11 June, 2002

Peter Murphy

Peter MurphySomewhere in Peter Murphy is a good blues band. And it's desperately trying to get out.

Although that might be a little bit misleading. So let's take it from the top:

Last night, Jen and I went to the 9:30 Club and saw a spectacular performance by none other than Peter Murphy. (As an aside: petermurphy.com appears to be registered to some sort of real estate agent. Maybe something worse. I didn't really stick around to see what this person was peddling. Just a warning for those looking for the correct Peter Murphy website.) Now, I will fully admit I'm not a huge fan of Mr. Murphy. More of a casual listener. But if the only shows you went to were for the bands you absolutely loved, you'd never find any new music to listen to. And that, my friends, is a travesty in-and-of itself.

We got to the club at, ironically enough, 9:30. Just enough time to listen to the opening act suck for about twenty minutes. Needless to say, Jen & I were happy that we didn't try to get in when the doors opened at 7:30. I can't quite imagine my mental state if I had had to listen to this guy's dreck for a full two hours. (For those interested, I believe the guy's name is Michael Sheehy. Or James Sheehy. Or Mr. I Make Lots of Noise and Feedback Sheehy. Something like that.) Eventually, this particular opening act struck his last chord and shuffled off the stage. At least the canned intermission music was entertaining.

Finally, Peter Murphy took the stage. Resplendent in a flowing, black, full-length coat and...red pajamas? Huh. All we could figure is that he had been sleeping on the tour bus right up until 10 o'clock, at which point his manager shook him to life, threw him a coat and pushed him on stage. Whatever it was, it certainly didn't detract from Murphy's onstage antics. Well, okay, maybe not so much antics. Antics tend to be reserved for the slightly, um, younger performers out there. Covorting sounds a bit more appropriate.

Some highlights from the show:

- The band. Holy shit, but his backup band was sweet. I seriously think that the drummer and couple of the guitarists could form a nice blues band. All they would need is a different singer. Unless Murphy wanted to start devoting his life to the blues. Okay, that probably wouldn't be much of a stretch, really. Just needs to visit the South for a while.

- The drummer. This man kicked some serious ass. That's all there was to it. By the end of one number he was the only one left on stage, and he produced an amazing drum solo that went on for a good five minutes. Looks like Neil Peart isn't the only drummer in the rock world with some originality.

- The belly-dancer. Okay, she really wasn't a belly-dancer, no matter how much she said she was. Just some random chick from the audience, looking to shake her knockers in front of Peter Murphy. I think this Monty Python quote sums it up best:

...and every Thursday night the hotel has a bloody cabaret in the bar, featuring a tiny emaciated dago with nine-inch hips and some bloated fat tart with her hair brylcreemed down and a big arse presenting Flamenco for Foreigners.

- The glowing ball of life. In other words, a light bulb on some kind of dimmer switch. I mean, it was fun to watch for about thirty seconds. And it didn't take much effort to get the symbolism of holding his heart in his hands. But in a song that goes on for a good seven or eight minutes, the lightbulb needs to go. At one point, I think Murphy was actually mesmerized by the light. Or at least, he had the whole "deer in the headlights" look.

- The light show. I was just absolutely transfixed by the lighting equipment at the club. And for purely geeky reasons: I wanted to go play with the computers controlling the lights!

So overall I give this show an 7 out of 10. In a definite sign that I'm starting to get old, that would have been an 8, but the sound system was a bit too loud, and I could never find a good place to sit during the performance.


  1. a minor correction:the coat was grey. it was hard to tell in the dark of the opening number (i was seriously worried that he had gone off the deep end and was wearing a cape), but when the colored lights went off you could tell, yup, grey. ankle-length, unlined, nice button detailing down the front.some costuming comments:that red shirt (the first one) -- could it be that mr. murphy doesn't believe in antiperspirant? it's the only explanation i can think of for those tie-on sleeves in the first "set."the second red shirt was nice. flowy. no silly tie-on sleeves.the third outfit -- white shirt with uncuffed french cuffs, suspendered highwater pants with tuxedo stripes, and an odd scarf. i know it was cold in the club, but he was under the lights. i wasn't at all sure about it, but it did seem to come together when he donned the fez for his last number.the songs:got to say, not a big fan of the latest album. too ambient, too pretentious, totally undanceable. give me "love hysteria" any day.mr. murphy himself:appears to have been keeping up with aerobics and yoga. the prancing during the initial number was a bit much, and the constant lapsing into the running man made me wonder if he'd been watching "electric boogaloo" before taking his nap.but overall, he didn't look too different from when i saw him at lizner supporting holy smoke, what, ten years ago? still did the bendy forward dance, the pointy stomp dance, and the pogo.except.... except for the Amazing Appearing Bald Spot. reason enough right there to avoid balcony seating. it's hard to recapture your gothchylde days when the scalp of one of your demigods becomes more and more evident under the stage lights as the heat causes his hairspray to melt into oblivion.the audience:okay, listen up girls, and you know who you are. if your PVC pants aren't so tight they're cutting off the circulation in your twat, they're not tight enough. come back when you've learned the first rule of goth dressing: form over function!

  2. Thanks for the twat visual up there. Now I have to explain the laughing to my officemates.

  3. Wow... Never heard (read) Jen use the word twat before. If tight pants are what you are into, check out the very definetely not goth yo-yo smuggling hotties in Beirut. Ya Wallahi!