Gig Review: Das Koolies at Rough Trade

Words: Lawrence Poole
Photos: Jade Vowles
Saturday 07 October 2023
reading time: min, words

Psychedelic-rock legends Super Furry Animals are reborn as Das Koolies, rising from the ashes to bring their debut album DK.01 to fans both die-hard and baby-faced. Leftlion’s Lawrence Poole heads down to Rough Trade to review their headline gig…

Das Koolies 09

A koolie, so a quick Google search tells me, is a type of Australian working dog. Yet while the Das Koolies who casually saunter onto the intimate Rough Trade stage may make up four-fifths of the Welsh indie stalwarts, Super Furry Animals - this new offering are a different breed entirely.

In town to promote their new long-player DK.01, the quartet comprising of Huw Bunford (guitar), Cian Ciarán (electronics), Dafydd Ieuan (drums) and Guto Pryce (bass) were back in Nottingham for the first time since their parallel outfit thrilled a festive Rock City crowd with a double-header of their first two LPs in 2016 and they got off to a flyer here too.

Performing behind a bank of decks and electronic synth gizmos orchestrated largely by Ciarán (who, at times, appeared to be channelling peak Klangers), Das Koolies ripped through a series of cuts which were more DFA than SFA in parts.

Das Koolies 10

Riding on the back of Bunford’s understated licks, A Ride dances around hazy vocal samples joyously, while Katal’s vintage electro beats provides the perfect undercurrent to the knowing refrain "when I was fourteen, fourteen-years-old, I don’t need to be told," and is as hypnotic as it is brilliantly danceable.

For a quietish Tuesday night in early October, it was the perfect tonic for the impending doom of the nights drawing in, Das Koolies have a bark and a bite all of their own.

As a side note, the remaining member of SFA (Gruff Rhys) lands at this very venue in late January if you want to complete the set - in true Panini stickers style.

He’ll have to go some to give the rafters a shiver like Das Koolies’ booming sound system did mind.

Das Koolies performed at Rough Trade on October 3 2023.

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