The Peth interview (2009)

Rhys Ifans, Dionne Bennett and Daf Ieuan

Last updated: 10 June 2009

Ahead of their support slot with Oasis at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, a warm-up at the city's Globe Theatre and the re-release of their debut Golden Mile album, James McLaren caught up with The Peth's Rhys Ifans, Daf Ieuan and Dionne Bennett.

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Getting some rehearsal time in at Music Box rehearsal studios in Cardiff, The Peth's main man, Rhys Ifans, is incapacitated. He's hobbling on crutches after breaking a foot playing football. Not as auspicious omen before they bring their woozy blues rock to the Millennium Stadium in support of Oasis. They seem bullish though, and they also seem on form as they remind themselves of songs like Stonefinger and Shoot On Sight.

They're not jumping straight into the fray with the Gallaghers, though; there's a warm-up gig at the Globe too, both gigs in support of the re-release of their album, The Golden Mile.

"[The Golden Mile] starts down the Bay in James Street, Douglas Buildings," explains Ieuan. "It works its way down James Street, over Clarence Bridge, past the roundabout, down Corporation Road, on to Penarth Road and that's the end of the Golden Mile in Grangetown.

"When we were recording the album we kept going up and down that road to get supplies; things you need for recording like crisps. And everything you needed was on that mile stretch." Bennett chips in with "Musicians!" and Ifans rhapsodises about a Clark's pie stockist on the road.

What can people expect to hear when they listen to the Golden Mile? "Well we call it Punk Floyd," says Ifans. "Or Beach Pistols..." adds Ieuan, "Not Sex Boys. That should give you a good idea."

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Rhys Ifans, the gangly, unkempt star of films like Notting Hill and Twin Town, was once in Super Furry Animals before acting took precedence. Now that he's hooking up with old bandmates like Ieuan and Guto Pryce in The Peth, there are certain benefits from his celeb lifestyle. Not least, being mates with the likes of Oasis.

"They heard the album and thought it was magnificent," explains Ifans. "They then, very kindly, because we're based in Cardiff and they're playing in our stadium, thought. that we'd..." "Like to join them for the day!" interjects Ieuan. "Yeah, and I think that that given our kind of musical approach I think we kind of complement each other," concludes Ifans.

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Musical compatability with Oasis is all very well, but surely there must be some kind of nerve-jangling before such a big gig? Ieuan is confident: "No fine! The more the better, really; it gets easier. It just turns into a sea [of people] then."

"No, I'm definitely nervous about it! But excited," admits Bennett.

"I think that's why we're here [rehearsing]," continues Ieuan. "We haven't played for seven months or something so we need a couple of run-throughs. And once you know what you're doing, then there's no reason to be nervous. We'll be fine! Can't wait, really."

What about you, Rhys? "It's just good to hook up with everyone in the band again. [At gigs] generally there's more of us than them! Just hopefully not on Friday. It's great though, you know. Looking forward to it. Appropriately nervous but more excited than nervous.

With the musical experience of the Peth's contingent of Furries and Sibrydions, not too mention the awesome pipes of Bennett and the film star swagger of Ifans, The Peth stand a good chance of winning over the early-arrivals at the Millennium Stadium.

The bluesy, pyscheledic rock wig-outs of The Golden Mile could be just the ticket from enormodomes to small theatres. Even if their inspiration comes largely from a tasty pastry product.


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