The Liquid Rooms
Living in Edinburgh can be rather disheartening at times for a fan of live music, with gigs seeming like an afterthought for venues and many bands going for Glasgow instead. However, every now and then an act like Ezra Furman comes along and reminds you of how great live music can be.
Furman lays his soul bare in his music, tackling religion, depression and gender, but he puts just as much heart into his live shows. His rapturous performance held me spellbound, and it’s been a long time since I’ve got such thrills from a band. So much so that after Saturday it’s been difficult to find other new artists to listen to, everything sounds hollow and heartless in comparison Furman’s brutally honest jangly punk rock.
Backed by his band The Boyfriends, Ezra Furman is a far cry from the clean cut indie boys we’re all so used to. In a black playsuit and a rather elegant string of pearls, (that he manages to break by the end of the night), he is a striking and strange front man. He flings himself around the stage, head thrown back as he careers into the boisterous doo-wopping of ‘Potholes’ accompanied by booming saxophone. His singing as raw and emotive as his lyrics, “this one is for the queers” he slurs into the mike before his gender bending crowd pleaser, ‘Body was Made’.
His show has a feeling of spontaneity that has been so lacking in the music scene lately and boy does the crowd respond. “This is the one you go fucking mental to” is the introduction ‘for I Wanna Destroy Myself’, a punky belter about Furman’s visits to a physiatrist. Now the atmosphere really is electric, and it is refreshing to see the passion and fervour of the crowd met point for point by Furman, a permanent look of delight plastered across his face. It’s not often you see a performer so sincerely humbled by his following, humbled but wild, wired and raucous nonetheless. But Furman can take the mood down as quickly as he can bring it up. The rowdy crowd, five beers in and ready for a Saturday night falls silent for a bluesy, brooding cover of ‘And Maybe God is a Train’, that proves just as powerful as the crowd pleasing Restless Year. Furman totally seduces the audience, “are you ready for this?” he murmurs between songs, leaning out to the crowd, and we lean in breathless with anticipation. He lets out a low laugh, “I have all the power so will draw this out for as long as I like,” he languidly strums a chord, the crowd goes wild. Those who have fallen for Ezra Furman it seems have fallen hard, and after Saturday I think I have too.