Pretty in Black…
Having waited 30 years since the release of 1991’s ‘World Outside’, The Psychedelic Furs tour plans for new album ‘Made of Rain’ were shot asunder, like many bands by the pesky pandemic.
Now being 65 and clad in head to toe black, with permanent shades plastered to his face, ultimate new-romantic goth king, Richard Butler still cuts a prominent figure in the dream pop, post punk world.
But it does make you wonder, are the shades purely aesthetics or are they prescription?
Opening the set with ‘Highwire Days’ the band prove that in their long absence from touring they can still pack a mighty punch.
The crowd consists mainly of older men some of whom have brought their sons and daughters along to inspire the next generation. There are some hard core art school students and there is more than a fair share of smart phone novice photographers taking videos with full flash lighting…
Either way everyone, band included, are happy to be here and are set on having a good time.
The Psychedelic Furs new material has somewhat relied on that age old formula from the 80’s and if isn’t broke why fix it?
Some of the set highlights came from their new album – especially ‘The Boy that Invented Rock & Roll’, a mighty, post punk stomp, that showcases Butlers raspy, Marlboro drawl.
Admittedly, everyone is waiting on the hits being played, and when they do the crowd are singing along with every note.
‘Pretty in Pink’ sees the band daubed in rainbow lighting. ‘Love My Way’ has everyone dancing along with the sweet sparkling synth soundscape that it is.
‘The Ghost in You’ is swarthy art noir, meets big 80’s power pop at its core. Butler has all the mannerisms of a true icon, dips and hip shakes aplenty and even some almost hypnotic arm movements that certainly look like he’s casting a spell or summoning the devil, who knows maybe both?
His only detractor is the diminutive showboating saxophonist who keeps appearing and reappearing at different points on the stage, Mars Williams (excellent name) has toured with the likes of John Coltrane – so it’s no surprise that he is absolutely killing it this evening and ultimately gaining the most deafening round of applause at the end of the set.
Set closers are ‘Sister Europe’ which is a Kaleidoscopic prog-rock jangle, glittering with 80s synths and tambourine.
Followed swiftly by the imminent and moody ‘India’ proves that The Psychedelic Furs ( named after The Velvet Underground track Venus in Furs) have indeed, aged well like a fine whisky.