Posts Tagged ‘Peter Murphy’

Bauhaus at the Hollywood Palladium, Nov. 3, 2019. Photo by Matt Cowan

This was never going to happen. Bauhaus was never going to be on stage again, not together, not after 13 years of acrimony, not after repeated doubts from members that they would ever work together again, not after having gone through the reunion dance twice.

But there they were Sunday night less than three months after vocalist Peter Murphy suffered a heart attack before a solo show in New York, enthralling a black-dressed crowd of 5,000 at the Hollywood Palladium, playing with a fire that seemed to burn a lot of pent-up fuel. Those who expected to see an iconic band were not disappointed.

Whether the show resulted from Murphy’s brush with mortality or merely from a desire to light a fire under their catalog (not that their post-Bauhaus projects haven’t), the crowd cared not a for a moment.

And there was a palpable rush when Murphy, Haskins, Daniel Ash and David J took the the stage and blasted forth a crunching, feedback-drenched version of John Cale’s “Rosegarden Funeral of Sores.” Following that with the blistering one-two punch of “Double Dare” and “In a Flat Field,” it was clear that Bauhaus were back with a vengeance.

Like the best bands of their generation, Bauhaus made magic despite their technical shortcomings. Haskins’ static and angular drumming, Ash’s broken-glass version of glam-rock guitar, David J’s use of dub, pulse and throb, and Murphy’s rich, deep baritone made for a unique combination in 1978, the year of the band’s inception. As a musical genre, “goth” had yet to be coined, and the bleakness of Northampton, England, proved a perfect canvas for the young foursome’s monochromatic tunes of doom and gloom. The band lasted a mere five years and four releases before they parted ways in 1983, with all the members enjoying greater degrees of commercial success outside the group. Murphy had a major hit with “Cuts You Up,” and the Love and Rockets trio of Ash, Haskins and David J scored big with “So Alive.”

Despite being credited as the “Godfathers of Goth,” the band rejected that label, and upon further reflection, one can understand their argument. The magic of Bauhaus comes from the perfect merger of completely disparate elements. Shades of Bowie, Brel, baritone and Berliner camp form Murphy’s shadow. Ash brings forth the pre-glam metal slash and burn of Mick Ronson and the style of T. Rex. David J is steeped in the cheeba haze of dub master Lee “Scratch” Perry and traditional soul like James Brown. Haskins took the mechanical beats of Neu and Can and applied the Martin Hannett technique of making them sound organic and human. So the band credited as architects of “Goth” are not actually goth. Go ahead, ask them. Bauhaus is soul music, moving, emotive, soothing, provocative and sententious, which is why 15,000 people will pack a ballroom across three nights (they play the Palladium again tonight and on December. 1st) to see a band that nary had so much as a sniff of a charting single.

But that’s not to say there aren’t any hits. “Bela Lugosi is Dead” is the “Stairway to Heaven” of post-punk. The song that launched a thousand bands in its wake has lost none of its chilly luster. Played midway through Sunday’s 90-minute set, it is still epic, still icy, still grating — the climax for many of the newbies who had not yet gone full undead. To the faithful, the highlights were a trio of songs that haven’t tickled ears since the early ’80s. It was 1982 when anyone last heard “The Three Shadows, Part II” and “The Man With the X-Ray Eyes,” and it was 1983 when Bauhaus last played “Spy in the Cab.” That along with the Iggy Pop cover of “Sister Midnight” made the evening much more than a rehash of “The Best of Bauhaus.” Yes, it was all killer and no filler, as other set highlights included “A Kick in the Eye,” “She’s in Parties” and a furious version of “Stigmata Martyr.”

Murphy certainly doesn’t look the part of a man who just had two stents stuck in him less than three months ago. He was singing with exceptional projection, pulling his mic away a good 18 inches and yet still filling the hall with his bellow. One wishes that he’d even take it down a notch.

There is still no word on whether this reformation will lead to a broader tour — after tonight’s second sold-out night,

Setlist: Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale cover)
, Double Dare, In The Flat Field, A God in an Alcove, In Fear of Fear, Spy in the Cab, Terror Couple Kill Colonel, Swing the Heartache, She’s In Parties, Bela Lugosi’s Dead, Kick In The Eye, The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, Stigmata Martyr, Silent Hedges, Dark Entries. Encore: The Three Shadows, Part II, Sister Midnight (Iggy Pop cover), Telegram Sam (T. Rex cover)
, Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover).

Image may contain: one or more people and text

It’s been a long time coming, but David J (Haskins) is returning to his roots.40 years since the formation of Bauhaus, he has announced two one-off solo UK concerts in between festival dates with Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy and their newly-announced world tour, including‘ Back to Beck, a historic intimate event at the studio in Wellingborough, England where ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ was recorded. Released on August 6th, 1979 by Small Wonder Records, this is considered the first gothic rock release. Featuring lyrics composed by David J, this massively significant single led to a John Peel session, two years of charting in the British independent charts, and being signed to 4AD Records and, later, Beggar’s Banquet.

Between the end of Bauhaus and the beginning of Love & Rockets, David J recorded 5 singles, and 1 LP for Glass Records, and played on 2 albums by The Jazz Butcher. This LP, was and remains one of the crowning glories of the original Glass label, and has now returned to it’s newest incarnation Glass Modern, on a long-playing record, remastered, slightly re-packaged and wrapped, for all you middle-aged indie kids and rock’n’rollers with one foot in the grave, and the other still tapping out that beat on the dive bar dance floor of glorious memory. Closing the circle, old friendships renewed and maybe a few new ones born. 

http://

Following a performance at London’s The Islington on Saturday, August 25th, David J will play a special live acoustic concert for a small crowd on Sunday, August 26th at Beck Studios. This will be David’s first time in the studio since recording his ‘Blue Moods Turning Tail’ EP in 1984. This special limited capacity show features music originally recorded there, as well as songs spanning his career.

As part of this rare event, Andrew Brooksbank, author of ‘Bauhaus – Beneath The Mask’, will conduct an interview with David, followed by a Q&A with the audience. This historic concert is not to be missed and will be both recorded and filmed for later release.

From there David J will join Peter Murphy for a 40-year Bauhaus anniversary tour across the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, for which they will play their full debut LP ‘In The Flat Field’. Bauhaus released 4 groundbreaking albums, cementing their place in music history. Considered one of the most influential bands Bauhaus spearheaded the post-punk alternative music scene of the early ‘80’s, defining a style that is feasibly the pinnacle of the gothic scene. Late 2018 will bring a series of coloured vinyl Bauhaus reissues and more tour dates are expected later.

Vinyl Reissue of the Classic David J LP, originally released on Glass Records in 1985. 180 g Heavyweight clear vinyl, remastered, inner bag with all the lyrics. plus sleevenotes by David Barker of Glass.
Releases September 7th, 2018