Richard Butler - vocals
Tim Butler - bass
Duncan Kilburn - sax
Roger Morris - guitar
John Ashton - guitar
Vince Ely - drums
The Furs were a popular act in London and New York City, and this show, recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour in 1982, comes one year after the band broke through in the US. Richard and Tim Butler are the core members of the band, and Richard's undeniable stage charisma is what made The Psychedelic Furs such a remarkable live band.
The group was making its way into the American music mainstream with songs like "Love My Way," "Sister Europe," and "Into You Like a Train," all performed here with high impact. The group had formed in England in 1977 with Richard and his brother bassist. They soon added the rest of the band and started making a splash in the thriving UK new wave club circuit.
In the US, the band was quickly adopted by the new medium of MTV. This exposure secured their footing stateside, and as alternative radio formats began to take over the Furs were amongst 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.
One listen to this show and it will be clear where the band got its 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 Kilbourn, who often mirror's 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 Bowie with the cynical breath of Johnny Lydon.)
By 1986, the band was down to a quartet and after working with Todd Rundgren, they essentially became a vehicle for the two Butler brothers. They split in 1991, and Richard Butler launched a new group, Love Spit Love, which never took hold despite two critically acclaimed albums.
The Furs reunited in 2000 and have remained together on and off since then.