British singer Peter Murphy can claim a connection to the late David Bowie, and not just because Bowie’s music has deeply influenced him. Over 35 years ago, Murphy’s then-band Gothic rock legends Bauhaus recorded a cover of Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” which was a hit on the UK singles charts. Additionally, Bauhaus made a cameo appearance in the 1983 film Hunger– which featured Bowie himself – performing their classic song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”.
So it made sense that Murphy would pay homage to his musical hero for two Bowie tribute concerts at the Poisson Rouge in New York. The singer was originally scheduled to perform the shows as part of a career residency at the site last August, but this was postponed after suffering a heart attack.
Luckily for the many New York fans who filled the hall last Thursday, Murphy and his band returned for the first of Bowie’s two shows. Resplendent in a shimmering jacket, Murphy kicked off the night with the hard rock “Suffragette City” from Bowie’s 1972 magnum opus. The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the spiders of Mars. In fact, the set list drew heavily on Bowie’s glam era of the early to mid-1970s and nothing after the 1974s. Diamond dogs album.
From this particular show, there weren’t any really obscure surprises or cuts but rather successes. The crowd pretty much sang along with Murphy on memorable Bowie songs such as “The Jean Genie,” Starman, “” Rebel Rebel “and” Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide “- as well as the anthem” All the Young Dudes. “which became a hit for Mott the Hoople.
During the encore, Murphy played “Ziggy Stardust”, the aforementioned song that Bauhaus recorded decades ago. Perhaps the most interesting moment of the evening was the last song of the set, the iconic “Space Oddity,” which was rendered as a moody mood piece. Murphy and his group mates stretched out on stage as if to emulate Major Tom’s character cramped in his space vehicle awaiting take-off. It was probably the song’s unconventional performance as Murphy was lying on his back and singing into the microphone.
As shown on Thursday’s show, which only lasted about an hour, the striking similarities between Murphy and Bowie were fully visible in terms of the stage manners and dominant vocal styles of the two artists. Still, Murphy brought his own signature to the proceedings instead of just singing Bowie’s songs. During this time, his group played quite aggressively with muscular finesse.
Towards the end of “Space Oddity,” Murphy, who will perform with the other members of the Bauhaus later in the year, stood up from the stage and waved to the crowd by saying, “We love you David Bowie and you too.” Bowie, who would have turned 73 this month, has influenced countless musicians, and Peter Murphy’s long and enduring musical career is living proof of that. It couldn’t have been more evident on Thursday’s show.
List of sets:
All the young guys