SUPER FURRY ANIMALS + Caribou @ Club Soda

By Émilie Christiansen - 11/01/2005

Super Furry Animals were in town on November 1st and having experienced their live performance before, I knew they were not to be missed. Their shows are known to be a cornucopia of visuals and sound and I was not disappointed. Caribou (formerly known as Manitoba) opened the show and although I’ve never listened to any of their albums, their live set impressed me. The band members were constantly switching instruments and the songs flowed very smoothly from one to the other. It was made doubly interesting by the fact that the music was accompanied by an animated film in the background. They played a long opening set and still managed to keep my attention all the way through.

Between sets, they had a screen showing the turntables backstage in the dressing room, which they were using to DJ. From time to time, as done in previous shows, they would show us messages by writing on paper plates that they would put in front of the camera. SFA started with a “live” intro onscreen, consisting of the band jumping on a golf cart to enter the venue through the back. The band arrived onstage suited up in strange light-producing overalls. They looked furry, yet were producing an eerie green light. They might’ve been made of fiber optics. This effect, added to the background visuals and lights, did not leave you a single second to get bored. The band played mostly their latest songs, keeping the older favourites until the encore.

The band mostly let their surroundings create the action onstage, while they concentrated on producing crazy sounds on their instruments to please our ears. It is only towards the end that singer Gruff Rhys started being more playful. He would use different vocal effects and go nuts by using the microphone experimentally. The concert ended, per Super Furry Animals habit, with crowd pleaser “The Man Don’t Give a Fuck”. Messages decrying governments as liars and murderers were shown on screen and also played from an audio sample. It was a bit odd to jump from a party atmosphere to political rants. The show was concluded with more video work, featuring credits of the road crew and showed the band leaving the venue on their golf cart “live”. Finally, they showed a mini-montage of the city of Montreal. They used this montage of the city to thank the spectators and it was pretty funny to see the way that the editor used the “Go Montreal” Tremblay signs profusely.

Overall, I had a great time from start to finish. Long live crazy background visuals and furry light suits! Super Furry Animals know how to put on a strong live show and I would recommend anyone to see them live.

[Tune in to CJLO all the freakin' time.]