Pete Dennis previews The Teenage Werewolves / She’s in Bauhaus show RESCHEDULED FOR JAN 3RD
Unlike Liverpool and Coventry who honour their musical offspring with museums and tourist trails Northampton’s goth rock pioneers Bauhaus have been confined to the attic like the madwoman in Jane Eyre. As if to remind us of our folly a double headliner comes to The Roadmender on Sunday January 3rd 2021, paying homage to The Cramps (Teenage Werewolves) and our very own practitioners of the dark arts She’s in Bauhaus.
Despite being largely ignored, officially, in their home town Bauhaus’ spectral shadow encompasses the globe, and one of many lives they’ve touched was that of American Jack Atlantis. He fronts both the Teenage Werewolves and She’s in Bauhaus, and Jack spoke exclusively to express his joy at performing at the birthplace of Gothic rock.
Jack began by explaining his initial exposure to Bauhaus: “I was introduced aged 15 while watching the film The Hunger. Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy was singing ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ while David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve hunt red-haired dancer Ann Magnuson. Bauhaus left a lasting impression on my musical taste, vocal style and fashion leanings.” So much so that Jack would later form a tribute act in honour of his heroes: “Last Halloween, we performed our first full Bauhaus show in Los Angeles with Bauhaus members David J and Kevin Haskins in the audience. Backstage, Kevin told me that ‘at times, I forgot It wasn’t Peter [Murphy] performing those songs.’”
Many miles separated the original Bauhaus and Cramps. How does Jack think the two relate? “I find that both band’s champion the dark undercurrent of weirdos and the under-represented outcasts. They both defied stereotypes and created a loyal following, inspiring countless other bands through their visual shows but with very different approaches. These two unique bands have an interesting crossover appeal of audience. Their fans love both bands”
To some people the very idea of tribute bands is an anathema, while to others they provide an opportunity to catch a glimpse of their heroes in an intimate setting. The untimely death of Cramps vocalist Lux Interior makes acts like the Teenage Werewolves even more vital, and while the original Bauhaus have recently reformed for a run of stadium dates the chances of them playing a Roadmender-sized venue is unlikely. She’s in Bauhaus appropriately fill that void.
Both of Jack’s tribute bands have been warmly received, but what gave him the idea of putting them on the same bill? “It was a series of events that seemed too uncanny to be mere coincidence. In 2014 the Teenage Werewolves performed a double-headlining show with David J and his solo band at the Viper Room in Hollywood. Then two ago, I hosted David’s travelling acoustic show at my house with an audience of 40 friends. The next day David flew to Mexico City to meet Peter Murphy for the start of their first tour together in over a decade and that would become the current and full reunion with Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins. The picture of The Teenage Werewolves and She’s in Bauhaus tour painted itself.”
How does it feel to bring She’s in Bauhaus to Northampton where Bauhaus first started? “Life is strange, as a kid from the other side of the world, hearing the songs of Bauhaus through unlikely sources, felt like my own secret world because I didn’t know anyone who also liked this music in the little town I’m from. When I moved to Los Angeles aged 18 I discovered legions of other fans, and it felt like my second home. I find it surreal to have met the band members on a personal level and then performing this strange show to English fans at the epicentre of where the band started. It’s an honour, and we won’t let the fans down.”
The Teenage Werewolves and She’s in Bauhaus play Northampton Roadmender on Jan 3rd 2021. Support comes from the Clash tribute The Clashed and Joy Division impersonators Shadowplay. Doors 6pm, £18.50 tickets plus booking fee.