The song that started it all for Super Furry Animals and kept under wraps for almost thirty years, Of No Fixed Identity, featuring actor, Rhys Ifans on vocal duties has been surprise released by the band – but it’s only available strictly from Bandcamp and for a very limited time only.
Drawn from deep within the Furry Archive, where the band hints more riches are to be found, the track is released to support the Save The Severn campaign, aiming to halt the reckless dumping of sediment from the site of discharges from a nuclear power station into a Marine Protected Area of vital ecological importance. A percentage of the proceeds will go towards funding the campaign group’s judicial review hearing versus the Marine Management Organisation and energy giant’s EDF.
In a brief time before Gruff Rhys took over at the front, Ifans, star of Notting Hill, Harry Potter and latterly Spiderman: No Way Home fronted the emergent Welsh five-piece, shrunk to four on his departure, enjoying early, raucous tours and exploratory recording sessions. Put to tape at the studio of long-term sonic confidant, Gorwel Owen’s studio on Ynys Môn in summer 1993, Of No Fixed Identity is the first song ever recorded by the band.
To download Of No Fixed Identity before it disappears from Bandcamp and all distribution for the foreseeable future visit here from 8 am GMT Fri 4 March 2022.
Never revisited after recording, and put to tape at the same time as an early version of the headline-making, 1996 single, The Man Don’t Give A F*ck, the track features numerous trademarks familiar to Furry fans around the world. Combining West-Coast harmony-rich psychedelia, garage rock and swathes of synths, Ifans puts in a commanding performance, with Gruff Rhys and Daf Ieuan’s backing vocals pointing the way to the place that Super Furry Animals eventually exploded from.
A band statement says: “Our first, ever recorded work is out, in part an exploration of the past and in part a criticism of the present and a future where corporate interests are prioritised ahead of health, wellbeing and the natural world. Please download the track, support the cause and rediscover the considerable singing talents of Mr Rhys Ifans.”
In recent weeks the band’s socials have been increasingly critical of plans to dump Nuclear-contaminated mud dredged from the site of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant Save The Severn’s campaign page, where more than half of the target to meet the scientifically-led coalition’s legal fees, states that the action to dredge and dump half-a-million tonnes of sediment from the nuclear site near to Bristol is reckless, treating fishing and ecological interests with utter contempt. The group points to the controversial and heavily challenged prequel dumping near Cardiff in 2018, following which an increase in radioactive material has been detected on the coast and not only near Cardiff.
The Super Furry Animals were and remain the multi-instrumental Huw Bunford, Cian Ciarán, Daf Ieuan, Guto Pryce and Gruff Rhys.