Following his San Francisco residency, Peter Murphy is in the midst of his New York City tryst at (le) Poisson Rouge in the West Village. He booked 12 shows to perform over the span of a couple weeks including every one of his solo albums in their entirety, a greatest hits set, a Mr. Moonlight (Bauhaus) night, and two David Bowie tribute nights (for remaining dates, check below). This series of shows are for both the die hards who know every lyric of every song – and believe me, they exist – and the casual fan who find nostalgia in some of Murphy’s hits such as “Cuts You Up” and “All Night Long”.
With such a large catalogue of music that spans a solid 40 years, Murphy does an excellent job of remembering the lyrics and cues of each song despite how underplayed they are. Both shows, 1988’s Love Hysteria on August 3rd and 1989’s Deep August 5, were performed in their entirety with a small encore showcasing a song (or two in the case of the Love Hysteria night) from the album prior. Attending these shows makes you aware of how enthralling Murphy’s voice is, and what sort of vocal performance he provides on his albums. Onstage with Mark Gemini Thwaite (guitar), Marc Slutsky (drums) and Emilio Zef China (Bass, violin), some of Murphy’s more emotive tracks were propped up by China’s violin solos, such as “Strange Kind of Love” – Murphy also picked up his acoustic guitar for this one as well. Perhaps the only thing that would enhance these series of shows more would be a live synth instead of a backing track since the mixing often seemed to get muddy.
Highlights over the two nights included his high-spirited and playful commentary between songs and his performance of “Fun Time” from the Love Hysteria album. After the Love Hysteria performance, I went back to his discography and realized I should have gone to the first night of the residency in which Murphy performed Should the World Fail to Fall Apart because there’s so many great songs on that one, too. The realization that Murphy’s career stretches far beyond his Bauhaus days are apparent and proven with these eleven dates. See you at Holy Smoke tonight – I’ll be the one singing along to every word.
Remainder of dates at (le) Poisson Rouge are as follows:
Aug 8: Holy Smoke
Aug 9: Cascade
Aug 10: Dust
Aug 12: Ninth
Aug 13: Lion
Aug 15: Greatest Hits
Aug 16: Mr Moonlight (Bauhaus songs)
Aug 18: Tribute to David Bowie SOLD OUT
Aug 19: Tribute to David Bowie
Tickets on sale here.
Photos by Christine Connallon