Ffa Coffi Pawb - Am Byth

Ffa Coffi Pawb

Retrospective compilation of songs by Gruff Rhys' former band.
Placid Casual: 16 August 2004

Last updated: 20 November 2008

Ffa Coffi Pawb ('everyone's coffee beans') are best remembered for numbering among their ranks Gruff Rhys and Daf Ieuan, who would later finding greater success in Super Furry Animals. Am Byth takes in songs spanning Ffa Coffi's seven-year lifespan, including many songs never before released on CD.

Am Byth cover

Tracklisting

  • Valium
  • Allan O'I Phen
  • Breichiau Hir
  • Gafael Yn Dynn
  • Sega Segur
  • Arwynebol Melyn
  • Lluchia Dy Fflachlwch Drosta I
  • Gweld Dim Byd
  • Llosgi'n Nhy I Lawr
  • Ffarout
  • Gwneud Fy Mhen I Fewn
  • Gwn
  • Hydref Yn Sacramento
  • Colli'r Goriad
  • Mynd I Lawr
  • Dw I'n Troi 'N Ffrwyth

Between 1986 and 1993 the band recorded three albums for the Ankst label, plus assorted 12" singles and a rare cassette-only album, Torrwyr Beddau Byd Eang Cyf, which they put out on their own label Siwgwr.

Their popularity in Wales was considerable, and the controversy Ffa Coffi courted over their name can't have done their profile much harm: phonetically, it sounds remarkably like 'f**k off everyone', and caused them a few problems getting airplay.

While Am Byth ('for ever') contains the odd miss and a few filler tracks, there are a few real gems. Breichiau Hir, from the band's debut album Clymhalio, is simply gorgeous, and Hei Vidal!'s Ffarout and Lluchia Dy Fflachlwch Drosta show how the group members were growing more confident as songwriters.

Sega Segur and Arwynebol Melyn are quite arresting in their similarity to SFA's Llanfair (In Space) EP, though the ghosts of the Jesus And Mary Chain and Ankst labelmates Datblygu are never far. It's not hard to see how Ffa Coffi Pawb were a pivotal part of modern Welsh pop.

In time, Placid Casual are reportedly planning to re-release FCP's three albums. Am Byth will doubtless bring back many great memories for those who were there, and a handy excuse for those who weren't.

And, as an extra sweetener, they've even tacked a bonus studio offcut as a 'hidden' track at the end. How very early '90s.

Words: Joe Goodden


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