Peter Murphy at The Wick/The Well

Filed under: Goth Stuff,Live Music,Reviews — doktorjohn October 3, 2012 @ 1:34 am

August 26, 2012
Brooklyn N.Y.

The last stop on Peter Murphy’s tour was at an interesting venue, The Wick/The Well , an outdoor courtyard surrounded by towering brick monoliths and industrial warehouses in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. As you enter, you pass through a semi-indoor bar area where drinks are served in slum-style plastic cups at uptown Manhattan prices.

An interesting mix of understated Goths as well as civilians in casual attire made up the audience of about 200 who ordered hotdogs and beer from the makeshift food stands that lined the fencing on the right flank. The left flank was made up of a row of more than adequate portable toilets.

PM came out shortly after eight, just as the sun was setting, opening with “Velocity Bird,” from his latest album Ninth (2011). The crowd was so small that one had no trouble squeezing right up to the stage, and he was quick to interact with them, engaging in on-stage antics, as is his custom. He bowed low revealing that something has been done to disguise his balding pate. He bantered and exchanged handclasps with the first several rows of the crowd. Perhaps unwisely, he let his shirt open to reveal a less than flattering, aging bosom.

The loving fans strained hard, but couldn’t hear the vocals, even though his accompaniment consisted of only drums, one guitar and a bassist. For his part, PM took note of the problem, frequently and constantly signaling the soundman to take corrective steps. Eventually, and inconsistently, the situation improved.

He followed with the great Bauhaus favorite, “In the Flat Field.” Then came a frustratingly ill-mixed “Peace to Each,” an unremarkable entry from Ninth, and “Memory Go,” the latter a somewhat better representative of that album.
“Silent Hedges” from the Bauhaus repertoire cheered the hearts of the happily singing-along audience, but was followed by new material that was difficult to connect with due to the audio problem.

Now, clearly world-weary and, can we say irreverent about his past career, PM concluded “Strange Kind of Love” by slipping into a campy parody of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” which once evoked reverence in the scene.

No PM show is complete without the anthem “Cuts You Up,” and by this time, the sound system issues had been solved. Now at last the performance showcased his fine vocals, as well as virtuoso violin and acoustic guitar solos. Then came the emotionally touching “I’ll Fall With Your Knife” from Cascade was followed by “The Prince and Old Lady Shade,” indisputably the best off Ninth. Alternating Bauhaus and PM solo works continued after the break and concluded finally with Ziggy Stardust.

Perhaps this was not his best showing ever, exhausted as he was at the end of his tour and sabotaged by poor audio. Yet charismatic PM retained, by his sincere performance and by his warm, humorous interaction with the audience, his exalted status as the father of Gothic rock

Thumbnail picture of the Aquarian page with added images from the show

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