Arts & Entertainment

The Fixx making stop in Richland

British band The Fixx might be best known for its 1984 smash One Thing Leads to Another, but Tri-City fans should enjoy seeing how well the group -- filled with original members -- continues to perform hits from their New Wave days while blending in new material.

Their latest album, Beautiful Friction, was released last month and is packed with songs that fit sublimely into today's music scene. And lead singer Cy Curnin hasn't lost an ounce of his vocal savvy or songwriting skills.

The album's top song, Anyone Else, has some of the musical trappings found on many iPods today, and while Curnin's familiar voice might be almost 30 years older than the band's biggest hit, you'd never know it listening to the new album. Watch the video at thefixx.com to see for yourself.

Or hear it all live when The Fixx makes a stop in Richland on its world tour. They'll be at Jack-sons Sports Bar on Aug. 10. Doors open for the 21 and older event at 6:30 p.m. Showtime is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Admission is $20-$35 at the gate, and opening for The Fixx will be Tri-City rockers Colorblind.

Curnin said the inspirations for the new songs were drawn from the tensions and anxieties that define today's society, and he felt strongly that his music should call for accountability.

"Between the Occupy Wall Street movement and so many hate groups in the world pointing fingers and judging people while spreading propaganda that the future is going to be worse than the past, I thought it was time to pull some skeletons out of the closet," Curnin said in a telephone interview. "I believe more people are looking for signs of hope. It's time to be accountable for our own actions. That's what the song Anyone Else is all about, and I think the message pinged around the world."

Since Anyone Else was released, the song has caught the attention of some Baptist church groups because it addresses the acceptance of gay marriage.

"They pretty much hate us now too," he quipped.

Curnin and drummer Adam Woods co-founded The Fixx, and their bandmates have been together over the years, especially guitarist Jamie West-Oram and keyboardist Rupert Greenall. Bass player Dan K. Brown was on hiatus for about 15 years until he re-joined in 2008.

"We're all the original members of The Fixx, and I've been lucky to have maintained good, deep-seeded friendships," Curnin said. "We still argue over creative differences, but we do it with respect and remain good friends."

One Thing Leads to Another peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100 Billboard chart in 1983 and hit No. 2 on Billboard's mainstream rock the same year. The song is featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the fictional radio station Flash FM. It also was featured in an episode of Everybody Hates Chris and the movie The House of the Devil. Other familiar songs from their past include Red Skies, Are We Ourselves and Secret Separation.

Some music critics still refer to The Fixx as "the thinking man's New Wave band" because their music has a history of making social and political noise. Powerful songs such as Just Before Dawn, What God? and Take a Risk off the new album are good examples, Curnin said.

And when he isn't on the road making music, Curnin lives on a 30-acre farm in France, where he, his wife and daughter have operated a 10-room bed and breakfast in the Loire Valley since 2001.

"I think the local farmers here thought I was an idiot at first since I wasn't having much luck as a farmer," Curnin said. "But they finally took pity on me and taught me how to farm. Now I grow vegetables, and I like it."

But it's the music that feeds his soul and sends him back out on the road with The Fixx. The tour includes stops in Las Vegas, Denver, St. Louis and ends Oct. 22 in Hamburg, Germany.

"I think my wife likes it when I'm gone because then she can do whatever she wants to the place," Curnin joked. "And I tour both solo and with the band. Music just makes me happy. It truly does feed the soul."

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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