Amid the mix of old and new artists playing across the two-week Summer Nights series of concerts at Kelvingrove Bandstand, the Super Furry Animals are the wild card. They always have been throughout their career, more or less, but right now the Cardiff contingent occupy a singular position: old enough to be a classic group, with two decades since their first album, but still versatile and creditably unfussed about any hint of the bland or footstep-retreading.
Super Furry Animals | Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow | Rating ****
Reconvening last year after half a decade away, they recently released the single Bing Bong as an unofficial Welsh football anthem for Euro 2016.
A light, poppy and irresistibly infectious psychedelic groove, it was one highlight of many here, and it heralded a change of pace midway through what was an expertly conceived set in terms of construction and mood.
The show played out like a mixtape, with the early stages built on a mellow, pastoral kind of groove which included the lazy pop of Hello Sunshine, the tender Hometown Unicorn and the slow-burn folk-rock of Zoom.
All dressed in white boiler suits, the group stepped up with Juxtaposed With U and Bing Bong for a “side two” of mighty proportions. It featured some of their very best songs, including The International Language of Screaming and the epic Mountain People, with singer Gruff Rhys bringing out his voice-changing Power Rangers helmet and the group literally clashing guitars at the end of Receptacle for the Respectable.
The closing The Man Don’t Give a F**k was that rarest of things, a song which holds a traditional place in the set of a 23-year-old band, yet which still sounds vibrantly urgent and exciting to this day.