July 18th 2015
Gruff regales this packed crowd with the intriguing tale of John Evans, accompanied by tracks from his exceptional album American Interior he is truly on top form this evening.
Taking a break from the Super Furry Animals tour to drop in on Gateshead for one night only, Gruff takes to the stage early on with his life vest and wolf hat to introduce the flight. As he leaves the stage a short video surrounding part of the inspirations for tonights show plays to this packed audience that stretches up into the gods.
Taking back to the stage he opens with the wonderful American Interior, marking the start of this evening’s journey across America. Whilst tonight’s show is obviously about the music, Gruff’s fact filled stories form a huge part of the evening. Between each track he regales us with a further part of the intrepid explorer John Evans’s story, from meeting Lolo Morgannwg whose name forms the title of the track Lolo.
This upbeat track has the crowd singing along from the off, hook-laden track it brings everyone under Gruff’s spell as the captivating stories come thick and fast. Working his way down the river system and across America on this incredible journey. Passing through the Shark Ridden Waters and Walk Into The Wilderness, a journey through the American Interior but also through the incredible songs of Gruff Rhys.
As the beautiful Lost Tribes rings out, it has everyone swooning to its sweet dreamy tones as the heavily reverbed vocals sit perfectly atop thE melody. As his set continues at an exciting pace he tells us about The Last Conquistador, which comes complete with some unexpected auto tune. This rendition raises many a wry grin, Gruff’s light hearted sense of humour eases the mood on this otherwise rather serious story.
As he closes the evening on the brilliant 100 unread messages, we’re left hankering for so much more. This spellbinding set is nothing short of a masterpiece; Gruff Rhys transcends the traditional singer songwriter stereotype with ease as his storytelling is just as captivating as his wonderful music this evening.