Concert Review: The Psychedelic Furs at Culture Room, May 26

Psychedelic Furs at Culture Room
Psychedelic Furs at Culture Room
Photo by Erica K. Landau

The Psychedelic Furs
With Nothing Rhymes With Orange
The Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

At the Culture Room Wednesday evening, the Psychedelic Furs opened

their 16-song set with their first major hit "Love My Way." With the

current lineup consisting of original members Richard Butler (vocalist)

and Tim Butler (bassist), longtime members Paul Garisto (drummer) and

Mars Williams (brass/woodwind/tambourine man), and newer members

keyboardist Amanda Kramer and guitarist Rich Good, it felt like a

goth-pop Steely Dan show. No more than a handful of the near-capacity

crowd seemed to be under 25. (Unintended not-so-fun insight: You seem

to lose bar etiquette after a certain age. Overheard while trying to

score a drink: "Do they want us to move from the bar?")

Dressed

for the cold rainy season in London, The Furs made up for whatever

inconveniences from the crowd's cluelessness when they played with all

the energy and enthusiasm of a band in their prime. Butler's John

Lydon-esque singing sounds as sweet as I remember from the records. His

animated brother (who looks a bit like a husky Sam Rockwell) plays the

bass with such flair and style, it's a trip to watch him move around

and mouth along lyrics to his brother. And Mars Williams seems to be

that rare saxophonist who can play his instrument without the cheese --

of course, that's if you're blind to the gothic garb and sun glasses in

a dark club.

Disappointingly, the crowd was fairly sedate

during most of the band's catalog and, perhaps unsurprisingly, only

erupted in dance during the better known songs, such as "Ghost in You,"

"Heaven," and "Pretty in Pink," which closed the night before the

encore. However considering the mean age of the crowd, they wouldn't

want to break their hips.

Prior to the Furs was South Florida group Nothing Rhymes with Orange, the Brit-throwback opener, with whom my only run-in involves hearing a song a

while back on 88.5 FM. After the song finished, the DJ dutifully informed

listeners of the band's memorable name. Her co-host responded: "I know

something that rhymes with orange. Bore-ange." But last night, their performance had more to do with the Oxford Rhyming Dictionary's recommendation for orange: "lozenge," which is what the ORD

describes as a half-rhyme for orange. The singer Carl Almasy Coccaro,

who performed like a mature Julian Casablancas, thanked the crowd for

sticking it out through their last song, and then proceeded to

apologize for his sore throat: "I'm a little sick." Despite delivering

their blend of Brit-pop through a slight rasp, the

aging, Bauhaus T-shirt wearing, lived-it-up-in-the-'80s crowd still

seemed highly entertained. And nothing could tame the enthusiasm for

the upcoming Furs, as the crowd responded to the end of NRWO's set with

a loud rumble of applause.

-- Pat Rothblatt & Erica K. Landau


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