Peter Murphy has been a solo artist for about 30 years, but he will always be remembered most as the lead singer of Bauhaus, a band whose heyday lasted five years.
Bauhaus was famous for its gloomy, gothic sound, most evident in songs like “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” its first single, released in 1979. The band earned Murphy a nickname, the godfather of goth, something he is still living with.
Bauhaus broke up in 1983 but got together for a few reunion tours. Last year, Murphy led a 35 Years of Bauhaus Tour without the rest of the band, although he told Rolling Stone magazine: “I think that’s exhausted now. For us all, really. I don’t think any of us truly want to play a whole set of that music again.”
For the time being, he has his own music to perform. On June 3, Murphy released “Lion,” his 10th solo album. In May, he launched a tour, which will stop at the Riot Room in Westport on Sunday night.
“Lion,” Murphy told The Star recently, was created quickly.
“This particular album was really spawned by my producer, Martin Glover,” Murphy said. “We got together to see what would happen. And it took off in a very fast way the moment we met. So it became very much a fast process, very on-the-spot.
“I was touring, so I was flying in and out during the process. We didn’t have too much time or need too much time.”
It was made quickly and without regard to how the new songs would sound live. Murphy said he can perform maybe half of the 11 tracks.
“We’re finding that not all of them are conducive to live performances,” he said. “I’ve got about six that work in the show. The ones that work tend to be neither too long nor too kind of downbeat.”
“The show is going well,” said Murphy, who had just opened the tour in New York the evening before. “It was a typical first show, especially with the new songs. We’re still working on things, but I think the audience really liked it, which is important. The live element is as important as recording, maybe more so these days. It’s necessary to be out there.”
Murphy hasn’t completely exhausted his Bauhaus days from his show. He has been dropping a couple of Bauhaus songs into the set list: “Silent Hedges” and “She’s in Parties.”
“Yes, I’m going to represent that,” he said. “As long as it works within the show. There will always be a reference to what I’ve done in the past, my body of work. One album can’t make a whole show.”
He’s willing to refer to his days with one of the more revered post-punk bands of the late 1970s, but Murphy said he’s not so sure about its influence.
“Obviously, Bauhaus can be looked at in more than one way,” he said. “I don’t really keep my eye on that legacy. Our audience seems to have a very wide range of age, and they still want to hear that. And it’s always going to be there. I take it as a compliment, owning (your past) is back, as it were. But I still don’t know or necessarily agree with how really influential the band was.”
A load of good music at the Brick
Two nights in a row, there is a show for adventurous music fans at the Brick, including two bands with New Orleans roots.
Tonight, it’s the funky jazz duo of guitarist/composer Charlie Hunter and drummer Scott Amendola. They’re on the same bill with the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, which is out celebrating its 20th anniversary. The band, which once included local heroes Jeff Harshbarger on bass and Mark Southerland on horns, is now performing as a trio. In April it released “Millions: Live in Denver,” its 25th full-length recording.
Friday night, it’s Yojimbo, a New Orleans quartet led by trombonist Carly Meyers, who has performed at the Brick several times as a member of the Mike Dillon Band.
“Yojimbo started out as a funk band playing originals and a couple covers while we wrote more material,” Meyers told The Star on Monday. “Over time we’ve grown into our own sound, playing all originals exhibiting each of our individual influences, including New Orleans funk/brass band, alternative rock and Memphis soul. We are fun-loving, high-energy party people and so is our music.”
A blurb from a review posted on the band’s Facebook page concurs: “Yojimbo’s the perfect blend of aggressive passion, punk-rock chaos, and technical expertise.”
Also on the bill: Shuffled Quartet, featuring Marcello Benetti on drums; Helen Gillet on cello; Jeff Albert on trombone; and Rex Gregory on sax, clarinet and flute. Gillet, too, has been a frequent solo performer at the Brick.
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Peter Murphy performs Sunday night at the Riot Room, 4048 Broadway. Ringo Deathstarr opens at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20. A VIP/meet-and-greet package is available for $100.