Gruff Rhys seems to have a thing for hair – first as frontman for the Super Furry Animals (SFA) and now as the solo muso behind new album Hotel Shampoo. At the very least the Welshman has a sense of humour, whether with his early 90s home-turf hitmaking band Ffa Coffi Pawb (which translates to ‘everyone’s coffee beans’, though if said quickly in Welsh, can sound like ‘F*#k off everyone’) or the insistence that the SFA tours be accompanied by 40-foot inflatable bears. In between collaborating with an unusual host of musical luminaries (De La Soul, Gorillaz, Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse), Rhys has managed to squeeze in a suitably weird full-length documentary called Separado! in which Rhys takes the viewers on a pan-continental road trip in search of his poncho-wearing, Patagonian uncle, as well as the release of two solo albums. And on the heels of his third, Hotel Shampoo, which Pitchfork called, “effortless”, Rhys is set to bring his special brand of bizarre to Australian shores for the first time since 2003. Chris Wu, of the local label responsible for the tour, Popfrenzy, says of the man: “Gruff Rhys is without doubt one of Britain’s true Renaissance men. From the psychedelic hits of the Super Furry Animals to his electro-pop project Neon Neon with Boom Bip to the joyous pop wonders of his solo efforts, Gruff never ceases to surprise and entertain.” And with a face full of beard and clutching a hairdryer, things promise to get hairy.
May 3, Excelsior Hotel, Surry Hills, $20+BF, popfrenzy.com.au