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?")
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
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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