CONCERT REVIEW: The Psychedelic Furs, O2 Academy Glasgow 8th Oct 2019

Photo Credit James Edmond

Who inspires and influences our musical idols is a great way of discovering new music, or, in my case, “old” music. I stumbled on The Psychedelic Furs via The Killers in 2005; I was a very late bloomer in the grand scale of things, finding the band 14 years ago now, while here they were in Glasgow celebrating 40.

Wendy James and her band provided the support, or most accurately, the “special guest” slot. Once the blonde vixen of Transvision Vamp, Wendy has ditched the band and the peroxide and is now flying solo with new material set to drop in early 2020 and subsequent tour. Wendy sampled the best bits of “Velveteen”, the now 30 year old album that made the band a Top Of The Pops name; the peroxide may be gone and a nod to her wilder dress sense may now be confined to just a leather skirt, but Wendy still sounded the part, breathing new life into songs 3 decades old, making them sound fresh and relevant and seducing the stage with the girly grit that made her a pin-up. Of course, the crowd were waiting on one song only and “Baby, I Don’t Care” was lapped up by punters and showcased Wendy at her best; her ear to ear grin confirming she was loving it as much as her audience.

The Psychedelic Furs were welcomed warmly like an old friend; the crowd raucous from the get-go; mass singalong, synchronised swaying and the flashing of iPhone cameras set the tone for the night with a crowd who couldn’t seem to get enough of the new wave outfit.

Richard Butler himself seemed to revel in the devoted attention of his audience; he was happy to swagger, pose and wave for his public. Butler cuts a cool figure, a stark comparison to his stage presence; he oozes energy and vibrancy, putting everything he has into his performance; the years may have passed but his voice remains eternally distinctive. Even slowing things down didn’t diminish the crowd’s interest; songs usually used to refresh at the bar or answer nature’s call captured fans, many stood still, mesmerised with Butler and Co savouring every note, every beat, every flourish of their frontman . . .

Still, it was the hits that got things going; “Heaven”, “The Ghost In You” and “Love My Way” were embraced by fans; the live versions seeing the band accompanied vocally with a strong capacity crowd, while “Pretty In Pink” stole the show.

It’s no surprise to me that The Psychedelic Furs have shaped 80s cinema; their music always held a larger than life quality, paying perfect tribute to the sleek sound of synths that the 1980s were known (and later loved) for, perfect for any movie soundtrack.

Glasgow didn’t want the show to end, as much as The Furs didn’t want to leave, but end it had to with the band bowing out to rapturous applause and appreciation from what can only be described as an adoring, adulating public, somewhat desperate to hold onto Butler for just a few minutes longer.

Find your heroes HEROES, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

The Psychedelic Furs
Website / Facebook / Twitter 
The Wendy James Band
Website / Facebook / Twitter
Review by Siobhanne Beattie / Photographs by James Edmond