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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Psychedelic Furs Play Talk Talk Talk At Slim's

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2011 at 8:04 AM

click to enlarge Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs
Talk Talk Talk
May 3, 2011
@ Slim's

Better than: Staying home and getting high to some old John Hughes movie.

Daylight was still streaming through the windows by the time we cleared the slow-moving line in front of Slim's. The battered and friendly hall was packed closely, with the biggest wad of humanity congealed in front of the stage patiently enduring a short wait for the headliners. A cheery voice over the P.A. boomed there would be no opening act, and this gladsome news wrung the first of many prolonged cheers. The crowd was about 60/40 male, with the predominant type being a special kind of aging dandy from a long-gone and glorious underworld.

click to enlarge The Psychedelic Furs - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • The Psychedelic Furs
To the sizable number of younger fans in attendance, the doomy romanticism of British postpunk outfit the Psychedelic Furs must seem like wickedly sophisticated stuff from an age just as comprehensively loony as the present. The first set consisted of the classic 1981 sophomore album Talk Talk Talk in its entirety, and passions don't get much grander than that in this laid-back age. The audience detonation over "Pretty in Pink" was impressive, but to my mind the highlight was the headlong charge the band made at "Mr. Jones," with Richard Butler's iconically jagged voice declaiming with all the undimmed fervor of the original. Brother Tim hulked and glowered over the bass, and the band's longtime saxman Mars Williams laid down several fiery solos. The set crashed to a halt like a gorgeous accident and the lights went up on a flushed and giddy audience.

click to enlarge The Psychedelic Furs - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • The Psychedelic Furs
The bar was clotted four deep with slow-shuffling inebriates, their baby-steps making a mockery of efforts to get my photographer a drink. The Furs didn't tarry bringing on the second act, kicking things off with a fierce "Sister Europe" before running a brisk and rousing tour of the rest of their back catalog. "President Gas" brought on a collective bellow that's ringing in my ears this very moment, and the rest of the set consisted of a duel between bravura Furmusic and the throaty braying of fans. The latter began to trickle out in singles and pairs while the rest set up a clamor for encores. The band strutted back out like heroes for three more songs. It was all over by ten o'clock.

click to enlarge The Psychedelic Furs - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • The Psychedelic Furs
Random notebook dump: "Richard Butler is a nonstop dervish in the Prince mold. Penned in one small spot, he still gives the impression of running a marathon and looking awesome while doing it."

Setlist

First set:

Dumb Waiters
Pretty In Pink
I Wanna Sleep with You
No Tears
Mr. Jones
Into You Like a Train
It Goes On
So Run Down
All of This and Nothing
She Is Mine

Second set:

Sister Europe
Love My Way
Heartbeat
President Gas
Highwire Days
Heaven
Heartbreak Beat

Encores:

Forever Now
My Time
India

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