Ben & Jerry Spot On, On the Common.

Now in its fifth year, there are few musical oases on these fair isles where coconuts fall from nestling shies, gallons and tons of miscellaneous ice cream-lined cones are scoffed without sparing a thought for calorific intake and gladiators fight to the fall with inflatable bananas. Thrown into such a warped concoction are a couple of Britain’s prized harmonic stalwarts on the shiniest of mantle pieces. And as cider flows and sun rays drip, the Summer Sundae shows no sign of melting just yet...

Teenage Fanclub are oft heralded for a single seminal album, albeit a revolutionary jangly power pop gem. Yes, Bandwagonesque may be the record every post-97 Brit collective wishes they had the card to the royalty joint account for but behind the controversial, lulling fa├žade of Nirvana smashing lies a back catalogue as deranged and delightful as Evan Dando’s dreamy subconscious. The superlative vocal harmonies of oh-so-nineties-it-kills Sparky’s Dream compliment a half-baked Clapham Common like cookies and cream whilst the lo-fi xylophones of Ain’t That Enough scrape the batter off the miserabilist Scot stereotype. Shuffling about in the shadows of front man Norman Blake certainly isn’t on the agenda as unsuspecting bassist Gerard Love and Raymond McGinley shoulder vocal commitment, freeing up Blake for twin guitar intricacy throughout. Aged, most certainly although it’s an ever so slightly more optimistic soundtrack to troubled times than Glasvegas’ Tennents-stained drawls.

Fast tracking down, down and further south from Glasgow it’s altogether dubious as to whether or not Gruff Rhys and his forever more furry animals have a foot in contemporary existence, not that it’s of any relevance to the surrealist Cardiffians. Keeping with tradition, the Russian doll distorted violins of Slow Life kick off proceedings with Rhys frantically waving placards overhead. As their beards grow an inch daily and grey at the edges, every song seems to mature like cheddar left on a radiator, with Juxtaposed With U proving itself still to be the one and only futuristic hotel bar lounge track based on the housing crisis it’s perfectly acceptable to fall head over heels in love with eight years after its crazed conception. Super Furry Animals storm breakers God! Show Me Magic, (Drawing) Rings Around The World and Golden Retriever are subdued by the hallucinatory new-folk charms of Demons, If You Don’t Want Me To Destroy You and Hello Sunshine, the latter wafting like orbs through dubious family photos. Sprinkled with chocolate chips of new material from the slinky slides of Mt, the outrageous funk debauchery of Crazy Naked Girls and the ecologically viable Franz Ferdinand-featuring krautrock stomp of Inaugural Trams SFA are as schizophrenically grandiose as Buckingham Palace guards tripping over their spears on acid. Recently criticised for lacklustre showings and toned-down capacities, they bombast the feeding of the five thousand with The Man Don’t Give a Fuck as circle pits ensue and calories burn like pale skin in Palermo before Keep The Cosmic Trigger Happy calms the storm and completes their impeccable sonic onslaught.