The Psy­che­delic Furs

Lon­don Ken­tish Town O2 Fo­rum

Classic Rock - - LIVE! - Chris Roberts

The ever-un­der­rated art-rock­ers play all the hits and more.

Psy­che­delic Furs front­man Richard But­ler doesn’t say much when he’s on­stage, but that’s fine. He plays the charis­matic rock star with aplomb: pac­ing, crouch­ing, the­atri­cally act­ing out ev­ery line with fluid arms, hit­ting those cru­ci­fix­ion poses to per­fec­tion. In­sanely fit for a 61-year-old, his unique, rolling rasp of a voice seems at first ir­ra­tionally high in the mix. Then it be­comes clear that ev­ery­one at this sold-out The Sin­gles Tour show is bel­low­ing along to his cryptic cou­plets, so it makes sense.

Forty years ago the Furs’ witty, poetic on­slaughts emerged from punk and then si­dled into New Wave with a Bowie-es­que knack for gor­geous/gritty hits. Suc­cess in Amer­ica and the co-opt­ing of their song

Pretty In Pink dis­rupted them, and a 90s hia­tus en­sued.

Now re-es­tab­lished as a killer tour­ing band, they’re a stomp­ing wall-of-sound six-piece with driv­ing dy­nam­ics, Richard’s brother Tim still on bass, and a twist of sax­o­phone ma­nia from Mars Wil­liams. So in ran­dom or­der we get early snarls such as We Love You, their evo­lu­tion through Dumb Wait­ers and Mr Jones into mea­sured, haunt­ing rever­ies like The Ghost In You and Love My Way, and semi-dance bangers like Heart­break Beat.

There’s the ideal mix of nos­tal­gia and en­ergy in the air and their first Lon­don gig in five years goes su­per­nova with a ti­tanic, top­i­cal en­core of Sis­ter Europe, Pres­i­dent

Gas and In­dia. Heaven.

Richard But­ler: play­ing the charis­matic rock star with aplomb.

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