Posted in music | pictures on November 28, 2011

words & photos by Harriet Roberts

Peter Murphy @ Irving Plaza
Peter Murphy

I came to Murphy's concert at Irving Plaza this week with, I think, the right amount the reverence. Murphy's baritone is iconic. He's got half a dozen great singles, including "Cuts You Up," "You're So Close" and "Final Solution," spread among the eight or nine records in his post-Bauhaus career.

If you overlook the indulgent and pretentious Turkish-flavored records Murphy has put out, there are enough great songs to sustain a couple hours of entertainment.

The voice is still there and Murphy is trim and expressive in his mid-50s, acting out the songs with his hands and fingers like he's in a silent movie. But the impression he left me with, a balding old man playing old songs to aging acolytes, was that the whole thing was kind of farcical... The music we grew up with is gone. It's part of who we are now, but it can't be recaptured or recreated. A simulacrum of something that was once awesome and genuine and that hit hard is just that, a simulacrum. The songs may sound the same, they may evoke feelings or memories that, for a few bars, evoke a place and a time..., but they're not the real thing. Each return to a Peter Murphy song, or a Depeche Mode song, actually separates us a little big further from the original.
-[Upper Middle Brow]

Peter Murphy played to a mostly packed Irving Plaza on 11/21, supported by She Wants Revenge from San Fernando Valley, California and Hussle Club from New York. The show was part of Murphy's huge, ongoing tour with She Wants Revenge through Europe and North America to support his latest release Ninth.

For many Murphy is best known for his work as part of the influential group Bauhaus, who arrived late 1978 influenced by the punk rock movement and went on to unintentionally spawn a genre (Goth). They survived for four hot years before disbanding, at which point Murphy went on to start a successful solo career and to collaborate with artists such as Japan's Mick Karn in the group Dalis Car. In 1998 the members of Bauhaus reunited and the band returned for the full-scale 'Resurrection' world tour, before disappearing forever. Murphy returned to his solo career, writing and touring ever since.

Murphy can occasionally be seen on the big screen as well. Though he does not appear in the currently-very-popular Breaking Dawn, he did have a part in 2010's Twilight Eclipse.

More pictures from Irving Plaza and all remaining tour dates are below.

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Hussle Club

Hustle Club

Hustle Club

Hustle Club

She Wants Revenge

She Wants Revenge

She Wants Revenge

She Wants Revenge

She Wants Revenge

She Wants Revenge

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

PETER MURPHY - 2011 TOUR DATES
Mon, Nov 28 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Thu, Dec 1 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox Market
Fri, Dec 2 - Vancouver, BC @ Venue
Sat, Dec 3 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
Sun, Dec 4 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
Tue, Dec 6 - Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up
Wed, Dec 7 - Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia
Thu, Dec 8 - San Juan Capistrano, CA @ Coach House
Fri, Dec 9 - Pomona, CA @ Glass House
Sat, Dec 10 - Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Hotel

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Comments (18)

I agree that this show was a little weak, probably because the setlist drew so heavily from the weak new album, but I think it was an off-night. The stripped down set at J&R in June was breath-taking.

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2011 12:31 PM

that j&r set was far from breath-taking. not that i was expecting much, but they played like 5 songs, messed up during two of them, and the sound was awful.

the next night at delancey was MUCH better.

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2011 12:32 PM

This show was really crap. Peter needs to hang it up.

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2011 12:37 PM

Peter Murphy's Dead

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2011 12:49 PM

dude doesn't know the meaning of the word simulacrum.

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2011 1:10 PM

it puts the lotion in the basket

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2011 1:31 PM

He has on and off nights, the Delancey show was great. Very simulacrumy of the writer to think otherwise.

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2011 2:22 PM

fucking legend! he put on an incredible show as usual

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2011 3:43 PM

I think he should play in a forest.

Posted by toast | November 28, 2011 4:10 PM

The whole show sucked. I saw it at the Paramount in Huntington. Hussle club was a bunch of boy george posers unsure in their own skin. She wants revenge was umimpressionable and unimpressive. I like them on the radio, so that was a disappointment. But, peter murphy took the cake as the bloody wanka of the night. I've seen him dozens of times. He does have good nights and bad nights, but that shouldn't be his fans problems. He's moody. The last show at the highline this past summer was amazing. He interacted with the crowd, was actually funny, and his performace was remarkable. His talent shined and I left the show tingling. However, sometimes he performs like a bitch. Like he's doing us a favor. He was pissy. There was a girl next to me who was holding a sign up to him for about 10 minutes. The sign said, "May I dance with you?" She was sincere and said she loved him. He ripped the sign out of her hands and threw it on the floor. He was a prick. I finished my drink, gave him the finger and left. That was the best part of the night. The undead dying is no longer delayed.

Posted by Lisa | November 28, 2011 5:07 PM

I agree with 4:10. I would totally go to any show in a forest. While I didn't see this concert, I would have to disagree with anyone who says that "each return...separates us further from the original". I mean, where do you draw the line on that one? 5th show? 50th? 500th? By this logic the Rolling Stones should have hung it up eons ago! As for acolytes, seriously, is anyone out there playing to a roomful of disinterested people who just happened to buy a ticket? Trash the show all you want, but at least make some sense when doing it!

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2011 5:12 PM

A performance pattern of on and off again sets the stage for demise. It's sad to say. Mega bands consistently selling out stadiums seems uncomparable to small venues with loyal fans.

Posted by Lisa | November 28, 2011 5:29 PM

The secret late show he did at SXSW was fantastic. Based on the comments here, I have to conclude he's a hit-or-miss performer.

That Harriet Roberts review is almost as pretentious as Murphy himself, btw.

Posted by Anonymous | December 1, 2011 9:06 PM

Sorry, I meant the Upper Middle Brow quote.

Posted by Anonymous | December 1, 2011 9:09 PM

Some people dont get Peter Murphy or Bauhaus. They should just stay home. I was at the same show last week. Peter Murphy and Hussle Club were amazing. Only thing that sucks is your poor taste.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2011 3:40 AM

I believe the girl with the sign had the wrong band in mind. Peter Murphy is an artist. Artist usually come with a fine tune of integrity, and with it inherit comes along some form of arrogance. if Peter found the sign offensive, then she was not actually true fan. He should have broke the sign over her head.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2011 3:46 AM

Peter Murphy is undead.

& hipster-scum should die!

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2011 4:49 AM

amazing really it is

Posted by jordon | August 11, 2013 3:28 PM

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