MUSIC preview

ROCK Super Furry Animals Glasgow: Barrowland, Fri 30 Apr.

'l’d rather be blown by a typhoon up to the north of Scotland than drown slowly in my living room,’ says Gruff Rhys in a hesitant Welsh drawl. As personal philosophies go, it would be a good one, but this is not the creed by which the Super Furry Animals frontman lives his life. Rather, he is explaining the thinking behind new single ’Northern Lites’, a calypso- flavoured slice of summery pop which just happens to concern extreme weather conditions. And the Son of God.

’The song is just asking that if the weather is coming to get us to get it over and done with as quickly as possible,’ says Rhys. ’Did you hear about that woman being washed 50 miles out to sea? The funny thing was, she said it happened to her 25 years ago as well. It‘s bonkers that Jesus picked on the same woman twice.’

That’s the great thing about the Super Furries their songs are actually about something. They often get unfairly written off as drug-frazzled naifs from the valleys, but that’s to totally ignore their formidable songwriting prowess and the keen, questioning intelligence behind the lyrics.

'You have to be specific about what you're writing or ultimately it’s pointless,’ says Rhys. ’I don’t like letting things go to the interpretation of the listener.’

He means it. When working on their last album, Radiator, Rhys wrote so many sets of lyrics for each song that he had to carry them around in a box. The new album, Guerilla, is just as specific in its subject matter. One big theme is global communication from CB Radio (Rhys’s handle was 'Goblin’) to mobile phones.

’l’m probably developing a nice tumour under my right ear,’ he says with reference to the mobile phone scare story of the moment. ’Apparently you get

Rhys. 'There’s

going on.’

The citizen's band: Super Furry Animals

addicted to the radiation. I think you get affected even if you don't use one. The air is filled with crap conversations irradiating your brain.’

Gueri/la, so called because they are ’declaring sonic war on musical mediocrity' and because it's a crass pun on Super Furry Animals, was recorded in a Wiltshire village called Box.

'lt was very quaint, but alien and scary as well,’ says loads of Ministry Of Defence underground facilities and loads of UFO conspiracies

Plenty to write home about then. (Peter Ross)

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ROCK Reef Glasgow: Barrowland, Sun 9 May.

When little Gaiy Stringer was a nipper, he couldn't have had any ;:ue that one day he would be sharing an ‘.‘.’llll some of the most taiiious fares on the planet Nona! that "‘e's [ill ’;l’ji‘.‘.fll up and his hair!) Reef platnttirrt l-f‘x endearingiy glitterati

Reef if". {.l’l” Rides, IN LA 'xlannang the llllellt] desk

'iiaixzng double

1/j( "r-u\./\'r l1'll I. )I ,i .. ‘t'i .' )rl

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Riders on the storm: Reef

was George Di'akoulias, to-t'ounder of Def Jam and a pi'eVious producer of, among others, the Beasties Boys and Primal Scream Dropping by to lend a helping hand to the recoioing were 31y Stone's sister and Ber lz's rlad

SO, what was it like working with one of the Family Stone“

'To be pei‘fet tly benefit ri.ate, idea who she ‘.’.'as unt'l she '.‘.as gone,’ grins Stringer, a tcizildii't drop a name if it ‘.‘.as s‘it‘r; \.'.'ith oil (liltl piping but from the oven thiough freorgt“ we're a

that! no 'lt's all

E'u' love to say that bunch of lion-hobbing

shovibi/ types, but we're not George knows everybody in LA We had that Ben Stiller from There's Something About i'x‘iai‘y tome (lO‘s‘Jl‘. to the sesSion and say 'hello' To George, that is '

Stringer's blissful ignorance makes for a refreshing honesty The same uncomplicated vibe shines through their new album -- a (,jTOOVO-fldlllg rock party that takes its roots from the blues But while the blues traditionally involved more broken hearts and empty glasses than singles night at the bottle bank, Reefs take is more feelgood than feel fucked

The album was recorded in between bouts of surfing in the Pacific Hair still drying after the latest ripcurl-rio'ing episode, the band would diop into the studio and hang out a take However, according to Stringer, it was a different sort of rollertoaster which inspired the album

"We called the album Rides because we irrle ‘.'.’lll‘- any emotaon,’ explains the singer in full Spinal Tap mode ’We don't pimp all If it's a sad, angry, aggressive emotion or a happy, relaxed emotion, we ride that emotion to the end and, at the >nd of it, you might well have a song ' tJonatlian Trew)

Personal Stereo

This issue: Gay Dad’s keyboard player; James Riseboro

What was the last record you listened to?

’Jungle Lion’ by The Upsetters.

What was the last record you bought? Mr Media Naranja by Labradford. Name a great new band you've discovered?

Pan Sonic.

Name a record that is an unrecognized classic?

'Armageddon Time’ by Willy Williams.

Name a record that first made you

want to make music? Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suite. 1

was eight.

Name a song you wish you’d written. ’Walk On By' by Burt Bacharach.

As a teenager, which pop stars did you have posters of on your bedroom wall?

I had none at all. Sorry.

In the film of your life, what’s playing over the closing credits?

'Smith American Getaway' by Burt Bacharach.

Name a non-musical influence on your music

Le Corbusier

Which of your own songs is your

favourite? ’Black Ghost’ is our most sophisticated

and heartfelt song.

Name an artist who has influenced you that people might be surprised by.

Sun Ra.

Who would be on your dream Top Of The Pops?

Us, Massive Attack, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan and Bob Marley.

What do you play when you're getting ready to go out?

'YOLi've Gotta Have Freedom' by Pharoh Sanders.

What do you play when you're in the mood for sweet lovin‘?

'A Man And A Woman’ by FranCis Lai. What do you sing in the shower? ’Raindrops‘ Keep Falling On My Head’ by Burt Bacharach

Who would you be on Stars In Their Eyes? Jacques Bl'(.‘l resemblance 35553 Gay Dad pray Edinburgh The LiQU/d Room, Wed 5 May

There's a very strong