I’ve made an Electric Picnic DJ Mix every year since 2008. It’s always been a blast to make and a highlight of the site for me personally. 2016’s mix features 22 artists on the Electric Picnic lineup over 20 songs in just under 55 minutes.
It’s for bumping for your festival prep for the next week or in the car on the way down to Stradbally. Last year’s mix.
Sweet. One of my favourite albums of all-time will be played in full along with one of the first I bought when Super Furry Animals come to Dublin on Thursday December 1st.
The Fuzzy Logic / Radiator tour is going around the UK and Ireland marks the restored and reissued releases of the albums coming out on November 4th on vinyl, CD and digital remastered from the original tape reels. A bonus disc of essential tracks, titled ‘Lost On The Bypass Road’ is also included. A best of ZOOM! The Best of Super Furry Animals, 1995 – 2016 is also forthcoming.
Tickets are €28.50 + fee and restoration levy for Dublin go on sale at 9am this Friday, August 12th from Ticketmaster outlets.
The Limelight 1 Belfast show on Wednesday November 30th is priced at £24.50 + fees.
Super Furry Animals’ Fuzzy Logic/Radiator Tour presale begins Wednesday, August 10 at 9am. Sign up at superfurry.com/tickets before 5pm on Tuesday 9th August to receive the presale access code. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday 12 August 2016 at 9am and takes in the following venues:
Wed 30 Nov – Belfast Limelight
Thu 1 Dec – Dublin Olympia
Sun 4 Dec – Norwich UEA
Tue 6 Dec – Bristol O2 Academy
Wed 7 Dec – Bournemouth O2 Academy
Thu 8 Dec/Fri 9 Dec – London Roundhouse
Sat 10 Dec – Birmingham 02 Academy
Mon 12 Dec – Edinburgh Usher Hall
Tue 13 Dec – Brighton Dome
Thu 15 Dec – Leeds 02 Academy
Fri 16 Dec – Nottingham Rock City
Sat 17 Dec – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
After last year’s reunion shows, the Super Furries will be playing a US tour and festivals like Electric Picnic later this year, so, when a band is active again you know what can happen… they have now shared a sprightly new song called ‘Bing Bong’, a song originally written for the 2004 Euros in Portugal.
“Bing Bong is a Welsh folk idiom that we have appropriated, but its pronunciation has been partly inspired by the sonic motif of the talking robot, Twiki, in the 1979-81 sci-fi series ‘Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century’. Into the studio we went, with wagging tails to record what is a rite of passage to many a band: the football cup song.”
The band were moved to finish the song by the success of the Welsh team qualifying for this year’s competition.
It’s a well-titled, bouncy jaunty theme-song style track and the artwork is by the band’s long time collaborator Pete Fowler.
Oh! Glowing Moon
Oh! Moon of beauty
You peak every month
But I’m constantly peaking.
From Môn to Monmouth
From Fflint to Penfro
From the Gwyrfai to the Taff
The ball’s like a pixel
In a game of Pong
Noise comes from our screens;
‘Bing’ and then ‘Bong’
And so significant
Is our cry
That no computer
Can control our flow
(Artwork by Pete Fowler, The track is available from Friday 13th May: superfurry.com)
Update: It’s 2016, I found this post and enjoyed it. I’ve now added a Spotify playlist of all of the albums available.
Below is a list of my favourite records of the ten years between the turn of the millenium, the year 2000 and 2010. Ranking these albums was led by a) what the album means to me and b) how often I’d listen to it. Each and every one of these albums blew me away repeatedly at some time between the ages of 18 and 27. Each one has something special going for it, something magical that brings me back to it. For that I can only thank the creators of each.
Without further ado, here are my favourite 50 albums from the decade. And remember, you can’t be wrong if they are your favourites.
Body & Soul Festival does things differently. The festival on the grounds of Ballinlough Castle doesn’t just erect some tents and hire stages, it builds bespoke areas to house music and people, it embellishes them with installations, art and a thoughtfulness that makes for a special experience, taking in a walled garden, custom-built bars, an amphitheatre, woodlands and much more. You can read more on the festival’s ethos in my interview with festival director Avril Stanley.
There are a few must-visit areas at the festival, Wonderlust in the walled garden features thoughtful talks during the day, with music at night and bingo and performances in between. It’s a perfect place to hang out and with the Happy Pear just around the corner, a good place to stop for food. Tree Haus, curated by Homebeat will host a haven of great Irish music and on Saturday and Sunday in the woods. We are giving it some Vinyl Love from Noon to 5pm at Tree haus with over 20 DJs playing 7 of their favourite 7″s on rotation. Stumble upon a cottage late into the night done up like the living room of filmmaker Myles O’Reilly and you will have found the Arbutus Yarns theatre with its sense of lawlessness and creativity. Or how about some special cocktails and tunes at The Glasshouse? Vodafone Centre Stage will also be there for with a full array of comedians at the Vodafone Comedy Tent too.
