Adapted from The Aquarian Weekly:
The Godfather Of Goth, Peter Murphy, At City Winery – Dec. 11, 2016
Peter Murphy is overwhelmingly popular, not just with the worldwide Goth community, but with many whose musical puberty occurred during the ’80s and early ’90s. The first show at the intimate City Winery in Lower Manhattan’s West Village sold out immediately upon being announced. Thus a second performance was mandated, even though it meant scheduling it around 10:30 p.m. on a Sunday night.
This event represented part of the tail end of his “Stripped” tour which began in California in April of 2016, crossed the country, then crossed the Atlantic, and drew to a close on the East Coast. “Stripped” refers to the mainly acoustic, minimal electronic sound, provided by Murphy himself and two string instrumentalists/backup vocalists. Make no mistake, though, there was plenty of amplification and digital audio as needed to authenticate the mood and feeling of the cherished selections performed nor was there any lack of his showmanship and stage antics.
As on virtually all previous stops on the tour, PM started off the set with “Cascade,” off the 1995 album of the same name, recognizable by its melodious Morse code-like series of high-pitched, introductory tones that elide into arpeggios which grow into a luscious, percussion-driven melody. A consummate showman, Murphy strutted about the stage, bowing and waving his stretched out arms like a bird in flight
Following that, he reached back into the ’80s with “All Night Long,” “Indigo Eyes” and “Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem” in true acoustic style, seated and strumming his 12-string guitar. He continued the “stripped down” style but strode out from the stage to hover over the front rows as he announced and paid tribute to the late David Bowie with “The Bewlay Brothers.”
PM’s voice showed signs of strain, and his spoken words were decidedly hoarse, but his notes were perfectly steady and on key, and he never held back from bellowing out, full-throated, whenever it was called for. “A Strange Kind Of Love” afforded the opportunity for a brief solo by the violin accompanist.
Murphy picked up, first a tambourine, then drumsticks for the three Bauhaus favorites that followed: “King Volcano,” “Kingdom’s Coming” and “Silent Hedges.” He briefly disappeared from the stage, then returned to perform “Gaslit” and the bass-and-drum-heavy cover of Dead Can Dance’s “Severance.”
There was a pause signaling the final encore, the beloved and iconic anthem “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”—rarely performed on this tour. Murphy called for the lights to go down. His face was dramatically lit from below in cinematic horror fashion as he sung the repetitive mantra “undead, undead, undead” to conclude the show and leave the late-night crowd satisfied beyond their expectations.