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Around the Furs: John Ashton delivers a new familiarity with Satellite Paradiso

 

The past few years — hell, the past 35 years — have seen no shortage of Psychedelic Furs shows around Massachusetts and New England. Just last year, the English rock band, known for ’80s hits like “Pretty In Pink” and “Love My Way”, played the Cape Cod Melody Tent with the Church, and we vaguely recall an odd Salem date around 2012. But the Furs haven’t released a proper studio album since 1991’s World Outside, so the recent live appearances are full-on nostalgia parties.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with revisiting the past, but former guitarist and key Furs figure John Ashton has formed a new band, Satellite Paradiso, and it feels like a natural extension of his previous efforts. Part of a three-date Northeast run this week and next, Satellite Paradiso play Brighton Music Hall this Saturday, with local support from Casey Desmond, Bird Language, and Best Not Broken. An added Boston tie is Satellite Paradiso drummer Frank Coleman, known for his work in the Bentmen.

 

A few Satellite Paradiso tracks, most notably “Angelic” and “Touch The Sky”, wouldn’t feel out of place on a Furs’ best-of comp. And yes, there’s that comforting saxophone to accompany the band’s lush, modern rock sound. That’s by design.

“I did write [several Satellite Paradiso songs] at a time when I was still playing in The Furs,” Ashton says in a 2014 interview with Dave Furneaux. “I modeled ‘Angelic’ on ‘Pretty In Pink’ — it has a similar chord structure and is based around the D chord progression — albeit with a few twists and turns thrown in… But this happened to coincide with that period of time when we were starting to drift apart. I want to be sure everyone understands: Yes, I used to be in the Furs, and I’m not any longer, but I feel nothing but gratitude and pride for that period of my life, and I’m very glad we’ve patched things up and are friendly again. They’re being very supportive of this new project, and of course many of them are playing on it! Like any band, like any family, we had our ups and downs, but we made some incredible music together and had some amazing experiences. And I will always be proud and grateful for that. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them.”

It’s also good to move forward. Preview some Satellite Paradiso tracks below, and scan details on all three upcoming shows after the music.

 
 

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