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SONGBOOK VOL. I - REVIEW - 01/10/2004

Oct 1 2004

Staff Reporter, The Western Mail

Songbook: The Singles Volume 1

Super Furry Animals (Epic) ****

Super Furry Animals have always been Wales' most innovative and imaginative rock band. And their first retrospective collection is testament to that.

Songbook comprises 21 of the band's most memorable singles from the last nine years and shows how they have incorporated everything from brain-crushing electronics to steel drums, horns and strings within their highly accessible pop melodies.

Beginning with their ode to pill-popping Something 4 The Weekend and continuing with It's Not The End Of The World, the songs don't follow any chronological order but do maintain certain consistency despite their dynamic eclecticism.

From the gentle Brian Wilson-esque acoustic purity and sweetness of Fire In My Heart and Juxtapozed With U to the techno-powered The Man Don't Give A **** and Ysbeidiau Heulog from their Welsh language chart break through Mwng, it's a collection that provides an excellent overview of the band's many triumphs. With a new album planned for spring 2005 as well as a Gruff Rhys solo project this is not an indication of their demise but proof that they keep on getting better and better with every record they make.


Gruff played a secret acoustic set at London's Conway Hall Saturday.

The set list was:

Father Father
Colonise The Moon
Golden Retriever
Pan Ddawr Wawr
Cryndod yn dy lais
Nythod Cacwn
Gathering Moss
Brawd Houdini

Thank you Mike for the info!



SUPER FURRY ANIMALS and frontman GRUFF RHYS is to release his debut solo album - and the band have revealed full details of their forthcoming LIGHTNING FRYDAY event.

The band's label Placid Casual will release the record in January 2005. Clocking in at 29 minutes and containing 11 songs, 'Yr Atal Genhedlaeth' was recorded with Gorwel Owen at Stiwdio Ofn at various points during spring and summer 2004.

The band have also released full details of their sold-out Lightning Fryday event, which will take place on October 1 at London's Royal Festival Hall. It starts at 6.30pm, and SFA will play two sets across three rooms in the venue. The band will be joined by a supporting cast featuring Zabrinski, bravecaptain, Richard James from Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Mugison. There will also be a chance for fans to confess all sins to Howard Marks in the Howard Marks Confessional Booth. Surprise guest DJs will appear, and there will be and visual performances and art installations by Pete Fowler and Mark James.

A few extra tickets will be released at 3pm on the day of the show. These can be reserved by calling the Box Office (0870 160 2522) at this time.

Super Furry Animals will also appear at Cardiff Point Theatre on September 30 as a warm up for Lightning Fryday. Tickets, priced 12, will go on sale at 9am on Friday (September 24) exclusively from Spillers Records in Cardiff.

SFA are also hard at work on their seventh studio album - the follow up to 2003's 'Phantom Power' - to be released on Epic during spring 2005. Frontman Rhys told NME recently that the album "has an orchestral feel to it".

As previously revealed on NME.COM, the band's hits compilation'Songbook - The Singles Volume One' is released through Sony on October 4.

There will also be a DVD featuring all the group's videos to date, as well as a previously unseen 40-minute on-the-road documentary.

The band will precede the compilation by releasing a 20-minute live version of their classic 'The Man Don't Give A Fuck' on September 27, though the 'normal' version will appear on 'Songbook'. The live version was recorded at London Hammersmith Apollo on the band's last UK tour.

The full tracklisting for 'Songbook' is:
* 'Something 4 The Weekend'
* 'It's Not The End Of The World?'
* 'Northern Lites'
* 'Juxtapozed With U'
* 'Slow Life'
* 'Fire In My Heart'
* 'The Man Don't Give A Fuck'
* 'Hermann Loves Pauline'
* 'Play It Cool'
* 'Ice Hockey Hair'
* 'Do Or Die'
* '(Drawing) Rings Around The World'
* 'God! Show Me Magic'
* 'Ysbeidiau Heulog'
* 'Demons'
* 'Golden Retriever'
* 'The International Language Of Screaming'
* 'Hello Sunshine'
* 'Hometown Unicorn'
* 'If You Don't Want Me To Destroy You'
* 'Blerwytirhwng?'

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