Rhys, whose projects over the last few years have included a Super Furry Animals reunion tour, a gallery exhibition of his collection of internationally pilfered hotel soaps titled Hotel Shampoo, a much-lauded book - and accompanying documentary - tracing an 18th-century relative’s journey across North America in American Interior, and a steady stream of captivating solo recordings, is one of the UK’s most inventive and brilliant artists. Resist Phony Encores! begins with photographs of his pre-Super Furries punk band, a Welsh language group whose name translates roughly to “Coffee Beans For Everyone.” Popular on Europe’s minority-language punk rock circuit, Gruff cut his teeth as an outsider artist intent on infusing his work with irreverent, often absurdist, humor. His live shows have long been renowned for his playful encouragement of audience participation and fans will be familiar with many of these images, some of which have been made into a companion set of cue cards.
Applause! Louder! Thank You! These cue cards have gradually become more ambitious and absurd: Wild Abandon! Burger Franchise Opportunity! Generic Festival Reaction! The crowd generally goes wild on cue, prompting Rhys to seek explanations for the unimaginable highs and weirdness of life in music through the lens of crowd psychology. The book will appeal to students of linguistics, propaganda, and graphic design, and anyone interested in music and live performance.
Says Rhys of the creation of the cue cards over a decade ago, “Suddenly there was little pressure for me to communicate with the audience, when all I was interested in was writing and singing songs. Which was just as well as I had very little in the way of social skills and couldn’t speak very clearly or look an audience in the eye, and I wasn’t interested in people having a good time.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: This is a socially distanced event with a strictly limited number of people in attendance. Find out about everything we're doing to keep you safe below.
1. You may only purchase tickets to attend this event with other members of your household or support bubble. Please do not purchase tickets for anyone outside your household.
2. Please do not attend if you or a member of your household has experienced Covid-19 symptoms in the past 14 days – you will be given a no-quibble refund. Temperature checks will be in operation as you enter the venue.
3. Print your tickets at home or be prepared to display them on a smartphone. No tickets will be available on the door.
4. Face coverings will be mandatory at all times, except when eating or drinking in your seats.
For socially distanced events, a new seating configuration respecting a 1 metre plus distance will be in place. Our stewards will be on hand to direct you to where you are sitting.
Drinks and snacks will be available using the app Round, for delivery to your seats. You can read more about Round and download it here. There will be no service at the bar.
The show will end by 9.30pm to allow fans to leave the Corn Exchange safely.
We have been 'See It Safely' approved by the Society Of London Theatre and UK Theatre's 'See It Safely' campaign.