Most will remember Peter Murphy as being the Godfather of Goth and the face of Bauhaus. Not that he’s done much to broaden that observation. Last year (minus any of the original members), he toured a Bauhaus retrospective. But that band was finished over 20 years ago, and Peter Murphy is still interesting. And road-tested. By the time he arrives in San Diego, he’ll be at the end of a nonstop tour that puts him in front of a new audience almost every night for a couple of months. The way I read it is that Murphy will either be bone-tired or dialed in, or both, in the way that only performing every night in a different city can do. All of this is in support of Lion, Murphy’s tenth solo album. It’s a collection of songs made on the fly, but it’s so intricate that he told a reporter that only about half of the new songs are do-able on the live stage. This leaves him and his road band, at least in theory, much room to dig around through Murphy’s extensive back-catalog.
- Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Belly Up Tavern,
143 S. Cedros Avenue,
$20 - $35
Peter Murphy is skilled at playing with a listener’s head. As a recording artist and a songwriter, it’s what he’s learned to do best. That, and the overstatement of the obvious. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” for example, the first Bauhaus single in 1979, would become a goth classic and pave a road that many goth acts to come would follow. No, Bauhaus didn’t invent the genre of goth music, but they surely took it to the bank on a mixture of Murphy’s eerie baritone and bleak internal compass, a few Middle Eastern turns, and demonic chords. Originally from England, Murphy and his wife and children have lived for years in Turkey, a landscape as incomprehensible to me as the inner devices of goth itself. The mystery of it all makes the experience far richer.