Bleeder of the pack.
BEING splashed on page 3 of any newspaper is not going to become a habit, let me tell you, but welcome to my weekly music column in Wales on Sunday, and what better way to start than with one of the most exciting, uncompromising and original bands ever to have been exported from Wales.
Only last weekend, Gruff Rhys from the Super Furry Animals strode on-stage at the Bristol Academy wearing a Power Rangers-style helmet while he played a track called Foxy Music on what looked like a kid's keyboard!
He was a special guest, supporting the American cult band Flaming Lips on their latest UK tour. Scenes in Manchester were of a similarly chaotic nature when Badly Drawn Boy gave way to the stage invasion of hundreds of fans dressed in animal costume - of course, by the band's invitation!
Apart from the common fondness for costume participation, Gruff did get round to playing a brand new song, Bleed Forever, from this year's hotly-anticipated new album.
This as yet untitled album will be the bands' sixth release, and it follows the cherished albums Fuzzy Logic, Radiator, Outspaced (B-sides), Mwng, Guerilla and Rings Around The World.
However, all we know about the album to date is that it features sound effects from an AK47! This isn't so unusual when you consider it was this same band who managed to persuade Sir Paul McCartney that crunching celery was vital to the last album!
(For fanatics, you can check out lyrics for Bleed Forever and another new track Golden Retriver on a link from the SFA official website.)
Unlike most bands, who bury themselves away when they are working on a new album, the SFA are also making time to release their first compilation album on their own label, Placid Casuals. It's called Depressed Celts Vol 1, and it comes in a fold-out paper-chair sleeve, and features some of the highlights of the extended Furry family.
Who or what's on the compilation? Well, the label's first release from Psycho 7, the raw young talent of acoustic artist Teflon Monkey, American bands Arm of Roger and Qualidada, two tracks from the SFA themselves from the Mwng album, and a duet between Gruff Rhys and Rachel Thomas from Cardiff mellow-hop band Bench. It's a strange, unpredictable, uncompromising and beautiful addition to any record collection.
You can buy copies from the SFA website www.superfurry.com now and it hits the shops on March 3.