Friday, December 21, 2018

Live: Peter Murphy @ Tae Kwon Do (Athens, December 14th, 2018)

It's been 40 years since the formation of Bauhaus in Northampton, England, the band that defined goth rock more than any other, and 35 since they played in Athens in one of the first ever indie rock gigs that took place here. Back in those days I was just starting to get into this type of music and "The Sky's Gone Out" was one of the first records I bought with my pocket money.

Unfortunately in '83 I was still too young to be allowed to go to a rock concert while the band split up soon afterwards so I never had the chance to see them in their glory days.

Although I'm not too keen on going to concerts for nostalgia's sake, when I learned that Peter Murphy along with David J would be returning to Athens to play "In The Flat Field", the first Bauhaus album, in its entirety plus several of the band's classics in celebration of their ruby anniversary, I could not resist the temptation to book my seat at the Tae Kwon Do stadium.
After a set by local act The Steams who presented their debut album "Wild Ferment", combining psychedelia with eastern melodies and prog-rock influences, it was time to turn the clock back and revisit the dark side of 1980 as Murphy and his band, featuring David J on bass, came on stage and the first notes of "Double Dare" filled the stadium.

The Steams, live @ Tae Kwon Do (Athens, December 14th, 2018)
It's unavoidable that time takes its toll on all but thankfully great music is timeless and Bauhaus songs retain their formidable power to thrill and move us. Perhaps Murphy's voice was not at its best on this particular evening but it was still more than capable to provide chills and thrills, while his presence on stage remains imposing. The band did a great job in faithfully recreating the Bauhaus sound in all its gothic glory despite the fact that the large venue, which is not built for rock concerts, does not offer the best possible sound.

After the presentation of all nine songs from "In The Flat Field" in the first part of the show, the band returned to perform a selection of highlights from the rest of their catalogue, with "Bela Lugosi's Dead" being, of course, the center piece and tracks like "Kick in the Eye" and "She's in Parties" reminding us of some of our favorite moments of the '80s.

For the final encore, we didn't get "Ziggy Stardust" as we would have liked, but it was time for a few more melodic selections, with "King Volcano" and a cover of "Severance" by old Bauhaus label mates Dead Can Dance closing the show.

Peter Murphy's return to Athens after many moons brought back vivid memories and the undead sound of the early '80s with a legacy that still resonates and influences to this date. Bela Lugosi may be dead but the legend leaves on! Here's the set list and three tracks from the show:

Peter Murphy, live @ Tae Kwon Do (Athens, December 14th, 2018)

Peter Murphy (ft. David J) - In the Flat Field (live in Athens)

Peter Murphy (ft. David J) - Bela Lugosi's Dead (live in Athens)

Peter Murphy (ft. David J) - Kick in the Eye (live in Athens)

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