The Royal Pick for Nov. 14, 2014: GRUFF RHYS @ Barboza
While I've written about Gruff Rhys' solo shows before, this tour promises something different, even by Rhys' standards. Well known as a founding member of the genre-hopping Super Furry Animals, Rhys' solo work tends to be a bit more slightly more placid while still retaining it's stratospheric ambition. With his newest project (the playful and curious American Interior), Rhys has written a bit of a rock opera dedicated to his ancestor John Evans, a Welsh explorer who came to America on a quest in search of a fabled tribe of Welsh-speaking Native Americans. Rhys embarked on a tour of the areas that Evans had traversed, stopping to speak with town historians and stand in the footsteps of Evans along the way, and documented the whole thing in a recently-released documentary (also called American Interior). The documentary is available online until November 16th, and is a fascinating tale of a man exploring his own heritage in a foreign land and obviously taking a boatload of creative inspiration from the fearlessness of his ancestor. The tour appears to involve Powerpoint presentations, history lectures, puppets, and Rhys' trademark gentle nature and dry wit. Gruff Rhys' restless energy and relentless curiosity is contagious; while the American Interior project is a fascinating look at our own history as well as Rhys', I would bet money that an evening of Gruff reading off nutritional label information would still be hilarious and inspiring.
I'm also incredibly excited to chat with Gruff for the Royal Basement podcast tomorrow evening. The podcast should be available sometime in early December for your listening pleasure.
Read more about Gruff Rhys' American Interior project here.
Gruff Rhys plays at Barboza in Seattle, Washington on Friday, November 14, 2014.
The show starts at 7pm. Tickets are $13.