The Psychedelic Furs are truly back and better than ever as they tour their first studio album since 1991, “Made of Rain”. Last week the band filled Rock City with a set promising to leave fans with their ears ringing with a selection of hit singles from their seven major studio albums. Alice Busvine reviews the show for Impact Magazine.
Perhaps the first thing that struck me upon my entrance to watch The Psychedelic Furs at Rock City was how perfectly their name suited their style and performance. The Furs rose to fame in 1980 after the release of their self-titled debut album, making their mark on the UK post-punk music scene. In a rebellious backlash to this punk rock music scene the band embraced their signature psychedelic label, and their set at Rock City certainly gave the venue a flavour that mixed rock with the psychedelic in a way that not only served for a brilliant time, but a sincerely refreshing one to hear at the venue.
Further impressive were the number of people on the stage – no less than seven members were part of The Furs touring line up – certainly the most impressive line-up I have encountered at any venue! The band were led by songwriter Richard Butler on vocals and his brother Tim Butler on bass, and were completed by yet another bass player, a guitarist (Rich Good), a drummer (Paul Garisto), a keyboard player (Amanda Kramer) and most impressively, a saxophonist (Mars Williams) who I also saw rock a clarinet at several points throughout the show – something I had never expected to witness at an alternative rock concert…
a true testament to the passion the band continue to perform with
But the true life and soul of the stage remained the incredibly charismatic frontrunner Richard Butler. Throughout the performance, not only did Butler provide vocals for The Furs but, in an almost performative way, gestured his arms in such a manner that the singer seemed to resemble some sort of actor performing a type of dramatic monologue. It was brilliant to watch, and a true testament to the passion the band continue to perform with. Every member was energetic and interactive with the crowd, and I was pleased to see the genuine love the band had of performing being made so transparent to their fans.
The Psychedelic Furs obviously keep their outfits totally true to themselves. They were so unapologetically original that they couldn’t help but instantly catch the eye. Almost all of the group were sporting chunky sunglasses and were further adorned in gothic styles that furthered their punk atmosphere. As far as first impressions go, their looks were striking to say the least. The rest of their set design was equally as eye catching, although I often prefer a simpler set design as I believe this can allow for a more intimate and raw atmosphere. However, The Furs opted for vivid lighting which completely swallowed the stage in colours that changed with every song. It certainly made for an intense stage design, but it was, admittedly, fun to behold.
I actually only knew a handful of songs before watching The Psychedelic Furs at Rock City. My two personal favourites, The Ghost in You and Love My Way, were definite highlights of my night. However, it was lovely to see that these also seemed to be highlights for the rest of the crowd, as these two songs were awarded some of the loudest singing and applause on the night. Other songs that were met with particular joy were Don’t Believe, a song which Richard Butler allowed the audience to chant every time the chorus circled around, and then of course Pretty in Pink – the infamous song which inspired the title of the hugely successful John Hughes film, ‘Pretty in Pink’, upon its release.
playing songs I am sure they must have performed hundreds of times as though it was the first time they had been played
As I watched the band, I was not surprised they had both gained and retained such success in the UK and USA music scenes. I could hardly blame a band for getting bored of playing the same songs for forty years. But how lovely it was to see a band so full of energy throughout their entire set, playing songs I am sure they must have performed hundreds of times as though it was the first time they had been played. The band kept the atmosphere energetic throughout their performance, whilst the lighting and constant utilisation of the smoke machine kept that eery and psychedelic ambiance that remains so strongly associated with the band.
The Psychedelic Furs will continue their Made of Rain tour around the UK until April 13th, after which they will be jetting off to the USA to continue on a monumental loop around the states.
Featured image courtesy of Alice Busvine. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.