LIVE REVIEW: The Psychedelic Furs Live, O2 Academy, Newcastle

Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs at the O2 Academy in Newcastle on their 40th anniversary tour. Pic: Mick Burgess.

It’s incredible to think that 30 years have passed since The Psychedelic Furs last stood on a Newcastle stage, when they played at the City Hall in support of their Book Of Days album. But better late than never as they say, as they returned to the region on 9 October as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations.

Never an easy band to pigeonhole, the Furs blended punk, new wave, electronica and pop into a rather unique concoction, all topped off by the earthy, gravel-edged tones of singer Richard Butler, who formed the band all those years ago with his bassist brother Tim.

Early singles Dumb Waiters, Mr. Jones and the laid-back Love My Way kicked off the night, showing the depth of their catalogue, even at that early stage of their career.

The Psychedelic Furs hadn’t played in Newcastle for 30 years. Pic: Mick Burgess.

Over the course of the evening they charted their way through some of the finest moments of their recording history, including Heaven, There’s A World Outside and a sumptuous Sister Europe, where saxophonist Mars Williams stirred the soul.

It wasn’t all looking back though, as The Boy That Invented Rock And Roll from their soon-to-be released album showed that they haven’t lost their songwriting touch.

The Psychedelic Furs at the O2 Academy in Newcastle on their 40th anniversary tour. Pic: Mick Burgess.

What better way to follow something completely previously unheard? How about a mega hit single, and Pretty In Pink certainly hit the spot, with Butler’s voice rasping to perfection.

The bass pumping President Gas and the soaring Heartbreak Beat saw The Furs heading down the final straight before India brought a long, long-awaited return to a triumphant end.

Mick Burgess
mickburgess1999@gmail.com