From the blog

Cursed Murphy Versus the Resistance, The Grand Social, Dublin, Nov 29


Cursed Murphy Versus the Resistance, plus very special guests

Grand Social, Dublin

Wednesday November 29, 2023


Cursed Murphy Versus the Resistance play their first ever Dublin show on Wednesday November 29 at the Grand Social. You should go. This mob are one of the most intense, full-on, rub you up the right/wrong way live acts around. Punk poetry parlando, with driving rhythms and industrial dirt. Art rock, but not arty (OK, maybe a bit), they like their Iggy & the Stooges, their Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Sonic Youth, Patti, PJ, Neu!, you name it.

They’re a mongrel bunch, for sure. Guitarist Dan does dirty as well as drones. Johnny switches from sci-fi keyboards to rotten noise guitar, pedal boards everywhere. The rhythm section is an octopus: Paul and Harvey and the Gangnus sisters Rebecca and Tamara and Jasmin. Jas also played loads of violin on the last record.

The troupe are fronted by writer and spoken-word mouth almighty Peter Murphy, author of the novels John the Revelator and Shall We Gather at the River (Faber). Murph was also an arts journalist for years (still is), you could see him yakking on The Works and The View with John Kelly, you can still hear him yakking on Arena on RTE Radio 1 (loves the sound of his own voice). Onstage he’s twitchy and wired, ties his mic cord in knots, they call him Cursed – as in cur-said, not curs’d – not ’cos it’s some sort of doomed goth vibe, but because he’s a proper dermal irritant, a musical dose.

A quick recap. Cursed Murphy Versus the Resistance’s self-titled debut was released in July 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, classic first album, squalling angry baby of a thing, contained the singles ‘Foxhole Prayer’, ‘The Bells of Hell’, ‘This Cursed Earth’ and ‘Climb’, got fantastic reviews from the Irish Times, RTE, Hot Press and the Sunday Times and airplay from Paul McLoone, Dan Hegarty, The John Creedon Show, Late Date and Arena. It also got a whole heap of love internationally, featuring on the Global Garage radio show, the Big Slice (UK) and in the French mag Muzzart, with rabid fan testimonials coming from Sweden, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong and the US. It was voted No. 2 album of the year by readers of The Last Mixed Tape, and No. 1 album of the year by Mike’s Music Express on Dundalk FM.

In September 2021 the band embarked on a German mini-tour, playing Wuppertal and Berlin as part of the travelling Here/There exhibition, supported by Culture Ireland. They followed this with a sold-out show in Wexford Opera House with guests Basciville and poet Stephen James Smith, plus a collaborative EP, Tell It to A Tree.

Cursed Murphy Versus the Resistance released their second album, Republic of the Weird, in November 2022. A more divergent piece of work, using electronics and folk overtones and string arrangements, it sounded future-shocked and rather beautiful in parts, in the same way a volcanic eruption or an oil spill is beautiful. It produced a slew of singles: ‘Hold That Line’, ‘Republic of the Weird’, and ‘This Is Not Your Love Song’, the latter an industrial-disco banger somewhere between Leonard and Trent Reznor, co-written and co-produced with Basciville.

Before we let you go, you’ll be needing to hear what some nice folk wrote about them. Hot Press dubbed them “avant-garde adventurers from Wexford”, which made them sound fierce cool altogether, and voted Republic of the Weird the spoken word album of 2022 (even though it’s not really a spoken word album, but never look a gift horse etc…). Among their peers, their most vocal admirers include Undertone Paul McLoone, Cathy from Pillow Queens, the lads from Sons of Southern Ulster, novelist Donal Ryan and one-time Cramps bass-player and general alt. legend Fur Dixon. See below for a brag wall’s worth of quotes.

“Rock ‘n’ roll for a new reality, the piper at the gates of dusk, a soundtrack for those about to slip under, this second Cursed Murphy Versus the Resistance album takes you down into the Republic of The Weird that is the inside of Peter Murphy’s head. Roll up, roll up.” – Hot Press

“They come out of the traps all guns blazing on the opening triptych: the quiet, menacing Nick Cave-like snarl of Something Wicked This Way Comes, the burbling kookiness of the title track and the clipped, shady rock ‘n’ roll rollick of Hold That Line, which explodes in a fiery outburst of Nine Inch Nails-style guitars. It’s easy to ascertain Murphy’s literary background; most of these songs are exceedingly visual, with the quiet intensity of The Agony of the Leaves vividly recounting the painful unravelling of a complicated love affair ahead of a Morricone-esque climax.” – Irish Times

“A rich tapestry of instrumentation that brings in cinematic post-rock as a bed for Murphy’s urgent storytelling.” – Nialler 9

“You will have to search long and hard to find anything that approaches the accomplishment of this record. It is spoken word, it is ambience, it is enthralling with a poetic lyricism that makes you pause because that last adjective or phrase you just listened to has a significant place in your own cultural psyche and you can’t quite put your finger on it. Is it tribal? No. But it possesses sufficient tribalism to touch the racial subconscious. Can it answer questions? Maybe, or perhaps it will prompt you to look deeper into the received perceptions, secular, transcendent, metaphysical. These 10 songs are simply magnificent. You must listen to them.”

– The Daily Earworm

“Fiery poetry and prophesy. Fantastic album.” – Paul McLoone, Today FM.

“…A firebrand recording that sounds like both an eloquent state of the world sermon and a raging industro-art rock howl of rage in these benighted times. Murphy is caught in a fire-zone between rage and vulnerability, but he ends with a defiant poem of uplift in the moving ‘We Are Dead Stars’, a parting bolt of passion and conviction that puts it simply – give out but don’t give up. Flame on, Peter Murphy.” – Alan Corr, RTE

“Cursed Murphy Versus the Resistance is not an album made to be ignored… It yells, it screams, it howls, to be heard… The album conveys many of the frustrations and loss felt by a génération perdue.” – The Last Mixed Tape

Youtube: @cursedmurphy


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