The Hands of Franky Machine is a new hour-long audio drama written and narrated by acclaimed writer and musician Peter Murphy, author of John The Revelator and bandleader of Cursed Murphy and The Resistance.

Set in a near-future cityscape, it's the story of Franky Machine, a drum-battler who makes her living competing in the clubs, and her twin brother Sonny, an injured army veteran struggling with a street drug habit.

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Watch a live excerpt of The Hands of Franky Machine: 

The project is Murphy's love letter to 1950s noir (the title is a nod to Nelson Algren's novel The Man With the Golden Arm); to Lou Reed's 1970s downtown romances; to cyberpunk writers like William Gibson and John Shirley; to movies like Blade Runner and Kathryn Bigelow's 90s cult classic Strange Days. It comes with an original score by drummer, composer and Basciville member Lorcan Byrne.

"The story is set about five minutes into the future," says Murphy. "I've been fascinated with drummers since I was a kid, and I wanted to write a sort of homage to manga heroines and comic characters like Halo Jones, to the riot grrrl movement and musicians like Joan Jett and Sheila E and Kira from Black Flag. And Lorcan is the only musician I know who could have conjured this world."

Franky Machine creator Peter Murphy, with his band Cursed Murphy

Scored, arranged and recorded over a 10-day period in August 2020 in the National Opera House, Wexford, with the support of the Covid-19 Crisis Response Award from the Arts Council of Ireland, the 60-minute audio-drama was recorded live in eight movements, and is designed by its creator to be experienced in a single sitting, like a film or a play. 

The Hands of Franky Machine is out now - find out more here