Concert Review: Psychedelic Furs and James, July 31, The Orpheum, Vancouver

Psychedelic Furs

Co-headlining tours are always funny ones, as you get half the audience really interested in one band and half the audience really interested in the other. Last night, unfortunately, the Orpheum was only half full, so you had a little less than a quarter of the seats filled with James fans and a little over a quarter filled with Psychedelic Furs fans. I’m not sure why this gig wasn’t at a smaller venue – it would have been perfect at the Commodore Ballroom.

James came on first, and performed a set of material mostly from albums they have recorded since they reformed in 2007. They sounded tight and Tim Booth’s voice has not lost any of its power. It was disappointing to not hear more of the old favourites, “Come Home” being the only song they played from back in the day. It sounded fantastic, and only made it more disappointing that they didn’t play one or two more. They finished with “Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)”, their last single before they broke up. They invited audience members up on to the stage, with 30 or so people joining them. It was a great end to the show, but without “Sit Down”, “Laid”, “She’s A Star”, “Gold Mother” or “Born of Frustration”, the audience were left feeling a little frustrated.

Psychedelic Furs were the opposite. They started with “Love My Way” and played hit after hit, including “Heaven” and “Pretty In Pink”. Bassist and founding member Tim Butler even sang along with the crowd to the big tunes. Singer Richard Butler’s voice was as clear and powerful as ever, and the saxophone player, Mars Williams, played his sax like a lead guitarist, powering through tune after tune, and he was even joined by James’ trumpet player on “Sleep Comes Down”. The audience were mostly of an age where they would remember both bands from the heyday of their career, but what the audience lacked in youth, they made up for in enthusiasm.

The Furs did a short encore and the crowd left happy – the one good thing about the theatre not being very full is you get out of there super quick without much of a queue!

Posted on by Martin Alldred in Concerts