Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Blur, Super Furry Animals, Warm Jets
Cardiff International Arena
December 1997

Don't believe the type - second time I've been to the arena, second time the opening time printed on the tickets has been wrong. However, now augmented on stage by a fifth member (and no, it's not the ubiquitous Zoë Ball), the Warm Jets sound great during the two and a half songs we get to see, including the fabulous set closer ‘Never Never’, although they don't yet appear to have mastered the art of performance as demonstrated so regularly by Louis' more infamous girlfriend.

Fortunately for us, with last year's transition from live rehearsal session to entertainment, and not having television presenting girlfriends (maybe it's got something to do with being able to stay in bed all morning) this is no longer a problem for the Super Furry Animals. Tonight's mix of hits past, present and future proves that their blend of hippy wibblings, punk-pop and psych-rock is now capable of soaring where it once had to be content with boring and, at last, there is indeed a reason for the man to give a fuck.

On the verge of not playing live ever again, Blur have finally stripped themselves of the cartoon pretensions and fake cockney accents, that bloody song from ‘Modern Life is Rubbish’ and those bloody songs from ‘The Great Escape’, though unfortunately not that bloody song from ‘Parklife’, and have discovered their lo-fi underground math-rock pop genius. Live, Blur are capable of being the epitome of entertainment (I suppose when your girlfriend is either a member of the now defunct Huggy Bear, or just can't be arsed to record a second album, you get to spend all day in bed as well) but this depends on how drunk and energetic Graham is, and tonight his spiked up droning guitar assault does seem less of the eagerly anticipated attack and more of a slack.

In spite of this, the back catalogue is dragged out of the closet, stuffed through the effects pedals and thrown in with the more recent material like the proverbial prisoner to the lions, where it promptly has it head bitten off, chewed up and spat out as the distortion laden dissonance it should always have been. This allows the likes of ’There's No Other Way’ and ‘For Tomorrow’ to stand kicking and screaming alongside ‘Popscene’, ‘Beetlebum’ and ‘Swallows In The Heatwave’ where they belong. Unfortunately, as this reincarnation of Blur is very much belongs to Graham, the performance is effected by his subdued mood, and tonight Blur seem content to inflict a bit of minor ABH rather than become killers for our love.