Apr 3, 2011

Peter Murphy - Bourbon Street

By Bob Suehs


April 03, 2011

Baltimore, MD


I had a weird curiosity about going to this show....I was uncertain what the crowd would be like, I was hoping it would be a weird, wild, crazy mix of goth, punk & art damaged music freaks who wanted to see a remotely dark & gloomy sorta evening...what I saw when I arrived about 30 minutes after doors opened was a mostly empty room that smelled of bleach in some spots; this same room was the scene of a horrible crime... 4 people were stabbed & one died less than 48 hours prior to this show date, yet the room was cleaned up (sorta), the blood was wiped away & the only depressing vibes on this night would come from the artists on that stage!

UK based singer LIVAN...he's not just the singer, but the band uses his name as their moniker as well!

Livan, the band, is a unique explosion of all things rock...they don't play just one genre of rock, they do a little electronic, a little punk, a little metal, there's much aggression on the stage when the band plays, yet there's also a homo-erotic side as well because Livan is a band who's members are as diverse as the music they play onstage!

Let's break it down like this: Livan, the lead singer of the group, is a clean shaven man who's chest is as hairless as his head, and what I kinda laughed at was that he has more hair coming from his armpits than anywhere on his body; Paul Stanley's chest hair is the only rival to Mr. Livan's underarm hair, while he reminds me of what Maynard from Tool might look like if he was in shape, Livan comes off as both a dominant onstage figure, yet there's a soft quality to him & his man styled corset was something I've never seen anyone wear before....the front 1/2 had fake 6-pack abs & it was held up by suspenders; it was an interesting look that was part S&M/part Village People and the thing is, being an American, you never quite know how to take foreign rockers sometimes because the things most Americans look at as "gay" the world outside the USA might consider putting on a show, but as a dumb American I'll just say it, Livan's onstage show is entertaining, good, & mildly gay...his onstage moves are best described as Freddy Mercury meets Rammstein and I say that because during pieces of the set Livan's onstage mic stand came apart & he would carry this 1/2 mic stand & straddle it between his legs & bend over in ways that most straight men might not be able to....

The bass player from Livan played a Daisy Rock bass & he looked like a young Billy Duffy from the "Rain" video, while the bands 2 guitarist filled in the gaps but didn't fit the "glam" look of Livan, then there was drummer Seven, who's best known as the one time drummer for Vanilla Ice...Seven is probably the best drummer I've ever seen in my entire life....amazing showman & someone you MUST see atleast once in your life!

The Livan set was around 45 minutes in length and I don't think the house lights were ever turned on throughout their set, the entire stage was done in blue light for most of the set & I'll admit that taking good pics at this show was a hard feet!

When Livan's set was done the entire band headed back to the merch booth to meet fans & seeing Livan walk through the crowd in his leather pants, suspenders & dress jacket....he is a man who makes you look his way because there's no one else quite like him in the room...he just commands attention!

Up next was the man, the myth, the ultimate goth crooner...Peter Murphy!

When Peter took the stage my first thought was, wow, the man's old as hell & bald in the back! I know, that was mean, but I'm just being honest here & the hair on his head is so thinly scattered, yet his voice sounded dark, deep & superb!

The power of the Peter Murphy show came from his backing band who nailed it...his lead guitarist is the guy you need to watch on that stage, he was killer, & during the first break in the show before encore #1 Peter did something quite weird if you were up front to witness it....Peter kissed his lead guitarist on the lips, then grabbed his rhythm guitarist's package....that IS a fact!

The thing is, Peter has a very femme/gay side to his stage presence as well & I blame the cultural differences because here in the USA the persona Peter Murphy exudes onstage would be considered gay....Murphy has a flamboyant side, his hand gestures, his dancing, even his clothes right down to the beads he sorts around his neck....Peter Murphy is a great singer ala David Bowie, yet he makes you wonder if he doesn't straddle both sides of the fence if you know what I mean.

There were a few encores/breaks in the set & Peter changed his shirts a few times, at one point he was sporting a vest with no shirt on under it & he was fine with allowing his belly to hang over his pants & he seemed totally content with allowing the crowd to see his body, his age, his thinning hair, he pranced, he danced, he even did a cover of "Ziggy Stardust" by Bowie!

The show was fun & despite posting signs asking the crowd to NOT film or use flash photography which NO ONE abided by, it was a triumphant night for the darker side of music and as I watched Peter sing my mind immediately realized that Ville from H.I.M. is a direct result/imitation of Peter Murphy & I can totally see the N.I.N. comparisons & I can also see where Peter Steele from Type O Negative was influenced by Peter Murphy just a tad.

The night was concluded with a cover of "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, then Peter thanked the crowd & exited the stage.