Peter Murphy – “Bare-Boned and Sacred” album review


Murphy’s latest live album, Bare-Boned and Sacred, has just been released. It was recorded in New York during his 2016 “Stripped” tour. He performed together with John Andrews on guitars and Emilio Zef China on bass and electric violin. The trio performed some of the most prominent songs Peter had recorded over his 30year long solo career.

cover1The album starts with “Cascade” and we can clearly hear Murphy reciting the mesmerising words: “We have no image, we’re just called the good friends… We never know, we never know…”

The following track is “Secret”, and, although the live version may sound stripped from its original arrangements, it’s still monumental and powerful. A marvellous live performance. To many of Murphy’s fans, “All Night Long” is most probably the favourite of his songs. And this live version is in a tight race with the album version. Murphy’s voice is again flawless, crystal and fascinating. Before I could hear another favourite of mine, “A Strange Kind of Love”, they played a breathtaking Bowie cover, “Bewlay Brothers”. I would dare to say that this is one of the best covers I have ever heard. I assume that only Peter can perform Bowie covers with such passion and devotion. While listening to the track, I felt I really had to take a moment and thank those two great artists, Bowie and Murphy, for such musical legacy. The acoustic nature of “Strange Kind of Love” remained intact and I especially liked the sound of the electric violin they incorporated in the live version. However, “The Rose”, taken from the Lion album, sounded more acoustic. By shedding drums, the trio created a completely new sound dimension and painted the soundscapes with ethereal-like, soul-stirring arrangements. Once again, the violin played the great part in building the atmosphere. They didn’t forget the Bauhaus repertoire: they played a Bauhaus medley, consisting of “King Volcano”, “Kingdom’s Coming” and “Silent Hedges”, that was a perfect fit for this acoustic set list. However, the emotional climax was reached during the performance of “Lion”. The haunting violin introduced “Your Face”, the last track that rounded up this utterly touching, deep and graceful piece of art.