Honest, intense, earnest but fun, Ezra Furman is a complex soul and a hugely likeable, engaging and talented performer.
In the past few years the outsider singer-songwriter from Chicago has put in the hard yards in Brighton, with shows at the Green Door Store, The Haunt and the Concorde 2, edging his way to Saturday’s (May 26) triumphant headline festival performance at the Dome.
As the anticipation mounted in the cavernous concert hall, the DJ played Fats Domino and Gene Vincent, a nod to Furman’s taste for doo-wop and pure rock and roll. His love for Lou Reed is loud and proud, both in vocal stylings and general spirit of the songs, but fortunately the wide-eyed, beaming, Furman doesn’t share Reed’s legendary tetchiness, and would no sooner growl or turn his back on an audience than walk on stage in battered jeans and a scruffy t-shirt,
This time around the beautiful Furman eschewed wearing a dress for a nice pair of black slacks and a rather fetching lilac blouse with peach flowers and fêted throughout by an almost universally adoring crowd with shouts from the front included: “We love you Ezra Furman”, “Come home. (Plaintively) With me!)
There were plenty of songs from his recent album Transangelic Exodus, a ‘queer outlaw saga’ which tells a love story with an angel told against the backdrop of the creeping intolerance of America and ‘other so-called democracies’,
Musically the sound is beefier than before, his newly re-named band, The Visions, deliver powerful sax-driven sound, which gives the tunes a mighty injection of Springsteen and E-Street Band vigour, most notably on an impassioned and jubilant Suck the Blood from My Wound, which sounds and feels like Born to Run for the for the shellshocked Trump and Brexit generation.
After 12 years of producing music, Furman is in a brilliant place and putting a foot down on his fabled red Camaro.