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After years of fruitless wishing on the part of Bauhaus fans worldwide, while Peter Murphy pursued a solo career and the remaining three members scored their own successes with various solo and group efforts, the announcement of a reunion tour caught nearly everyone by surprise. By the time the punningly titled Gotham was recorded at, indeed, a New York City concert, the reunited band was ripping through their sets with an energy and sense of drama which most late-'90s acts would have given their eyeteeth for. Despite a set list generally devoid of surprises, the old live fire evident on Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape was easily reconjured here, with vicious takes on "In the Flat Field," "Kick in the Eye," and "Ziggy Stardust" some of the many highlights. Murphy is in fine voice throughout, subtly altering some lyrics to project his more positive, spiritual outlook on life while losing none of the original impact; Ash, David J and Haskins, well seasoned by their nearly two decades worth of playing experience together, are never content to simply be Murphy's backing band in turn. The foursome tackle quieter numbers with grace and restraint as well, including a marvelous "Hollow Hills" and a new cover version, a take on Dead Can Dance's "Severance," given a stately, majestic performance and a deeply affecting Murphy vocal (a studio version appears at the end of the album). As the signal for Bauhaus' unexpected rebirth, Gotham is both a fine souvenir for fans and a great reminder of just how wonderful the band was and is.

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