I've waited 20 years to see Bauhaus (I was living in darkest Aberdeen last time they played and was about 13 years old when they split up), but it was worth the wait.
Bauhaus were one of the big three of my teenage years - Bauhaus, The Sisters and the Banshees. I had their logo scribbled all over my school folders and photos of Pete Murphy sellotaped inside. Oh, but he was gorgeous
. Twenty years later he's put on a bit of weight (the buttoned up smoking jacket he wore for the first few songs did nothing for him. I never thought I'd go to a Bauhaus gig and hope Pete Murphy would keep his shirt *on*!) and he's lost a bit of hair, but he's still a handsome man, and has amazing stage presence. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
They opened with a song I know but can't place, starting with just Daniel Ash on guitar, hair (a full head of it) tied back in a tight topknot and looking painfully cool in shades and some sort of designer-looking gothic punk outfit of trousers and a long coat. Then Murphy's voice came in, although I couldn't see him till much later on in the song. (My only slight complaint was that he spent too long at the back of the stage where those of us at the front right couldn't see him.) David J and Kevin Haskins arrived onstage as their parts came in, and the years have been kind to them too. In fact I'm not convinced there's not been some sort of diabolical pacts going on, possibly involving portraiture.
I can't remember the order things were played in, but they played pretty much all the old favourites. I don't remember hearing "Spirit", but that was the only thing I would have expected that they didn't play. They did "Rosegarden Funeral of Sores", which delighted me as it's probably my favourite Bauhaus song, (despite actually being a John Cale song :}), possibly not least because of the very sexy performance of it in the Shadow of Light live video, and it was still pretty sexy tonight.
Other highlights for me were a very spooky "Hollow Hills", singalong Pete to "Kick in the Eye" (Kick! Kick! Kick!), and "St Vitus Dance" mixed into a storming cover of "Transmission". I'd never realised before how similar Pete Murphy and Ian Curtis's dancing styles were! At the end of "Stigmata Martyr" they stopped for a few minutes and the stage went dark but they didn't go off. The two more conventional breaks between encores had mercifully brief gaps too. It was a long show, I'm pretty sure they went on around 9pm and didn't come off till 11pm.
The only slightly jarring thing was a cover of a Dead Can Dance song (thanks Ed), a requiem, which was beautiful but broke up the rhythm of the night. We'd already had "Hollow Hills" and then had the tempo pick up and it didn't seem the right moment to take it down again.
"Ziggy Stardust" was clearly the big crowd pleaser, which I've always thought was a bit of shame as on record it's such a carbon copy of the original and not as interesting as their other covers, but they really owned it tonight. They also played "Telegram Sam".
They finished with "Bela Lugosi's Dead", of course. Murphy changed out of his white shirt and into a black tshirt and cape and the years just fell off. I swear the guy got younger as the night went on, perhaps appropriately for that song...
At first I was enjoying the show mostly as an exercise in nostalgia, and enjoying seeing how things had changed, but as the band and the audience warmed up I got so into it and by about eight songs in was absolutely swept away. It wasn't one of my live music as religious experience nights, but it was a great performance and a fun gig.
anyone want to save me going through my entire Bauhaus collection when I get home?
Burning From The Inside, thanks Matthew. Never was one of my favourite Bauhaus albums.)Guardian review of Manchester gig.
Oh, and yes, I wussed out of going to Dead and Buried. Christa and I got on the Victoria Line, sat down, and realised we weren't going anywhere. Maybe next month. :}
Killing Joke are playing Koko on 5th April, is anyone else going?