took place at a pool party itself.

But the biggest surprise came when Har Mar took the stage. As they finished the song, Tom arrived with the bass, and the show was jointly dedicated to him and Michael Douglas.

Neon Neon played:


‘I Lust U’

‘Trick For Treat’

‘Dream Cars’

‘Neon Theme’

‘Michael Douglas’

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