Sunday, May 08, 2011

Gruff Rhys, MAP @ Publika, 6/5/2011

Warning: Sweetnest overloaded! Read if you can handle all the saccharine ;)

This was the cutest gig I've ever attended. Baffled? Read on..

Gruff Rhys (pronounced Grif Ris) was the sweetest ever ^_^

I've always liked Super Furry Animals' (SFA) quirky music, so when I heard that BFM's 33 RPM is bringing in SFA's frontman Gruff Rhys to Malaysia, I knew I had to go! Tix only costs RM63, it was dirt cheap for an international act! (despite an obscure one though).


Gruff Rhys poster

A trivia - see my blog profile picture of a pink lion? Well that's Gruff Rhys' Candylion. So you see, I've always had a soft spot for SFA / Gruff ;)

Well back to cute. Cute because when Gruff came on stage, he saw the room was packed with everybody standing. So he asked everyone to sit down, then asked if it was enough space for everyone to enjoy the showcase. Being me, I was right in front, at the 2nd row actually, and was just a few inches away from him ;)

Another aspect of cuteness is due to his playful remarks along the show ;)

Crowd waiting before show

It was an intimate acoustic show, the room was small, and Gruff was very interactive with us. He brought along all sorts of gadget, one could never imagine these could be used as musical instruments / rhythm section (as Gruff himself puts it) to accompany him! Well this role was played by Trevor the metronome (I only knew that this is a tool to help musicians keep in beat - thanks bro! - he told me that)

A metronome

Other gadgets include a turntable, an illuminated keyboard (which inspired the song Sensations In The Dark). Ah, I have to tell you this - during the introduction of Sensations In The Dark, he asked his producer - Dan to switch off the lights - when asking this, he also said that "This is a dangerous situation" - because it was pitch dark! He actually just wanted to demonstrate how the keys to his keyboards illuminate when he presses them lol!

His turntable

His illuminate in the dark keyboard

He also introduced us to his trusty acoustic guitar which he says he "plays it upside down" as a joke with his siblings. No name though. He also demonstrated that an extension of his guitar is just a stick on - he took off the part and revealed double sided tapes used to stick it. That extension was just "to make the guitar more aerodynamic" and give "more confidence" to perform for "a more enjoyable concert experience"!
Damn funny, we couldn't stop laughing at his banter!

Talking about his guitar

This is the extension part to make the guitar more "aerodynamic" lol!

More banter

He only brought along a producer - Dan, and he did the guitar tuning himself

Some other banter from him:

*During the encore, being someone who just loves music, he brought out some local records (piring hitam) from a plastic bag (we reckon he went shopping at Amcorp Mall's store which sells old records), and said "Let's try to play one". He randomly picked Rafeah Buang's Hati-Ku Kau Churi EP and asked "Do you know the lady?" We responded "Rafeah Buang"

Then he played it to us, then asked "What's the song about?" We said "It's about love!" He just smiled ;)

That Rafeah Buang record: Hati-Ku Kau Churi EP (1971)

During the introduction to one of the songs - forgot which one - "This is a tribute to Phil Collins. He is the first ever solo artiste to ever split up" LOL! Now how can one person split up? Only bands split!

During introduction for The Court of King Arthur - he said "This song is inspired by archaelogy"

He said "Terima Kasih" a few times. That brought a thunderous applause from us :D

Before the start of another song (again forgot which one), he taught us a few lines of the lyrics to it and asked us to "karaoke with it". And at the start of the song, please give a big round of applause like when Jimi Hendrix (I think he mentioned Jimi, if I'm not mistaken) was playing LOL!

He brought along placards as cue cards for us with words like:
"The End"

"The Terror of Cosmic Loneliness" (his collaborative album with Tony Da Gatorra)

Some of his placards

Effect pedals

Overall, he played 18 songs.

The setlist:
1. Singing A Song
2. Vitamin K
3. Sophie Softly
4. Shark Ridden Waters
5. Cryndod Yn Dy Lais
6. Cycle of Violence
7. If We Were Words, We Would Rhyme
8. Lonesome Words
9. Gyrru Gyrru Gyrru
10. The Court Of King Arthur
11. Sensations In The Dark
12. Conservation Conversation
13. Candylion
14. Rubble Rubble
15. Gwn Mi Wn

*Played Rafeah Buang's Hati-Ku Kau Churi
16. Shark Ridden Waters (this time he played the record, but added some live singing and playing on top of it)
17. In A HouseWith No Mirrors (You'll Never Get Old)
18. Singing A Song

His setlist

The End. See there Trevor the metronome in orange colour

Gruff Rhys solo showcase was opened by 2 local acts - BFM Zack Yusof's Free Deserters (not bad) and Couple.

More report on the gig here and here



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