Keeping the Cosmic Trigger Happy

Super Furry Animals at Neumo’s | 12 February 2008 | Seattle

Gruff of SFA with his Michael Nesmith bobble hat

Hands down the best moment of the night had to be during Receptacle for the Respectable when midway through the song Gruff grabs a carrot, starts munching on it and using the crunching sound as percussion into the microphone. He continued eating the carrot up to the final chorus of the song before finally blowing well chewed carrot chunks all over the stage and what looked like the front row. Glad I was not in the projectile path. The band were as loose as I’ve ever seen them, spitting vegetables and doing guitar poses throughout the night, seeming very comfortable in getting back to basics.

Hey Venus is certainly a retreat in the pushing the envelope of sound that they had been working up to starting with Rings Around the World to Phantom Power, and their last album, the string laden Love Kraft. They’ve dropped the 5.1 surround sound, the gorilla costumes and full power ranger costumes and gone back to basics so to speak, though a power ranger helmet did make an appearance on Gruff’s head for a few songs last night. How back have they gone? Well, instead of the Caribbean steel drum version of Northern Lights last night we got the “Teenage Fanclub” version of the song, if that’s any indicator.

I was pretty happy with the song selection, especially considering that they have seven albums and a slew of singles and b-sides to pick from. While focusing mostly on Hey Venus, they hit every album for at least one song, with the exception of Fuzzy Logic. I figured I’d never hear the baggy influenced Hangin’ Out with Howard Marks, but I was at least hoping for God! Show Me Magic, or If You Don’t Want Me to Destroy You from their debut. They made up for it with a totally surprising b-side Calimero, it’s rush of punk rock energy was two minute blast of fun that easily surpassed the recorded version.

Having seen as many SFA shows as I have, I’ve come to expect that the Man Don’t Give a Fuck is the closer, no questions asked. Not the case last night, they did do it, but not as the final song, that honor went to the ELO-ish Keep the Cosmic Trigger Happy. I guess the band really have turned over a new leaf and are looking to a brighter future, good karma is a good thing to keep in your back pocket.

Set List: Slow Life / Rings Around the World / The Gateway Song/Run-away/Golden Retriever/Do or Die/Neo Consumer/Northern Lights/She’s Got Spies/Gift that Keeps Giving/Zoom!/Receptacle for the Respectable/Juxtapozed with U/Into the NIght/Baby Ate My Eightball/Calimero/Hello Sunshine/The Man Don’t Give a Fuck/Keeps the Cosmic Trigger Happy

Missed openers, the much talked about Holy Fuck. They must have come on at 8:05, because when I got there at half past nine they were loading their stuff off stage. They’ll be back playing with A Place to Bury Strangers and the Purrs at Chop Suey on 26 February.

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