Danse Macabre: Peter Murphy
Peter Murphy at the WOW Hall
In every art form there are those artists who touch upon something that rips the door from its hinges and changes everything. Bauhaus was one of those bands. As the first recognized Goth band, they helped define the style as we know it today. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, their dark, ethereal music stood in stark contrast to the snarling punk and glittery pop topping the charts. When the band split up in 1983, the members moved on to other projects. Peter Murphy continued to break ground as a solo artist and he brought his magic to the stage of WOW Hall in Eugene Oregon as a part of a special, very intimate set of tour dates.
From the moment he walked onstage, he held the audience spellbound. The opening song “Hurt” from Nine Inch Nails was perhaps a tribute to the support Trent Reznor has shown him over the years. Leaving the covers behind, the band tore into “Velocity Bird” from the album Ninth. Murphy’s hypnotic vocals were layered over textured guitars and a solid rhythm section. He also included “The Prince & Old Lady Shade,” “Peace to Each,” and “Memory Go” from the same album. The set list was an eclectic collection from past to present. Bauhaus classics “In the Flat Field,” “Silent Hedges,” and “Stigmata Martyr” sounded even better now than when they were first released. “Cuts You Up” and “Strange Kind of Love” were simply haunting back to back. “Gaslit” and “Rose Hunter” were surprises as they are only available on the six-track companion disk to Ninth. His band was excellent and they captured the dark, Gothic quality of Murphy’s style perfectly, particularly the stunning violin work.
After the show, I had the opportunity to chat with this amazing artist. We talked about everything from Jung’s Collective Unconscious to the concept of touch-starved to his book he wrote as a schoolboy years before. Just as engaging offstage as on, Murphy was dynamic, charming, and witty. He was and always will be a Gothic icon, but he’s far more than image. From Bauhaus to Ninth, Murphy’s music continues to seduce the ear down those strange and winding roads. You must see this man perform. Let him take you there. You will never regret the trip!
Find more on this iconic artist at Peter Murphy‘s website!