Spotlight: Super Furry Animals

SPOTLIGHT : Super Furry Animals


Arriving onto the scene with their record-breaking debut release ‘Fuzzy Logic’ twenty years ago, Super Furry Animals achieved mainstream success in the 1990s with their own brand of experimental yet classic songwriting.

Where are they from?

The band got to together in 1993 in Cardiff, with members having been in a number of Welsh-language groups prior to forming.

What do they sound like?

SFA sound like a lot of things – each album golden but rarely the same. The band could never be accused of remaining static or making the same album twice. Their approach is one of classic songwriting with strong hooks, catchy choruses and great lyrics, but always innovative.

It’s a sound that’s both experimental and accessible, as well as varied. A listener may be taken down various musical paths when exposed to the Furries‘ sound – from the rough and raw ‘God! Show Me Magic’ to the drum ‘n’ bass departures of ‘The Door to This House Remains Open’, or even the pedal steel country of ‘Run! Christian, Run!’

Songs to get you started:

‘Hermann Loves Pauline’ (1997), ‘Something for the Weekend’ (1996), ‘Ice Hockey Hair’ (1998), ‘Hometown Unicorn’ (1996), ‘No Sympathy’ (2001), ‘Play It Cool’ (1997), ‘It’s Not the End of the World?’ (2001), ‘Run! Christian, Run!’ (2001), ‘She’s Got Spies’ (1997), ‘God! Show Me Magic’ (1996)

What are they doing now?

In May, the band released the previously buried ‘Bing Bong’ – a song originally written for the 2004 European football finals, in which Wales narrowly missed out on qualifying. However, the unexpected success of the Welsh team in the 2016 tournament managed to bizarrely coincide with the song’s unearthing.

Right now Super Furry Animals are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their 1996 debut ‘Fuzzy Logic’ with a reissue, which includes the original album along with B-sides and rarities. To accompany the reissue, the Furries are doing a November/December tour of the UK.

Bonus points facts:

  • Actor Rhys Ifans is a former member of the band.
  • The live reissue of their single, ‘The Man Don’t Give A Fuck’, broke the record for the most instances of the word ‘fuck’ in a song.
  • The name Super Furry Animals came from t-shirts being printed by singer Gruff Rhys‘s sister.
  • The band’s debut album, ‘Fuzzy Logic’, was the first album on which Gruff Rhys sang in English, having previously only been in Welsh-language bands.
  • Allegedly, after a gig which led to the band’s signing, Alan McGee (Creation records) asked the band why they don’t sing more songs in English – the band’s reply was that every song in the set had been.
  • Famously pacifists, SFA once modified a tank into a sound system which they drove around music festivals.
  • … and they tried to convert an aircraft carrier into a “mobile nightclub of no national jurisdiction.”
  • For the entirety of their ‘Phantom Power’ tour, the band were dressed as yetis.