Maybe it’s just because they’re from Wales and occasionally sing in Welsh, but Super Furry Animals has cultivated an oddball reputation that non-fans may not be able to appreciate.
Under a party cloudy sky at dusk, with gentle cool breezes wafting over a filled field, the group played the White Stage with an insouciance that was probably partly put-on. Gruff Rhys sings in a slightly off-key monotone punctuated by rock singer effusions that sound like non sequiturs. Dressed in identical white Hazmat suits they gave the impression that their music was toxic. Actually, it was anodyne, smooth, unhurried, unexcited.
Rhys brought out cards with Japanese writing on them to direct the audience to applaud whenever necessary. It usually wasn’t necessary. A lot people not only knew when to applause, but they knew the lyrics, too.
The songs became more intense but no more animated at the concert proceeded. They ended by leaving the stage for a short spell while electronics ran on a loop and then returned dressed as…super furry animals. No, really. And the audience loved it. It pays to be Welsh.