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Wednesday, 24 November, 1999, 07:21 GMT
Super Furries return to roots
The Super Furries are Welsh-speaking

The announcement by the rock band Super Furry Animals that their next album will be entirely in Welsh has been praised as a brave move by critics.

The album entitled "Mwng" (mane) will be released at Easter. Critics think it will do well, but will not win over any new fans.

Music editor of GQ magazine, Welshman Iestyn George does not think the new album is a conscious move by the band to appeal to their Welsh-speaking fans.

"Really they're just setting themselves a small challenge - can we do what we did five years ago," he said.

Catatonia also helped put Wales on the music map
Ten years ago Welsh music - in any language - was seen as terminally uncool.

But Catatonia, the Manic Street Preachers, the Stereophonics and the Super Furries have transformed the perceptions of the record-buying public.

Mr George sees the Super Furries album as another sign of confidence.

"Certainly the Super Furry Animals - more than any other group - appear most confident as a European cultural band," he added.

"They are an internationalist band - as they call themselves - rather than just a Welsh group.

Swahili

"It's perfectly natural that they should record in Welsh, English or any other language they happen upon.

"It wouldn't surprise me if one day they end up recording in Swahili - nothing surprises me about the Super Furries."

Outside Wales the move is being seen as typically quirky, but not career suicide.

The Guardian newspaper's music critic Caroline Sullivan said: "I think people expect the Super Furry Animals to do unusual things.

"I don't think it's going to sell particularly well, but it's certainly not going to mark the end of their career."

'Could be a disaster'

That view is shared by BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stevens who presents the station's weekly Session in Wales show from Cardiff.

He does not expect Welsh language records to start making a dent on the singles chart.

"The chart is dominated by music from Europe with lots of French lyrics and Spanish lyrics," he said.

"It could be a career move that could be a disaster, but then it could be a very positive thing.

"The Super Furry Animals have got lots of dedicated fans who are going to buy whatever they release."

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See also:
12 Oct 99 |  Wales
Catatonia worn out by fame
15 Nov 99 |  Wales
Welsh, sexy and in New York
05 Oct 99 |  Entertainment
Manics into the millennium

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