Talk Talk Talk
The Psychedelic Furs
Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
Thursday, July 7, 2011
On Thursday afternoon, the Mercy Lounge sent out a tweet warning the rock o' clock-ers not to show up for The Psychedelic Furs show at 10 pm, because the band would be going on promptly at 8 pm. They weren't kidding. The Butler brothers and company took the stage just a few minutes after the advertised start time and immediately tore into "Dumb Waiters," the opening track from the evening's advertised performance of their sophomore album Talk Talk Talk. Although there was a decent sized crowd at the beginning of the show, the empty spaces steadily filled in throughout the first set, and anyone who showed up late missed out on their biggest hit, "Pretty In Pink," which occupies spot number two on the album's tracklisting. Like most acts on nostalgia themed tours these days, they performed the album front to back, so there weren't any surprises to start the show. Despite the fact that they had been playing the album in this manner for the past year or so, they seemed to be enjoying themselves. And if the crowd wasn't as familiar with the album tracks, they certainly didn't show it. The Furs got a enthusiastic response throughout the first set.
After a 15 minute break, the band returned to the stage one by one to the opening strains of "Sister Europe." The rest of the set was basically culled from All of This & Nothing, their 1988 "best of" album. After another 50 minutes and a two song encore it was over. And therein lies the rub. It's not that it wasn't a good show. The band was in top form, and apart from wearing glasses and looking a little looser in the neck area, Richard Butler looked and sounded as great as he did when I saw them at 328 Performance Hall in 1991. But I couldn't help feeling like the show would have been perfect if it was just ten minutes longer. I'm sure I wasn't the only person who left the venue lamenting that they didn't play "The Ghost In You," though I was probably the only one disappointed that they didn't do anything from Book of Days or World Outside, their final two studio albums. Maybe they know their audience better than I do. The room was full of forty- and fifty-somethings who obviously hadn't been to a club show in years (honestly, it felt nice to be in the lower end of the age demographic for a change). Most of the crowd seemed content to sing along to "Love My Way" and "Heartbreak Beat." Personally I would have killed to have heard "House," or "In My Head," or even their final big single "Until She Comes." Alas, it was not to be.
In a Nashville Cream interview, bassist Tim Butler hinted that the band was working on a new album, which would be their first in twenty years. Richard Butler proved on his solo album (Richard Butler) a few years back that he's can still write great songs, so here's to hoping that the next time the Furs tour, it's for something a little more vital than just a greatest hits tour.
The Psychedelic Furs - "Make It Mine" (mp3) from the Until She Comes single