I've been to see the Super Furry Animals about 3 times this year alone. I like them a lot but my girlfriend, Sarah, likes them even more. All the gigs have been good or great but they were absolutely fantastic at the Royal Festival Hall last night. The actual RFH auditorium wasn't being used but all the rest of the building was used in some form or another, there were special themed bars - one was a joke VIP bar with fake bouncers outside and mock paparazzi taking photos of anybody that was entering which would then appear on screens inside the bar, there were lookalikes of famous people milling about helping add to the illusion. There were weird little attractions like the smallest discotheque in the world (10 people max) and all sorts of other strange bits of fun and silliness.
SFA played three times over the course of the evening, each set lasting about forty-five minutes or so, their performances were interspersed with sets from Deerhoof and Adam Hussein, early on it all seemed a bit subdued but by the last set the place had really filled up, SFA were going for broke and the audience were having a wonderful time. Being right on the South Bank meant we could go out on the terrace and have a great view of the fireworks and do lots of ooh-ing and ahhh-ing. After the display we went back in and the band were still playing and building up to their usual finale of 'The Man Don't Give A F*ck' which was joyful and mind-blowing, especially with the surround sound effects zipping around the foyer of the RFH. A blissful, wonderful evening that left Sarah and me with big, stupid grins on out faces. And that's coming from an old curmudgeon who doesn't normally do anything very special on New Year's Eve and usually just prefers to have a relaxed drink with a few friends.
I also got to catch up with my oldest friend, Hardeep and some of his mates, it's been a long time since we've seen each other and it was lovely to see him, have a laugh, take the piss and enjoy the pleasantly inebriated evening together.
All this was topped off by a leisurely stroll over the Hungerford footbridge to Embankment tube station, taking the time out to gaze at the beautiful view of the river and the surrounding buildings and admire how stunning London looks at night.
A truly positive and very heartening start to the New Year, here's hoping it continues in that vein.
Happy New Year to you all!