Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Why Ezra Furman Is Not a Fan of the Festival Circuit ; the Acclaimed Us Singer Says He Prefers the Close-Up Intimacy of the Traditional Gig to the Endless Round of Summer Weekenders

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Why Ezra Furman Is Not a Fan of the Festival Circuit ; the Acclaimed Us Singer Says He Prefers the Close-Up Intimacy of the Traditional Gig to the Endless Round of Summer Weekenders

Article excerpt

BY rights, American songwriter Ezra Furman should be channelling his inner Bono right now.

Propelled by the success of his sixth record, Perpetual Motion People, Furman is gearing up for a slew of summer festival appearances, followed by his biggest UK tour to date in the autumn.

And yet the idea of communal singalongs in vast enormodomes is clearly not on his agenda: Furman, remembering the teenage social misfit he once was, has always been about making a more intimate connection.

"When I'm performing, I'm always thinking of the misfit, the person who feels like an outsider, stood at the back of the gig," Furman explains.

"Because that's me when I was a kid; I was always the one who went to shows and didn't feel like I belonged.

"So when I'm on stage, I feel like it's my job to reach out to that person; pull them in and give them an experience."

That strong outsider perspective goes a long way to explaining Ezra Furman's passionate cult appeal.

A decade into his career and the 28-year-old Chicago native is firmly established as indierock's ultimate endearing misfit. He's the orthodox Jew who doesn't play shows on Fridays in order to observe Shabbat. He's the introvert/extrovert with a penchant for wearing (rather lovely) dresses on stage and on album sleeves. And, most importantly, he's the composer of glorious 50s-channeling rock'n'roll that celebrates all those misfits within society who refuse to be categorised.

Suffice to say, he's a man - much like his musical idol Morrissey - who commands an unwavering, slavish loyalty from his fans.

And you'll find no more vociferous a fan of Furman's music than his own label boss, Simon Raymonde, the former Cocteau Twin and now head of the venerable independent Bella Union.

Back in May, following a triumphant gig in London, Raymonde posted a gushing eulogy on Instagram, proclaiming Furman as 'my hero'. …

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