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On Music:

Bringing Back Britain's Bauhaus


IF IT was Tuesday, it must have been Paradise. Gloom and doom came into its own, donning its studded leather, ratting up its blue-black hair and condescending to strut its sinewy stuff in front of Peter Murphy, ex-lead singer of Britain's once most promising avant-garde band, Bauhaus.

Experimental bands keep rock and roll moving forward In the late sixties and early seventies, "art bands" like The Velvet Underground, Roxy Music, and David Bowie emerged. Then punk rock rejuvenated the private angst of teenagers across the western world and rock saw the eruption of new and even more apocalyptic bands such as Joy Division, the Talking Heads ("Remain in Light" era), and especially Bauhaus, led by Peter Murphy.

Peter Murphy

At the Paradise

February 10th

Although some of his current repertoire is different and Bauhaus is history, solo artist Murphy alters his stage routine for no one. This rather haughty fellow takes idolatry very seriously. He paces righteously back and forth across the stage, eyes bulging, nose to the air.

"We love our audience," he echoes. This declaration closes one of Bauhaus' better songs, "Spirits," which was almost as good at the Murphy concert as on the Bauhaus record. On vinyl, "We love our audience" night or might not be the real McCoy. But when it's emphasized with stony eyes and a bony accusing finger, the phrase's contemptuous undertones hit full force. Murphy leaves us with the feeling that maybe he's taking his usual Vincent Price routine a bit too far.

When Bauhaus broke up in 1983, Peter Murphy went solo and thereby passed up the chart hit that his old band mates, now called Love and Rockets, currently enjoy.

But no matter what the charts say, Murphy can still sell out a sparsely advertised show and prove that his audience loves him too.

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