The Psychedelic Furs kicked off their 2017 US tour Texas and played at Emo’s in Austin. They only have 10 shows on the schedule currently, but have posted on Facebook that they intend to announce more dates on Monday, April 3rd, not surprising since they’ve already sold out three dates so far.
Opening was Robyn Hitchcock. He’s simplified his sound since the days of Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians. This simplicity of a man and his acoustic guitar highlighted the singer-songwriter’s vocals perfectly. He played fan favorites like “Balloon Man” and “My Wife and My Dead Wife.” In-between songs, the banter was almost equal to his music and had the crowd fully entertained. I’m still amused that the first track on his CD, The Man Upstairs, or “dodgy merch,” as he called it, was a cover of “The Ghost in You,” by The Psychedelic Furs.
The last time I saw the Furs live was in 2004, and they have only gotten better with time. While the lineup of the band has changed throughout the years, the haunting rasp of Richard Butler on lead vocals and Tim Butler on bass guitar have remained a constant. The Furs are currently rounded out by Paul Garisto (drums), Mars Williams on sax, Amanda Kramer on keys and Rich Good on the guitar.
Since they haven’t put out a new album-notwithstanding multiple greatest hits albums-since World Outside (1991), the set list focused on fan favorites. Listening to “Love My Way” took me right back to the first time I saw their video on MTV and was immediately entranced. In 1988 I would have the fortune of introducing their sound to EQ Music Editor Raj Rudolph through “Heartbreak Beat”, shocked that he hadn’t already discovered them himself.
The Psychedelic Furs played with the energy and verve that first garnered them attention and success leaving me both wanting more while in heaven-reference intended.
This longtime fan hopes it sparks some new music soon!