The only Scottish date in ex-Super Furry Animal frontman Gruff Rhys’s latest tour brought him to Paisley – exactly a year later (according to a social media alert that morning to drummer Cliff) from when the band were in Prince’s Paisley Park recording.
A slight change of scene for the Welshman and a spooky coincidence. As one audience member quipped “there must be a pattern” bringing the usually deadpan Gruff to laugh along.
This date as part of the Paisley Spree Festival held in the intimate surroundings of the Speigeltent in the centre of the town saw Gruff and band firstly play his new album Pang in full in order.
This latest offering is sang in Gruff’s native Welsh with a smattering of Zulu – a nod to the South African electronic artist Muzi who produced the album. The African influence is also evident in the music with a set-up of acoustic, electronic, brass and percussion being used with a tag team of band members taking turns to accompany Gruff, all expert in their chosen instruments.
African style beats and some that wouldn’t be out of place in a night club together with Gruff’s vocals blend together and bring about a chilled zen-like style of music to lose yourself too. The mind-bending visuals displaying at the back of the stage accentuate this.
The rest of the just shy of two hours set saw Gruff dip into his back catalogue and play tunes from all his previous solo albums. Including, treating the good natured crowd, clearly in awe, to Take a Sentence from the album Hotel Shampoo, a treat, as had not been played live since 2011 when the album was released.
This was a wholly enjoyable evening getting inside the mind of an endearing creative genius.
Pang is out now, via Rough Trade.
For more on The Spree Festival click here.