Gruff Rhys at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea, review: '˜His audience hasÂ remained loyal'
It may be 22 years ago when Gruff Rhys first appeared at the the Wedgewood Rooms withÂ Super Furry Animals,Â but judging by number ofÂ the greying hipster beards in attendance, his audience has remained truly loyal and have turned out in good numbers.
Appearing on stage carrying a placard announcing the new album's title:Â '˜Babelsberg' and: 'Side 1,' Gruff and his band dutifully play the new tracks in strict sequence as they appear on disc, beginning with the wonderfulÂ Frontier Man.
It takes a brave singer to attempt this and somethingÂ which I must confess have never seen a band do before, but somehow it works and the crowd remain transfixed.
After '˜Side 2' is finished Gruff treats the audience to a selection of soloÂ material including a few tracks from his previous long-player, American Interior, a concept albumÂ about Welsh explorer John Evans.
Pronouncing to do away with phoney encores, GruffÂ brandishes more placards than Joey Ramone could wave a stick at, imploring the crowd to ever-greaterÂ levels of applause.
We are finallyÂ sent home happy with the sublime If We Were Words (We Would Rhyme) from his 2011 album Hotel Shampoo.