DOUBLE ALBUM KK, PLAYGROUND RELEASE: NOVEMBER 8, 1999 REVIEW: JANUARY 10, 2000
These dark dandies of rock, these stylish gloom artists that
are Bauhaus somehow got lost between musical territories. Though some goths
seem to like them, their name doesn’t come up very often in their ramblings,
because it’s really not that gothic. Friends of postpunk/darkwave bands like
Joy Division and Birthday Party don’t seem to care too much either.
Bauhaus have both a gothic and a punky edge, but
additionally you can glimpse the glamorous dream worlds of David Bowie and
Television in the recordings. Fewer influences and a simpler sound might have
made for greater fame and royalties, but as it is, Bauhaus will have to settle
for being a very good band.
This is the ambitious gigantic reunion concert double album.
Normally a very big let down when it comes to any old cult band getting
together 15 years after they disbanded (I’m thinking of bands like The Velvet
Underground and Sex Pistols). But not only was the US tour in 1998 a great
success, the record is also very alive and kicking.
The first CD is all relevant material, with most of Bauhaus
greatest songs. ”Hollow Hills” is a gloomy masterpiece and the nervously
twanging and squealing guitar on ”Terror Couple Kill Colonel” puts your hairs
The second CD contains covers of Bowie, Bolan and Dead Can
Dance, of variable quality.
is one of those classic rock stars like Iggy Pop. The star quality radiates
from his voice and is probably above all which makes this record work, though
the guitar work is excellent as well. The old Bauhaus material presented is not
all brilliant, and covering ”Ziggy Stardust”
in a satisfactory way is a bit beyond the band’s ability. But Peter
Murphy’s grim and arrogant attitude in stating that ”Bela Lugosi’s Dead” gets
me every time.