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 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). 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.