All Super At Somerset House
I've been to gigs in many different venues, both indoors and out, and I can now add to the list the back yard of the Inland Revenue. For those who aren't aware, the Somerset House series is an annual event in central London, that takes place in what can best be described as a setting that the likes of The National Trust or English Heritage might own; big old buildings surrounding a courtyard with a number of fountains dotted about. The sort of place where you can forget you are in central London, something many of the crowd on this Friday night will have been all too happy to do after the last couple of days in the Capital.
It was touch and go if the show would take place, the Queens of the Stone Age gig the previous night had rightly been postponed but with the exception of one or two, most notably the Queen concert in Hyde Park, the capital's entertainment was all back on. Gruff Rhys made reference to the events of the previous morning, voicing the opinion that "if you declare war on terror then they'll fight back", but overall it was business as usual for the Welsh legends.
The best way of defining the Super Furry Animals is to say that they are a band who throughout their career, which spans over a decade, have always stuck firmly to the principal of making the music they want and sometimes this can be a long way from the commercially acceptable. It has however gained them a massive cult following and this loyal fan base was out in force to see a set that showcased a lot of material from their forth coming 'Love Kraft' album, but that also featured most of their big crowd pleasers, 'Rings Around the World', 'Ice Hockey Hair', 'Juxtaposed With You' and the epic show closer 'The Man Don't Give a Fuck', were particular highlights.
The constant theme with Super Furry Animals is their ability to create excellent mood music, often this can be chilled, so their live performances are more suited to venues such as Somerset House than the more conventional arena. They're also one of the finest outdoor bands around and the often mellow nature of their music is perfect for a summer evening, all be it on this occasion not the warmest of July nights. At the same time as being a band that are atmospheric and sometimes experimental, they do have a handful of full on rock anthems, 'Golden Retriever' is a prime example of this, although sadly that particular track wasn't in this set list. That combination does certainly make them worth checking out if they're ever at a festival near you.