A Beginner’s Guide To… Super Furry Animals
Rachel Urbanowski talks us through her favourite band in the world...
Who They Are
The Super Furries grew out of the Welsh language pop scene of the late '80s before forming a techno collective called SFA Soundsystem. After the Criminal Justice Bill effectively banned outdoors raves, SFA became more of a rock band - with Rhys Ifans on vocals, no less. A year later, and Rhys had left to pursue acting, leaving the Furries to get signed to Creation Records.
Why You Should Love Them
The band made the most of Creation's marketing budget - funded mostly by Oasis album sales - to buy an army tank and install a techno soundsystem inside, effectively meaning they could rave outdoors and there was bugger all the cops could do about it. Indeed, the Furries never quite left their Soundsystem beginnings behind, and mixed up synths, samplers and rock far more interestingly than the Britpop bores of the late '90s. Like a dadaist blend of The KLF and The Merry Pranksters, the band have been a day-glo ideas factory since 1995, all underpinned by some awesomely catchy songwriting.
Our Favourite Album
It's a tough call but we'd have to go with 'Guerrilla' (1999). Like a Hawaiian beach of surf-punk, tropical drum 'n' bass and harmonic pop, this album finds the Furries at their catchy, energetic and optimistic best. The lyrics to Guerilla came complete with their own coded language - the dictionary of which was hidden in the packaging - and live it saw the band pre-empt the Flaming Lips with a horde of (people dressed as) monsters invading the stage to dance.
Top Five Tracks
Wherever I Leave My Phone (That's My Home)
Receptacle For The Respectable
The Very Best of Neil Diamond