Once again the post has a terrible title. I must give the job to somebody who writes better than what I can.
I know. Not only with the title but with the subject as well.
You’ve read the news about SFA releasing new material. They have released their first single in seven years and will also be performing in France ahead of Wales competing in Euro 2016.
The coverage of important event needs to be in the hands of of an expert and who better but the author of that fine blog Is This The Life?
TheRobster as he is known, lives in Wales and every Wednesday he does a feature on music from Welsh bands. As I said, who better then than him. Take it away sir:
Football and SFA
Being a massive Super Furry Animals fan, it is a cause of major excitement whenever they put something new out. Seeing how their last album was released seven years ago, the announcement of a brand new single has, unsurprisingly, been one of the highlights of my year. They’re not a band that needs an excuse to release anything, but the fact it just happens to coincide with Euro 2016, the first major tournament Wales have qualified for in 58 years, is as good a reason as any for a bunch of mad Welsh footie fans to get back in the studio.
Super Furry Animals are no strangers to the game. Indeed, they have been seen playing short sets on the pitch at numerous matches in recent years; the friendly vs. Azerbaijan in 2003, the Gary Speed memorial match in 2012 between Wales and Costa Rica, and during last year’s qualifying campaign at the now legendary victory over Belgium, and the celebratory closing game vs. Andorra. They won’t be allowed on the field during the Euros of course, but they will be playing a show in Bordeaux the night before Wales’ opening Euro 2016 game in the city against Slovakia. No coincidence.
Believe it or not, the band did play for Wales in 1997 and they absolutely mullered Brazil. Well, OK then, they actually appeared as characters in Actua Soccer 2 in the video for Play It Cool:
Collectively, the Super Furries are Cardiff City supporters, so much so that for the 1999 Welsh FA Cup campaign, they even sponsored the team. Shirts bearing the band’s name now fetch a few quid on well-known auction sites.
(I feel I should point out they were followed in 2004 by Newport’s premier chav-rappers Goldie Lookin’ Chain who sponsored Newport County for their Welsh Cup run. The shirt design included a goldie-lookin’ chain…)
Of course, notorious former Cardiff City player Robin Friday featured on the sleeve of their single The Man Don’t Give A Fuck sticking his fingers up to an opposition goalie. The track, which at the time broke the record for the highest number of f-bombs contained in any UK chart single, was dedicated to Friday’s memory for his “stand against the man”.
Their link to the Bluebirds runs even deeper. Singer Gruff Rhys’ brother-in-law has coached Cardiff’s academy, and electronics wizard Cian Ciarán was, until recently, a season ticket holder. He currently has a somewhat estranged relationship with the club, being one of many fans at odds with the owner.
Cian grew up a Man City fan and still attends games when he can. His brother Daf, the Furries’ drummer, is a Liverpool fan, while their mum and dad are Man Utd fans. “Everyone growing up in north Wales seems to end up supporting City, United, Liverpool or Everton. We’ve got Bangor City but as a football team that’s on TV and makes you go ‘ooh!’, people tend to gravitate towards those four teams because they’re closest to the north Wales coast.”
2007 studio footage: Jam called ‘Semi Professional’ in which Gruff sings “I had a trial for Watford before my injury made me switch to music / Now I only play Sunday league football.”
In fairness, it’s not all about football. The Furries have also referenced other sports in their songs. There’s pool (Baby Ate My Eightball), tennis (Venus & Serena) and ice hockey (erm, Ice Hockey Hair), though none of those songs are actually about those sports. Bing Bong could be their first proper sport-related track, though to be fair it is so fantastically silly, it could really be about anything at all. And before anyone asks: no, Bing Bong is not Welsh for “Dilly-ding, dilly-dong!” At least, I don’t think so…