Richard Butler - vocals; Tim Butler - bass; Duncan Kilburn - sax; Roger Morris - guitar; John Ashton - guitar; Vince Ely - drums
Kicking off the band's second 1981 appearance in New York City with an introduction by popular WNEW DJ Pam Mulley, The Psychedelic Furs launch into a mostly solid 14-song set from its Talk Talk Talk tour. One listen to this show and it will be clear where the band had gotten its biggest inspiration from: David Bowie, Roxy Music, and The Sex Pistols. Musically, they sit closest to classic-era Roxy Music, especially with the sax fills of Duncan Kilburn, who often mirrors Andy MacKay's style. But it is lead vocalist Richard Butler who guides the band's direction with his distinct vocals, combining a Berlin-era David Bowie with the cynical breath of Johnny Rotten. Kicking off with "Into You like a Train," through the hour-long set they play such highlights like "Pretty in Pink," "Sister Europe," and "Dumb Waiters."
The group had formed in England in 1977 with Richard Butler and his brother, bassist Tim. They soon added the rest of the band and started making a splash in the U.K.'s thriving new-wave club circuit. In the U.S., the band was quickly adopted by the new medium of MTV. The MTV exposure secured their footing stateside, and as alternative radio formats began to take over, the Furs were among the most popular bands of that era. The support of Columbia Records' giant promotional department didn't hurt either.
Many of the band's songs became staples in a crop of new "brat pack" movies, including "Pretty in Pink," which inspired the teen film of the same name. By 1986 the band was trimmed to a quartet, and after working with Todd Rundgren, they became essentially a vehicle for the two Butler brothers. In 1991 the Furs split up, and Richard Butler launched a new group, Love Spit Love, that never took hold despite two critically-acclaimed albums. The Furs reunited in 2000 and have remained together, off and on, ever since.
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