Giving a sh*t with the PSYCHEDELIC FURS: Photos/review

It is to my great shame – and simply a confluence of bad timing, life and travel – that in all these years decades, I have never seen the Psychedelic Furs live. And I always seem to forget to how much I actually truly love them. “Sister Europe” and “Dumb Waiters” and “India” hold up extremely well in my post-punk, new-wave, record-store clerk head while “Ghost in You”, “Heartbreak Beat”, “Heaven” and “Pretty in Pink” bop happily along in my pop-tart heart. Blissfully, all of those were well represented at the July 28 Vancouver gig at the Commodore Ballroom. But beyond that, the real surprise of the night was that the band, well – actually still gave a shit.

41 years later, they still gave a shit.

To say I was surprised would be an understatement.

Bands going through the motions are more often than not what’s to be expected at reunion or reformations (as t’Furs did in 2001). At best they smile, and make some banter about being grateful that we’re all still here, and thank us for having taken the time and the Advil to turn up. At worst, the lead singer turns up, you hear your favourite song, you go home, you remember that time you slow danced with that guy at that thing in grade 8. But a band that gives a shit, actually puts in the footwork? AHHHH, thank you.

For Richard Butler, giving a shit here, meant not just looking the part in his trenchcoat (and Jeebus his hair and voice have held up well) but trawling the entire lip of the stage, reaching out, making eye contact, dancing, and smiling next to his bandmates as if to say “hey, I’m actually having a good time and am enjoying this setlist wot we play night after night and aren’t we sounding well?”. For brother Tim, it meant rocking the bass, egging on the singalongs and getting his face into every cell phone that cared. For long term sax-man Mars Williams it meant running the stage and making the sax a 47% less fucking annoying instrument through sheer positive energy alone.

Yes, this is what it’s supposed to be like. So thank you, Psychedelic Furs, I’ll try not to wait 41 years until the next time.\m/

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