The Psychedelic Furs to Perform
KNOW & GO
WHO: The Center for the Arts presents
WHAT: The Psychedelic Furs with special guest Robyn Hitchcock
WHEN: Sunday, July 23, at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Grass Valley
TICKETS: General Admission and Reserved Seating from $32 to $67. Center Box Office — 530-274-8384 ext 14; BriarPatch Co-Op — 530-272-5333. Tickets and info http://www.thecenterforthearts.org
In 1977, The Psychedelic Furs rock band burst forth out of the British post-punk rock scene in London. With many hit singles and albums, the group went on to become one of the many popular alt-rock bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
With the advent of MTV videos in the early ‘80s, two highly-creative brothers and their core band were launched into big-time venues. Lead vocalist and songwriter Richard Butler, and his bass-playing brother Tim, were the catalyst for The Psychedelic Furs major hits: including “Love My Way,” “Heaven,” “Heartbreak Beat,” and “The Ghost In You.”
When director John Hughes’ approached the band with his movie built around The Psychedelic Furs’ song “Pretty In Pink,” the band’s legacy was set in concrete. In subsequent years, the successful group would release many hit singles, seven studio albums, several compilation albums, a boxed set, and a live concert DVD.
On Sunday, July 23 at 8 p.m., The Psychedelic Furs will headline a concert in Grass Valley at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Special guest Robyn Hitchcock will open the show for The Furs. The Psychedelic Furs current touring lineup is Richard Butler (lead vocals), Tim Butler (bass), Rich Good (guitar), Mars Williams (saxophone), Amanda Kramer (keyboards), and Paul Garisto (drums).
The legendary band is starting a three-month tour on the U.S. West Coast on July 19, and will then turn south to Mexico City, Santiago, Chili, and Lima, Peru. The European portion of the tour starts in Belfast, N. Ireland. After Europe and the UK, they come back to the U.S. to play in the Southwest, Chicago, and the East Coast before ending in Brooklyn, New York.
Robyn Hitchcock, a rock & roll legend in his own right, will be opening the concert for The Psychedelic Furs. Hitchcock is considered a surrealist cult artist, and a poetic musician’s musician. He is reportedly the closest person the new wave genre has to a Bob Dylan figure.
Hitchcock’s music is said to be a blending of folk and psychedelia with a wry British nihilism. His most recent album, “The Man Upstairs,” is a bittersweet love letter to a vanishing world. He describes his songs as “paintings you can listen to.”
After 40 years in the music business and many hit records, The Psychedelic Furs have an amazing show lined up for Grass Valley.
“We will play all of the hits that audiences have come to expect, as well as a good sampling of all the other tracks from our career,” said Tim Butler, the group’s bassist and co-founder. “When we go out to see bands, we look forward to hearing certain key songs, so we do our best to live up to those expectations ourselves.”
People who haven’t seen The Psychedelic Furs before will be delighted to see an energetic, lively performance. “It’s definitely going to be a fun, exciting rock show!” Butler said.
The Psychedelic Furs are best known for their creative output in the ‘80s. Their music has been called many things — post-punk, alternative-rock, indie-pop, new wave, art-rock, and at one point even mainstream rock.
“It’s always just been a rock band,” said Butler. “Those silly labels like ‘‘80s’ or ‘new-wave’ or ‘art rock vs. mainstream rock’ are attempts at pigeonholing bands into artificial genres that really don’t make a bit of difference to us.”
When asked if the band has any new albums in the works, Butler made a revelation. “As a matter of fact, we are working on a new album,” Butler said, “We are going to do our first new studio album in a very long time. Not much more to tell about it just yet, other than it will certainly be everything fans have been expecting.”
The early days of the band, Butler said, had the young group trying to merge the sounds of bands they liked — Roxy Music, Velvet Underground, Love, and the Sex Pistols — and others that had attitude and awareness of the hip cultural scene.
“Ultimately, our mash-up of attitude and musical tastes developed into something totally different and original in and of itself,” said Butler.
The American recording industry made a major shift away from rock & roll to rap, hip-hop, and electro-pop in the ‘90s.
“We’ve never been interested in following the trends or sounds of the charts,” Butler said, “As a result, a lot of Psychedelic Furs’ songs don’t suffer from a dated sound that some of the songs of the same era do. In fact, a number of bands since we started have cited The Psychedelic Furs as an inspiration, which makes us proud of what we’ve done. So, there’s a bit of a legacy here.”
The band’s bassist says that the band went on a hiatus in the ‘90s to work on other projects. “Richard and I developed a new project called ‘Love Spit Love’ along with Richard Fortus and Frank Ferrer, both current members of Guns & Roses. In 2000, we were asked if we were interested in going back on tour,” said Butler. “We were interested, and have been having a great time since then.”
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