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Cardiff Review - 04/05/2015

For a band with such a forward-thinking outlook as Super Furry Animals, it seemed initially surprising that the main reason behind their first tour in six years is to mark a couple of anniversaries.

However, the dates - which begin officially tonight inside a sweaty university hall in the city the Furries regard as home – were booked to plug the 15th anniversary reissue of their Welsh language album 'Mwng', as well as marking 20 years since their first EP. It's an appropriate time to remind people of the synapse-shredding brilliance of one of the UK's best ever groups – who formed in 1993 and went on hiatus between 2010-2014 – especially as there remains a nagging feeling that their excellence was taken somewhat for granted. As singer Gruff Rhys told NME recently "it's nice to remind people what we've done" – namely recording a peerless back catalogue and developing a reputation for performing astonishing gigs that in the past have featured headbanging yetis, dancing monsters and mobile phones, 40ft inflatable bears and making an entrance on a golf buggy. They inspire utter devotion from their followers, whose giddy excitement can be sensed the minute you walk in. There is frenzied chatter about what will they play, and in the end so strong is their back catalogue that tonight's 25-song set leaves out some of their biggest hit singles without anybody being bothered in the slightest. Many fans are here with their kids, most of whom have never witnessed the Furries' magical mayhem.

Read more at nme.com

Super Furry Animals Come out of Hibernation - 03/05/2015

Back together and back on the road, Super Furry Animals tell Sarah Walters why the 15th anniversary of their Welsh album Mwng has been their inspiration to regroup

After a couple of days trying to track him down, Super Furry Animals bassist Guto Pryce is finally on the end of the phone. He apologies, in lively Welsh tones and laughter; the band has been deep in rehearsals for weeks now, and once they get going it's hard to stop. "Although we've been rehearsing hanging around doing nothing, too," Guto jokes. "Which is true to life for a tour."

Read more at manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Super Furry Animals' Guto Pryce on plans for his new outfit Gulp - 6./7-/2012
from walesonline

Gulp is the new project from Super Furry Animals’ bass player Guto Pryce and singer-songwriter Lindsey Leven. As the duo gear up to play their debut gig this week, Guto tells Dave Owens what we can expect from this resolutely DIY outfit

Give us the Gulp back story – how did it come together?

It came together very slowly. Myself and Lindsey did some travelling and spent some time up in the Highlands of Scotland and in West Wales and also in the Californian desert, driving around those areas and listening to music while getting inspired by these great landscapes. So when we’d go to these places we’d come up with musical ideas, not really knowing where it would lead.

We’d done some recording over the last couple of years, but last August we started to work on the two songs, Game Love and Diamonds in the Sky (recently released as the pairing’s debut single). We used our friends and our Furries connections to record the tracks. Daf (Ieuan – SFA drummer) recorded it. It took another six to eight months to finally be happy with the songs and be in a position to release them.

What’s Lindsey’s background?

She was born in Aberdeen and grew up in Dundee. Then she travelled south to study art in London and Cardiff. I just got to know her from seeing her around in Cardiff. It’s a small place. If you’re making music here, you’re very likely to meet in the same pub eventually. She’s done loads but hasn’t stuck around in bands for very long. She had her own solo stuff and appeared at Swn Festival a couple of years ago doing a solo set.

Any reasoning behind the name Gulp?

We went through a long series of names, which I’m not going to tell you what they are! We just had to get a name. It’s a good-looking and sounding word. Pete Fowler (long time SFA collaborator and design wizard) helped us out with the logo and the rest of the artwork is Lindsey’s.

Your approach to Gulp seems very DIY. Does it feel like starting over again for you?

Absolutely. The times are different in the so-called music industry. I think you’ve got to get out there, do it yourself and hopefully you’ll reap the benefits. It’s the only way to make things work. It’s kind of nice doing everything ourselves. When we sell a record, I know about it immediately. I’m the one that goes down the post office and if postage prices go up I know about it. (Laughs) Little things like that affect you. It makes the whole thing very realistic. Whereas before when we had management you are almost in a bubble and not really knowing what goes on day to day. Now it’s very organic. We know if are doing well and sold some records this week or haven’t sold any records.

There’s been a lovely buzz about the single so you must be overjoyed at the response?

Yeah, we’ve been very pleased with it. Because the project was so long getting out there into people’s ears, it’s just nice that people have enjoyed it and it’s been positive. It gives you a little boost ready to take the next step.

The music has a very cinematic quality to it. Were you aiming for that?

That’s right. I love desert landscapes and I love spaghetti westerns so that bit of fantasy and escapism is cool.

I hear you are an obsessive collector of vinyl so have some of your finds influenced the Gulp sound?

Very much and my collection is currently weighing down my house! I’m a big fan of Lee Hazelwood – his songwriting, his lyrics and his humour. There’s also all the Ennio Morricone records from the spaghetti westerns, and strange Italian movies. When we were touring with the Furries it was fantastic because we were in a different city every day and you’d find a record shop and you’d always pick up records that way.

What do you want to achieve with Gulp?

It’s full time for us. I’ve stopped all my other projects to concentrate on this. Obviously the Furries are on a break, but I was touring with band called Spectrum who are fronted by Sonic Boom from Spaceman 3. I did a few tours with him and he gave me a real good insight into creating experimental music and also rock ‘n’ roll music.

I had to stop that, because with Gulp it’s what I want to be doing. It’s a vision me and Lindsey have had for a couple of years and now we’re only starting to begin to see it through musically.

Are you planning on releasing an album?

Absolutely. I’ve got plenty of ideas. We’re hoping to get a few dates together for the autumn too. I’m now becoming a booking agent as well as a bass player and record manufacturer!And the Furries – any ETA on the band’s return? It’s going to be a few years because I think everybody has got a lot of things in their system that they need to get out. Gruff’s been very creative making movies as well as making music. And everybody else has their own thing going on. We don’t know what else to do anyway. This is our vocation, so we’re going to try and create music for as long as we possibly can.Did it feel like the band needed a well-deserved break? I guess.

With the Furries we didn’t stop for 10 or 12 years. So we took a break before we started doing anything c*** and underwhelming. I don’t think we got to any point where we were just churning things out. It will certainly be fresh when we eventually get around to working together as a band again. By then we’ll have a few years of ideas ready to come out in an album. Who knows when that will be, but we’ll be raring to go. I think everyone has still got a lot of love for the Furries .Gulp with support from Huw M and play Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff on Friday.

We’re hoping to get a few dates together for the autumn too. I’m now becoming a booking agent as well as a bass player and record manufacturer!

And the Furries – any ETA on the band’s return?

It’s going to be a few years because I think everybody has got a lot of things in their system that they need to get out. Gruff’s been very creative making movies as well as making music. And everybody else has their own thing going on. We don’t know what else to do anyway. This is our vocation, so we’re going to try and create music for as long as we possibly can.

Did it feel like the band needed a well-deserved break?

I guess. With the Furries we didn’t stop for 10 or 12 years. So we took a break before we started doing anything c*** and underwhelming. I don’t think we got to any point where we were just churning things out. It will certainly be fresh when we eventually get around to working together as a band again. By then we’ll have a few years of ideas ready to come out in an album. Who knows when that will be, but we’ll be raring to go. I think everyone has still got a lot of love for the Furries .

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