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Live Photos + Review: Peter Murphy - The Powerstation, Auckland

Live Photos + Review: Peter Murphy - The Powerstation, Auckland

Photos by Dave Simpson / Review by Fluffy / Tuesday 23rd October, 2018 11:18AM

Northampton-born seminal goth rock artist Peter Murphy graced the stage of Auckland's The Powerstation on Saturday night to perform Bauhaus’ genre-defining debut opus 'In The Flat Field', plus a few extra numbers thrown in for good measure. Gloom-aficionado (and UTR live reporter) Fluffy and photographer Dave Simpson were there to capture the spooky vibes. Read the review here and click below to view Simpson's epic images of the show.

Auckland’s Powerstation was awash with nostalgia on the Saturday evening of Labour Day weekend. A multitude of jet black outfits heralded the Midlands-born godfather of goth that is Peter Murphy. For the uninitiated, while fronting British goth rock crew Bauhaus, Murphy created some of the most timeless, darkness-inspired tunes of all time. Now, forty years after their debut album In The Flat Field was released on renowned UK label 4AD, Murphy and original Bauhaus bass player David J bought their spooky tunes to Aotearoa.

Opening act and Rockquest darlings Daffodils kicked off the affair affair with chorus-drenched guitars and the occasional faux-Transylvanian vocal accent. As my first time seeing the band abuzz, I was surprised with the maturity of their influences and just as I began to wonder if they were adding extra tinges of goth rock to their sounds especially for the occasion, they closed their set with a somewhat confusing (though, in fairness musically robust and well constructed) ska track. I guess it was all popular in the UK in the 80s, aye?

Capes, decadently oversized boots and heavy eyeliner all turned stage-ward as the ominous man-of-the-moment, Peter Murphy entered, accompanied by his black-clad brethren. Appearing at times like Dr Strange with a red sash, he bent time and space, transporting the audience back to Britain circa 1980 with such numbers as ‘God In An Alcove’ and ‘Stigmata Martyr’.

Peter Murphy's inter-song banter about being “harder than any man and more beautiful than any women” and wanting “four ladies and three blokes” in his hotel room after the show were a hilarious counterpoint to the darkness-riddled tunes he and his compatriots belted out. The set highlighted Murphy’s prowess as a multi-instrumentalist, donning synthesisers, melodica and at times percussion throughout.

When the fearsome four-piece delivered iconic singles ‘Bela Lugosi's Dead’ and ‘She’s In Parties’, the entire room was dancing and singing the enduring refrains back to the band, reminding attendees of the inherently inter-linked nature of dance to the goth subculture with kick drums pounding four-to-the-floor rhythms like reanimated corpses banging on their soon-to-be-victims’ doors. The in-the-flesh realisation of one’s enduring teenage angst was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime affair.

After a teasing stage exit and a cacophonous roar from the audience, the crew returned to treat attendees to a smashing rendition of Dead Can Dance’s ‘Severance’ and David Bowie’s best know number ‘Ziggy Stardust'. With the closing chords ringing out the spell was broken and audience members arrived safely back in 2018 Auckland, with a little more euphoric tenebrosity in their hearts.


Peter Murphy - 40 Years of Bauhaus
Peter Murphy - 40 Years of Bauhaus
Peter Murphy - 40 Years of Bauhaus
Peter Murphy - 40 Years of Bauhaus
Peter Murphy - 40 Years of Bauhaus
Peter Murphy - 40 Years of Bauhaus

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Links
petermurphy.info
facebook.com/petermurphyinfo
facebook.com/davesimpsonphotography/

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