[16] Super Furry Animals, ‘Demons’

“I have a dartboard memory, so I’ll forget any felony”. One doesn’t often link the words ‘Welsh’ and ‘genius’, but the Super Furries have been confounding received wisdom for years. ‘Demons’ isn’t their best, not that it matters to Junior. It draws her in right away, the psychedelia-lite pulling her towards the stereo where she can adopt her forthright chairman pose at the coffee table. But this is no Bored Meeting!

SFA were easily outstripping their Creation cohorts by this stage. Oasis had tanked hugely – nah, you won’t see the ‘D’You Know What I Mean’ drone here – and the Boo Radleys were desperately trying to stamp on the embers of their commercial success. Primal Scream were feigning a return to form with Vanishing Point, but you try listening to the singles (at least) now. I did.

So, hats off to the Welsh chaps. Junior liked ‘The International Language Of Screaming’ too. She could sing along to that.

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[16] Fiona Apple, ‘Fast As You Can’

Fiona Apple

Poor Blur, shunted down a place because I couldn’t find the Fiona Apple album yesterday morning. I asked Junior’s mum if she’d seen it in the car, and it turns out she’d taken it to work the day before. Two extraordinary things here: a) an album untouched for a good five years is removed the day before it’s needed; b) Junior’s mum doesn’t seem to be scared about nabbing my records without asking. She obviously hasn’t heard what karma rained down on my big sister in 1983.

So, this is 16 going on 17, innocent as a rose.

It seems to have the same fade-in as ‘Northern Lites’ before coming on like incidental music in a Broadway musical. Apple has a fantastic, mad, fruitily passionate voice for such a willowy frame, and the song draws Junior’s attention with its frantic pace. It peaks with the big soul breakdown in the middle, and Dad keeps the baby punter rapt with a piercingly accurate impression.

“I’ll be your giiiiirrrrrl…” No wonder she was dumbstruck.

[18] Super Furry Animals, ‘Northern Lites’

Super Furry Animals copyright Tom Sheehan

I don’t know why I hated the Super Furry Animals. Maybe it was because they had marijuana bore Howard Marks on their album cover. God, where did he pick up his cachet? I had the ill luck to see him live in a Central London bar, where he treated us to 90 minutes of tedious aren’t-drugs-cool? stories, all lapped up by his zany student/70s casualty following.

Anyway, something must have clicked between me and SFA. Years later I owned all their albums and could be found singing an impromptu ‘Golden Retriever’/’Day Tripper’ medley in Inferno, hellish Clapham nightspot. You don’t want to know.

‘Northern Lites’ is a typically directionless tune, perked up by horns and steel drums. It’s a mess, but an endearing one, and it makes you flap your arms up and down until your bouncy chair is a bucking bronco.