The latest music news, including Paul McCartney's children's book, new Chemical Brothers music and a Super Furry Animals box set.
NEW GUNS N’ ROSES ALBUM ON THE WAY?
Guns N’ Roses’ guitarist Slash has dropped the strongest hint yet that a new album from the legendary rock group might be on the way.
“We want to do something. We’ve been on the road this entire time, we have another leg coming up in November in Asia, then we’re going to start looking at what the next step is going to be,” he told Revolver magazine about the band’s plans once the Not In This Lifetime tour finally ends.
Like all good rock n' roll bio sheets, it's near impossible to tell where the reality and fantasy of the Super Furry Animals end and begin: their only truth is that somewhere between the techno tanks and erudite nationalism lurks the Id of a band who have gleefully ignored being drawn into anything that even vaguely resembles consensus.
This hasn't precluded them from the recognisable commercial devices of touring albums as retrospectives and releasing greatest hits collections, but these two reissues prove that whilst they're not above the modern contrivances of the game, the idea of throwing a few b-sides together and calling it a deluxe package is simply not Yeti to them.
Unsurprisingly for a band with almost no visual footprint of their own, the Yetis - in animated form - are the cover stars of Zoom! A thirty seven track odyssey covering SFA in singles mode but also full of less familiar gems which journalist Simon Price appropriately describes as "Deep cuts" in his eloquent liner notes.
Continue reading: Super Furry Animals - Zoom! The Best of 1995–2016 Album Review
On the South East coast of England, in the once resplendent seaside resort of Margate, By The Sea Festival took up residency in the re-imagined heritage pleasure park, Dreamland. After the success of Foals and Hot Chip in its inaugural year By The Sea returned to a resurgent Margate to blend the established with the up and coming in an environment like no other. Amongst the helter skelter, big wheel, carousels and coasters the various artists took to the stages (and decks) in the wonderfully evocative Roller Disco, down at the dodgems or in the newly restored Hall By The Sea. With Kiss Me Quick cocktails and enough locally brewed cider to entice The Wurzels the amassed throngs were in for a very entertaining weekend.
Wild Beasts ("They're so f'ing sexy"-Blaine Harrison, Mystery Jets) got off to a cracking start in the Hall By The Sea with a pumped up version of 'Big Cat' and an impromptu birthday celebration for "ideosynchratic drummer" Chris Talbot before launching into a sizemic, shape shifting and floor shaking rendition of 'He The Colossus' and a wonderful working of 'Wanderlust'. The Kendal foursome sounded on top of their game, channelling circa '82 Simple Minds, ahead of their upcoming live set on 6Music.
In the shabby chic surroundings of the kitsch come cool Roller Disco, Mystery Jets got joyously playful with 'Flash A Hungry Smile'. After the initial grief imparted in 'Telomere' they ramped up the tempo and asked the assembled masses, "do you feel like dancing?" A blinding rendition of their single, 'Bubblegum', ensued. Taken from the band's latest album, 'Curve Of The Earth', it easily got the biggest interaction of the night so far. The Middlesex quartet followed up with another crowd pleaser, 'Young Love', and quite bizarrely another birthday shout-out, this time for Gary who did all of the MJ's art work! With apparently "too many tracks for just one album this year" the band took to a highlight off their new 5 track E.P, 'The Whole Earth', 'The World Is Overtaking Me' sounded spectacular, with front man Blaine and his three cohorts synched in tight unison, delivering a belting track replete with (Tubeway Army era) Numan esc keyboard loop, they sounded awesome; full of passion and presence as well as full of love for their fellow performers, especially The Big Moon, Wild Beasts and Meilyr Jones (at one time late on in his set striking a quick Bowie pose whilst teasing us with an all too brief classic Bowie riff) Mystery Jets pitched it perfectly in the Roller Disco with a short, sharp very entertaining set that left you just aching for a little more.
What's to look forward to with this year's Green Man?
Tickets for Green Man Festival 2015 are now totally sold-out, and looking at this year's stellar line-up so far, there's no surprise there. With just eleven weeks to go, Green Man continue to unveil more upcoming surprises, so we take a look at what we know so far.
There's already a ton of great acts listed to play at the Brecon Beacons event in Wales, with a bill headed by Oklahoma singer St. Vincent, London collective Hot Chip, who have just released their newest album 'Why Make Sense?', and local Welshmen Super Furry Animals.
Motorhead, FFS and George Clinton make for exciting surprise additions.
If the Super Furry Animals were a building, it would have a great big blue plaque on it by now, in recognition of their unswerving dedication to being some of the smartest, principled and contrary buggers in British pop music. In the public's eye now for nearly 20 years since signing to Alan McGee's maverick Creation label, the Welsh quintet have rarely let anyone else's reality interfere with their own, the result being a history which is far from the orthodoxy of the rock and roll cliché.
Ric Rawlins under those terms of reference had something of an open goal on his hands in getting this piece of work commissioned, but whilst 'The Rise Of The Super Furry Animals' is a highly engaging read - and recounted with a wit so dry it's practically Saharan - what should have been one of the year's elite music biographies falls short of greatness.
Where it does score is in redacting large chunks of the various band members' adolescences, usually the fodder secretly skipped by devotees of the form. Instead, we move briskly into lead singer Gruff Rhys' meeting with Daffyd Ieuan at a youth club music group which was stocked with five drum kits and little else, in which the seeds of the SFA's forerunner, Ffa Cofi Pawb (Translation: Everybody's Coffee Beans, apparently) were sown. Navigating the intricacies of both nationalism and identity, the band eventually renamed themselves in 1993 after ending up in Cardiff; by then configured in a forward looking Jamaican-style sound system clan, one which included the often pixelated actor Rhys Ifans and that was already blending pop psychedelics with the hedonistic throb of techno.
Continue reading: Ric Rawlins - The Rise Of The Super Furry Animals Book Review
Review of Super Furry Animals album 'Dark Days/Light Years' released through Rough Trade on 13th April 2009
Continue reading: Super Furry Animals, Dark Days/Light Years Album Review