Peter Murphy Fan outside The Opera House

Peter Murphy Camera Shy at The Opera House

On my way into The Opera House to see Peter Murphy, I was excited to hear and see one of the Godfathers of goth. Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor credits Murphy as an early influence.

The tour manager insisted that all cameras be checked at the door. Even for those previously accredited with a photo pass like myself. I'm not sure why, but after the show I have my suspicions. Perhaps Murphy has become so vain that he doesn't want to be portrayed with his balding coif and crow's feet. Or maybe it was because it was his birthday and he didn't feel like cameras reminding him that he's now 52.

So the best shot I could get was a photo of a fan outside the venue after the show (pictured above). It looked like he escaped from Insane Clown Posse.

The concert started off pretty slow, but about the fourth song in, the crowd awoke from their torpor when the band launched into John Lennon's Instant Karma. It was soon followed by Neil Young's Heart Of Gold, for which Murphy needed a cheat sheet of lyrics laid on the stage by one of his stage crew.

I could've listened to Murphy sing cover songs all night, with his booming character voice. Apparently, he's got an album of cover songs due later this year.

The three-piece back-up band pretty much stood there all show, occasionally offering a shoulder for Murphy to lean on in between his pacing in circles in the middle of the stage. I was surprised to hear a canned keyboard offstage to fill in the sound.

Later in the show, the drummer left his kit to play a little Korg while the singer grabbed an acoustic guitar for one of the quieter songs off his popular Deep album, A Strange Kind of Love, which culminated in a refrain from Bauhaus' Bela Lugosi's Dead.

While shouts rang out for Cuts You Up, his biggest hit as a solo artist, it never came. Instead, we got to hear She's In Parties and another couple of covers: Bowie's Space Oddity and Joy Division's Transmission.

If his promoters keep this up, the next time he comes to town will likely bring him to Casino Rama for a last hurrah nostalgia show.

Photo by Roger Cullman.

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