Just as Spring occasions a renewal and reflowering of the earth, a tour of any Bauhaus alumnus gives me a chance to commune with my inner goth, evaluate its current aesthetic parameters, and get some shopping in to satisfy my findings.

I call my latest incarnation "Shiny Black Goth." Born of decadent spa patronage and a newfound (and no doubt misplaced) confidence in my lower legs, Shiny Black Goth consists of black pumps, short black skirt, black stockings, tiny little black tank top, and a tight, sheer shirt over that, plus silver chain belt and highly reflective black bead necklace (courtesy of Liz Claiborne, via Ross). Hair, up; nails, deoxygenated blood red; and for maximum effect, use a trick I modified from advice Carrie Mason gave me on my Halloween costume a few months back--use a bit of lip liner under your eyes and a bit of black eyeliner around your lips. Stunning. As for Partick, he wore a lustrous oxygenated blood red shirt, black pants and shoes, stayed out of the sun, and let his natural gorgeousness carry the look.

Our muse this night was Peter Murphy, who performed at the Nile theater on April first. Murphy was resplendent in rich hued crushed velvet ensembles which flattered those slender thighs he's always going on about, and artfully applied hair gel rendered his pate reasonably hirsute. His band looked good, too, if in a more modest sort of way. It was composed of Peter DiStephano, the guitar player from Porno for Pyros who sported a black button down bowler shirt with jeans and slicked back hair, the shirt free bass player from Jane's Addiction Eric Avery, Love&Rockets producer Doug DeAngelis, and our darling Kevin Haskins on drums, who does not mince no matter what you may have heard.

In addition to his long familiar hopping, twisting, and whirling like a dervish, Murphy has taken to playing with the stage lights--picking them up and shining them on himself, his fellow musicians, and the audience. The effect is similar to the famous "Bullet the Blue Sky" sequence from U2's Rattle and Hum movie (though Murphy's technique is more extensive and elaborate, and he uses a much smaller light), and compliments his booming vocals.

Which is not to say booming is Murphy's only mode. At the first break in the show, the band left him standing alone before his mike stand, acoustic guitar strapped on, eyes closed. He stood there quietly, long enough that the audience reaction turned from enchanted, to puzzled, to restless. His composure finally cracked when he arched an eyebrow and glared at the portion of the crowd from which originated a lewd remark. "I'm having a rest," he intoned, then resumed his meditative pose.

The rest was worthwhile, for a restored Peter Murphy treated the audience to a set of lovely, low key songs: "Big Love of a Tiny Fool," "A Strange Kind of Love," and the rarely performed "Marlene DietrichÕs Favourite Poem" (eat you livers, Murphy fans not in attendance). Then the band returned for two more encores, including the remixed "Roll Call" (Partick smacked me with the back of his hand and pointed meaningfully toward the stage at the "buttoning up your new red shirt" part). They threw flotsam into the audience between breaks, but a Kevin Haskins drumstick still eludes my grasp. Which reeks.

The show was of satisfactory length, about 100minutes or so, but because it started at about eight and there was no opening band, it was all over by ten. The house lights went up and the faithful crowded the stage and angled for souvenirs. A roadie appeared from the back of the stage and handed the bouncer at the barricade a bunch of "playlists" to distribute and thereby placate us supplicants.

They were pretty bogus, to tell you the truth. A true playlist should be ripped from the floor of the stage, covered with tape and grime, and have some resemblance to the order and content of that night's show. Still, they came from Murphy's general proximity and were better than nothing, which was a real threat as we were chased out of the Nile before we had a chance to beg for DiStephano's spare pics.

Partick and I hung around the stage door for a while, though certain Murphy and the rest had already been smuggled out, then to Coffee Talk for a Bunny Delicious (okay, that was my order), and we were home by 1115. Which is fine for the goth who wants to be home by a reasonable hour, but what kind of goth is that? Not a Shiny Black One, let me tell you what. But maybe my next incarnation will.

(Written by Sharon C. McGovern)

From Vol. 17
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