After a final album together, 2008's Go Away White, Peter Murphy and his former bandmates have finally hammered the last nail in the Bauhaus coffin. But that's actually good news for the group's rabid fans. Its erstwhile frontman is finally comfortable performing these songs on his solo tours, which have become surprisingly, pleasantly frequent. Wednesday's show at Respectable Street Café in West Palm Beach comes less than a year after his last South Florida performance, in July 2008 at Revolution. "I wanted to come out and work on the new material and play, basically, to a hard-core audience that would be loyal," Murphy says. "I'm not into doing tours only when there's an album. Playing live is as much as what I do as is making music."
Still, his official Retrospective Tour was last year, and as pioneering as his musical past may be, Murphy isn't content to just dwell on it. A new solo studio album, his first in five years, is due out later this year. He won't reveal too much about its sound — "I'd rather talk about it when it's out," he says with some finality — but he has continued to work with his sometime collaborator, producer David Baron. He will, however, reveal that the forthcoming work comprises all original tracks.
Which brings us to the occasion for this tour, dubbed the Secret Cover tour. Murphy has always been a talented interpreter of other people's songs, imbuing them with his own mystical, arty take and rendering them almost wholly new creative works. His live set lists have long been dotted by his versions of Doors, Joy Division, and Bowie tunes, and before the album release, he's issuing four new covers one at a time. So far, we have just the first to listen to, a rendition of John Lennon's "Instant Karma." Fans will have to check Murphy's official website, petermurphy.info, or attend the show and hope for a clue.
Wednesday, June 24. Respectable Street Caf, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $29.50 in advance. Ages 18+ with ID. 561-832-9999; respectablestreet.com
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Read a full Q&A with Peter Murphy on Crossfade, New Times' music blog, at blogs.miaminewtimes.com/crossfade.