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  • Writer's pictureMatt Levin

Super Furry Animals!

Sometimes a band means more to you because of circumstance. A memorable place and time in your life when you first heard them, that leaved an indelible impression on you. Case in point for me was Super Furry Animals, summer of 98. My dad had passed away from cancer the end of 1997 in LA. He was only 67, and I was only 29, we were very close, and it was so incredibly hard to make sense of it all and I decided to move to Barcelona for awhile to process what had happened, grieve, decompress and figure out my next move.

What a magical year 1998 would turn out to be. I had so many adventures in Spain, made lifelong friends, taught English for a year, and one of the absolute highlights for sure was meeting Super Furry Animals, seeing them play an amazing show and hanging out with them afterwards. They were playing a free show down by the beach and my friend Ange, who I had met on my TEFL course, told me had to go see them. She had met them in the UK, and said they were very nice fellows as well as being an incredible band, boy was she right!

They played just flawlessly. Gruff Rhys, the lead singer is a brilliant musician with a lovely voice and sharp wit. Their brand of spacey psychedelia seemed out of step in the late 90's, but that's why I loved them so much. After the show, we met up with them thanks to Ange, and asked them if they wanted to hang. At the time, I was enjoying sublet apt for the summer in one of the best spots in all of Barcelona, called Plaça Reial. It's a beautiful old square in the middle of the gothic quarter with restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The square's famous lampposts were designed by the great Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. My flat had a rooftop terrace that had views down to the square and of all of Barcelona. Super Furry Animals were up for it, so we all walked over to my place and ambled up to the roof where we enjoyed some wine and smoke, and some great conversation. It remains one of the best nights of my life.

I've been lucky enough to meet up with Gruff and SFA many times since then. In Baltimore, MD, in DC, and in 2016 at the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. They put on another incredible show, one of the last before they stopped playing. I was fortunate enough to be able to film but of course I'm behind on getting stuff out, until now! I put together this track from the show, "The Man Don't Give a Fuck" A great track they usually use to close their gigs with, complete with the guys donning their Super Furry suits! Always and audio/visual feast!

They're all working on different projects now. Gruff does amazing solo work and the other guys still work creatively as well. I look forward to the next time our paths cross.

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