As the title of this show tells, this Tuesday night at Store Vega is all about nostalgia.
A look around while listening to the opening act Desert Mountain Tribe, shows an audience that has at least one thing in common:
They prefer to wear darker colors.
The supporting duo’s set of energetic, monotone and dark psych-rock culminating in an exhaustive and repetitive performance by the drummer is well received by the mature crowd. And after only a short moment, the main acts are entering the stage.
Peter Murphy, peacocking in a full beard, full make up and a dark, shiny jacket has teamed up with bass player David J, as one half of the original Bauhaus. As stand ins for the absent members is The Mission guitarist, Mark Gemini Thwaite and drummer Marc Slutsky.
As the show opens with the disturbing guitar riff of “Double Dare”, the opening song from the band’s 1980 debut album In the Flat Field. Most people in the audience is immediately drawn into the the atmosphere of what is by many considered the first goth records recorded. Adding the drums, functioning as both rhythm section as well as a backing melody, transcends the whole room within seconds, even before Murphy opens his mouth.
While 61 year old Peter Murphy’s voice may have turned darker during the years he still masters his unique and dramatic vocal that has been his trademark in four decades, always combined with a theatrical mime show, highly influenced by a young David Bowie’s and early European dada avantgarde.
Thwaite’s guitar playing was an impressive imitation of Daniel Ash’ original work, yet still leaving room for his personal interpretations. And in combination with Peter Murphy’s beard and sufi dance, inspired by his years spend in Turkey, made most of the songs seem fresh and relevant.
As the concert developed, Peter Murphy was less tight in his performance and showed a bit more of a traditional rock’n’roll attitude, reaching out to the audience and even during “Nerves” promoting the audience to do hand claps.
This made the second half of the show loose a bit of momentum while at the same time the band also suffered a bit from a few sound issues.
As the band played their big hit “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” Murphy posed as Count Dracula on stage but even though the audience applauded it was perhaps the weakest part of the show. Fortunately the band managed to get back on track, playing “Kick in the Eye”, “Passion of Lovers”, “Dark Entries” and other classic songs a lot more convincing and after several extra songs ending the whole show with a perfect praise to David Bowie with another hit from the Bauhaus catalogue: “Ziggy Stardust”.
Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)