As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Wednesday, December 13

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Transmission
« Friday Quick Links Neon Marshmallow Night 1 wrapup: The Lord Of The Dance »

Review Fri Jun 10 2011

Review: Gruff Rhys, Y Niwl @ Schubas, 6/9

Gapers Gruff Rhys 4.jpg
Gruff Rhys (Photo by Kirstie Shanley)

Frontmen's solo efforts can be a mixed bag of why-didn't-you-use-these-songs-on-your-band's-album and this-is-dreadful. Gruff Rhys' solo albums are not exactly an intercontinental flight away from his day job at Super Furry Animals, but they can run on a path far from that highway. Rarely is there anything dreadful about them, though. His latest, Hotel Shampoo, sounds at times like a laid-back SFA with keyboards often leading the way. Thursday's set at Schubas began with the album's closer "Rubble Rubble" and Rhys deadpanning that "not many people have reached the song." From there he moved onto selections from 2007's Candylion, a few from 2005's Yr Atal Genhedlaeth and even from the weird 2010 collaboration with a person named Tony Da Gatorra while playing piano, guitar, digital air drum sticks and using a turntable as accompaniment for sound effects.

A half-hour into a 100-minute set, he reeled off a slew of Hotel Shampoo songs that were rather faithful to their recorded versions. While they were received with nice applause, all night it was the Candylion songs like "The Court of King Arthur" and "Cycle of Violence" that received the biggest hands. When Rhys last came through Chicago to play those, it was a simple acoustic affair. But with a full band, those tunes were fleshed out and showcased from psychedelic to straight poppy rock.

Gapers Gruff Rhys2.jpg
Gruff Rhys (Photo by Kirstie Shanley)

The epic "Skylon" closed the evening. In a gimmicky fashion that was the biggest link to SFA's whirlwind live show, Rhys donned an airplane emergency life vest and pointed out the exits at Schubas before launching into the 15-minute tale of a bomb-defusing expert's fantasy aboard a hijacked aircraft. Like the "No Encore" sign that SFA's used, Rhys held up "THANK YOU" and "THE END" signs at its conclusion before walking out. Despite a delayed start (due to late arrival of equipment), there were few hitches in a set that tracked the solo career of one of the most innovative musical minds out of Wales.

Y Niwl, who also performed as Rhys' backing band, opened with a surprisingly rollicking set of instrumental surf rock songs. They didn't do much aside from tap their feet, say thank you and explain their set list is written out in numbers, but their music was a lot of fun. Clear inspirations came from Dick Dale and even Man or Astroman, especially their closer that (unintentionally) ripped off an Eeviac track.

 
GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
CHIRP
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
Daytrotter
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Do312
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
Gridface
The Hood Internet
Innerview
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pitchfork
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Songs:Illinois
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock

  Venues:

Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
B.L.U.E.S
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Constellation
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
FitzGerald's
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Martyrs'
Mayne Stage
Metro
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Rosa's
Schubas
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Smartbar
Subterranean
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Township
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Hozac
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store

Events

Featured Series














 

Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.


About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks, sarah@gapersblock.com
Transmission staff inbox: transmission@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15