Before we get into the live acts, here are just some of DJs worth a dance to down there this year: Get Down Edits, Sally Cinnamon, Decent Perks, This Greedy Pig, Mother, Hidden Agenda, Laura Bap To The Future, Stevie G and Donal Dineen.
Here are 20 bands and artists to catch at the festival.
Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds and Faroe Islands’ synth-pop musician Janus Rasmussen’s Kiasmos project mixes glacial electronics with a classical grandeur, creating minimal dance music from disparate textures. As they showed in the Opium Rooms in April, their live set hits hard with beats and beauty.
2. Super Furry Animals
There is no better place for the return of the Welsh pop weirdos than the amphitheatre at Body & Soul. Expect a smattering of Yeti and Power Ranger costuming among the catalogue of electronic, folk and psychedelic gems. If anything, their stature as one of the UK’s best bands has grown since they were away.
Katie Stelmanis and band create twinkling night-time dance atmospheres with synths and operatic vocals. Shake it out.
Eoin French sound draws on ambience, reverb, falsetto and honey-eyed song craft. Live with a full band or as a solo musician on piano, his performances were among the best I saw last year.
Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal’s project produced a sophisticated collection of music that is informed by things that maybe aren’t considered cool – disco-lite and soft jazz, lounge-fun. The result is emotional R&B songs with love at its heart. This will be their first Irish show.
6. Dan Deacon
There ain’t no show like a Dan Deacon show. Whether he’s picking out audience members for dance offs, forming a conga line around and outside the venue or generally shattering the barriers between performer and audience, Deacon’s live show is a must see. With new album Gliss Riffer presenting a deeper compositional side to the Baltimore music, his Body & Soul performance may be a re-invigorating highlight.
Galway’s Maria Somerville makes slow, moving music with the barest of instruments and the most delicate of touch. She hasn’t been giving much away of late so the festival will be an opportunity to see how that slow moving sound is progressing.
Cork funk and soul eight-piece band Shookrah burst into my conscious with the righteous and celebatory ‘Woman’.
9. Hare Squead
Friday / Saturday
A trio of rappers from South county Dublin still in their teens, Jessy Rose, Tony Konstone and E-Knock move between rap, R&B and pop and do it with a full band with backing singers and a barrel of youthful exuberance. A glimpse of the future.
10. Natalie Prass
Having sat in the wings as Matthew E.White’s career was taking off, this year was the time for Prass and her classic songwriting with the honeyed voice to take her own impact. White’s Spacebomb records released Prass’ self-titled debut album this year to great acclaim and Body & Soul will be her third appearance in Ireland after a support slot with Ryan Adams and a solo show in Whelan’s.
AH. Super Furry Animals couldn’t have picked a better place to come and play their first Irish show in years other than Body & Soul.
They’ve just been added to the lineup for the summer solstice weekend from June 19th to 21st in Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath along with:
Super Furry Animals, Tiga, Kiasmos (as revealed at their gig), SOAK , Kuenta i Tambu (KiT), Vin Gordon and the Real Rock Band, Clu, Cloud Castle Lake, Bleeding Heart Pigeons, Planet Parade and a new 2000-capacity venue featuring Northern Soul, reggae, ska fun kand more with The Mouse Outfit, Chai Wallah, Stuff and more to play.
SFA have just started back playing live again to promote their Welsh language reissue Mwng. Here they are from this week:
A petrol station is not supposed to be a fountain of knowledge. A newspaper, a magazine, or possibly a trashy novel can be procured, but real biographical information is not something that you might expect. Except in the days before the internet, UK motorway service stations always had these random items that you can’t imagine anyone would want. Maybe they still have them (a band who tour regularly would know?).
For the Welsh band Super Furry Animals, a petrol station’s random book contents became the inspiration for ‘Hermann ♥s Pauline’. Short books about famous figures were sold there and thin biographies of Nobel prizewinning chemist/physicist Marie Curie, theoretical physicist Albert Einstein and Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara form the basis of this song, which is filled with facts from their lives. Super Furries take facts and have a bit of fun with them. “Marie Curie was Polish born but French bred! HA French Bread!”. The lovers in the title are Einstein’s parents.
Super Furry Animals have been one of my favourite bands since I bought Fuzzy Logic only to find, due to a manufacturing error that the single for Oasis’ ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ was on the SFA-stamped disc. Creation Records’ notorious professionalism in action.
