Ffa Coffi Pawb 'Hei Vidal!' LP
Crystal clear vinyl.
Originally released in 1992, Hei Vidal! is the third album by revolutionary DIY Cymraeg pop band Ffa Coffi Pawb. Formed in Bethesda in 1986 by sixteen year old friends Gruff Rhys and Rhodri Puw (later joined by Gruff’s Super Furry Animals’ bandmate Dafydd Ieuan and Dewi Emlyn).
Made by a bunch of 21 and 22 year olds, Hei Vidal! is an album that distills the band’s obsessions with early ’70s power-pop (all the B’s from Bowie, Bolan and Big Star) as well as Neu! and My Bloody Valentine into a sound that predates the fuzzed out return to glam heralded by Oasis a few years later. It merges motorik grooves over saturated shoe gazing fuzz with impressionistic studio manipulation, orchestral synthesiser arrangements and brutal yet surreal imagery and word play in the Welsh language.
Having signed their songs over to a local publisher who eventually disappeared off the face of the Earth, Ffa Coffi Pawb’s music has been out of print for decades (with the exception of the 2004 compilation album Am Byth, released on the SFA associated Placid Casual label). After untangling a complicated web of time, Hei Vidal! is available on vinyl for the first time having only been on cassette and very few CD copies on its original release on Ankst in 1992. The reissue marks the 30th anniversary of the band’s final show at Builth Wells Memorial Hall in August 1993 (supported by a young Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci).
Gruff Rhys on Hei Vidal! “We made the record in our early 20s and it was a dream-pop distillation of our early 1970’s Glam, power-pop and Motorik obsessions - combined no doubt by our devotion to shoe gazing contemporaries from the Creation label, American college rock and our heroes of the Welsh language underground like Datblygu, John Cale and Y Cyrff. The nonsensical album title is a quote from the song Colli’r Goriad and the Vidal in question perhaps a hallucinated amalgamation of Gore Vidal and Vidal Sassoon; both of which were omnipresent personalities on early 90’s TV, one as a pundit the other a seemingly rolling TV shampoo advert.”
Catalogue number: ARDG1LP
Label: Ara Deg