Time for another post on the bands I’ve seen recently.

Since my last post on the artists I’ve seen live, I’ve managed to see Groove Armada, Underworld, I’m From Barcelona and the Super Furry Animals.

Starting with the 1st, I’m from Barcelona were brilliant. Along with the Kazoo orchestra (they were selling them along with the usual merchandise), they clearly do balloons and confetti far better than the Flaming Lips have ever managed. And the music was really good too!

Underworld and Groove Armada were both brilliant (though the Armada did abuse the bass far too much) and the new material for both bands really held up against the songs that everyone knows. Underworld pulled off a masterstroke by ending with Jumbo, possibly my favourite ever song (and a set that lasted over 2 hours the only occasion that’s happened since the very first band I saw, Blur in 1999). And I left Groove Armada having seen a light show far superior to the Chemical Brothers best efforts.

But nothing compares to a Super Furry Animals gig. This, being the seventh time I’ve seen them play live in seven years, meant that there were unlikely to be any surprises…

… how wrong I was to think that! Along with playing a Welsh language track in Birmingham (a rarity), they also ended with the final track from their 1999 Guerilla LP. It certainly ended as a very different concert to those that I’m used to and the new album (now I’ve listened to it fully) is much better than the last two releases.

Sadly though, they have probably reached the peak of their career. I’ve seen them three times in the Birmingham Academy and on every occasion it has been far from full (probably half the full capacity last month). And it really annoys me that new bands are breaking through and are receiving more recognition for work that is, in my opinion, lacking the flair and inventiveness of all these four bands (of which only I’m from Barcelona formed this millennium, which leaves me thinking that the 90’s was a superior decade for music). Clearly, people aren’t as prepared to experiment with the music they listen to as I thought, though I’d like to be proven wrong.

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