‘Hermann ♥s Pauline’ has a lot of why I love the band and it features on one of my favourite albums of all-time Radiator. The band’s eclectic weirdness is present throughout: from the electronic pulse in the background, to the guitar riff and drum intro that sound like shattering glass, to the 70s-backing vocals underpinning the song to their inherent gift for giddy pop melodies wrapped up in all of that weirdness.
This morning the band announced they are reissuing their Welsh-language album Mwng on Domino Records in deluxe 15th annicersary format and going back on tour in May, their first since 2009. All UK dates so far but c’mon, there is an Irish date about to be announced, you’d bet your iPhone on it.
Mwng will be re-released on a Friday (May 1st, International Worker’s Day). The reissue comes in several formats. Deluxe editions (vinyl, CD and download) contain five tracks previously released on the US version of Mwng under the name Mwng Bach as well as a previously unreleased Peel session and a full live show recorded at ATP. The album is available to pre-order from Domino and from iTunes. Pre-orders of the physical album from Domino will receive a download of the standard album immediately.
1st May – Caerdydd / Cardiff University Great Hall
2nd May – Caerdydd / Cardiff University Great Hall
5th May – Glasgow O2 Academy
6th May – Manchester Albert Hall
8th May – London O2 Academy Brixton
SFA’s Gruff Rhys returns to his solo material this month. Firstly with a new song ‘Shark Ridden Waters’ which is from Rhys’ upcoming third album due in February. The song will be released on 12″ on November 5th, was produced by Andy Votel and is shimmeringly lovely.
Even better Gruff will be be playing a number of UK and Europe dates next month including a three Irish dates: Sat 13th Nov @ Town Hall Theatre, Galway , Sun 14th Nov @ The Empire, Belfast, Mon 15th Nov @ The Sugar Club, Dublin. Full details after the jump. Also watch out for a screening of Separado! at Darklight and a Q&A with Gruff about his South American movie adventure to find his long lost Patagonian uncle. That takes place in the IFI in association with Synth Eastwood on 30th of October.
Gruff Rhys has hooked up with Brazilian TV and VCR repairman Tony Da Gatorra for an album called The Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness to be released in July.
Gruff tracked down Tony, a cult hero for the filming of the documentary Separado! in South America. Having met, the pair played their first gig together and then booked into a studio in Sao Paulo for rehearsals. Tony Da Gatorra is a musical freedom fighter and the inventor of his own unique ‘Gatorra’ instrument. Part drum machine, part guitar, the Gatorra provides the unique sonic style of Tony’s peace-loving protest songs and features heavily throughout The Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness.
We spent 5 days rehearsing a set of songs to play live at the venue – our only shared language was music itself so there was no small talk, just intense concentration on the music. On the final day, as the rehearsals had been so productive, we hooked up some recording equipment and took about 5 hours out to make this record. We recorded several live takes of each song then chose the best versions. I added a harmony vocal overdub on two songs, otherwise it’s pretty much what we recorded at the time. Upon returning to Cardiff I took the songs to producer Kris Jenkins’s studio whose excitement for the album and general encouragement was infectious – then we called in noise legend Sir Doufus Styles to oversee the final mix. Armed with 5 flasks of strong coffee, 75 sticks of gum and a bank of vintage compressors we mixed The Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness at extremely loud volume in one epic 12 hour session.
Tony Da Gatorra:
Hello, peace my brothers, this record was made with lots of feelings and true love to bring consciousness and show a little bit of truth that needs to be said without hypocrisy. We are creatures of God, so there’s no death. Spirit is light, all evil won’t prevail – there’s no evil when it crashes with goodwill.
The duo will also be playing live shows at Field Day, Camp Bestival and Clwb Ifor Bach.
“Tonight’s show is dedicated to Elvis Presley..” chuckles Gruff, picking up his guitar ready to embark on a two hour excursion into the Furries back catalogue. The strains of a psychedelic acappella version of “Baby ate my eightball” segues into the band launching into half a dozen or so short but sweet numbers including “Do or Die” (Guerilla), “Golden Retriever” (Phantom Power), “Run Away” (Hey! Venus) and “Northern Lites” (Guerilla). Despite their upbeat efforts, something is lacking in the room: a combination of rusty band, sound missing a punch and a packed crowd.
Having just released Hey! Venus, their eighth studio album and their most comfortable sounding to date and they look exactly that, comfortable packing out a venue as large as Vicar Street. Guitarist, Huw Bunford or Bunf as he is affectionately known is sporting a ginormous Jesus beard and is expressing his disbelief at how large his beer bottle is – “It makes my amp look smaller!” while Gruff holds up an insignia with “THE VERY BEST OF NEIL DIAMOND” printed on it. (more…)