Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Cure

This review very nearly didn’t appear here. Wembley Arena, that cavernous carbuncle of a concert venue, holds well over 50 live shows a year, yet their security staff are so monstrously inept that they cannot divide the paying public into those with standing tickets and those with seating ones without making such a tremendous hash of it that The Cure come on stage when about 30% of the audience are still trying to get in. Never having missed the start of a gig by anything other than design, I would’ve been very unhappy to have done so merely because of these nincompoops, who even had the audacity to complain of being cold even though they weren’t the ones stood outside as the thermometer hovered around zero.

It is hard to find something new to say about The Cure. They’ve been going for 32 years, after all. The black clothes, the big hair, the OTT make-up (Porl Thompson is rocking the ‘Uncle Fester’ look tonight), Robert Smith’s weight, they’re all jokes which have been done to death. The fact remains, though, that there are very few bands around today who will play for well over three hours with barely a pause for breath (You might think ‘Springsteen’ at this point, but there’s no filling time with rambling stories in this set, in fact Smith even claims not to be able to speak English at one point). Moreover, Cure shows have taken on a Rocky Horror-esque life of their own. Not only do the audience dress up for the occasion, they clap along to the bass part of ‘A Forest’, sing the melody to ‘Play For Today’ and generally have far more fun than you would expect from a warehouse full of Goths.

In total, there are 41 songs played tonight. Three of them are brand new. ‘Please Project’ and ‘Freak Show’ are lighter and more carefree than their recent works (Smith even does a little dance on the latter) and represent a trip back in time to the Cure of ‘High’ and ‘Friday I’m In Love’. ‘The Boy I Never Knew’, on the other hand, is an insubstantial thing, where nothing much happens and even fewer people care. All three can be expected to appear on the new album which the band have allegedly been recording with Ross Robertson – quite what he will do to them is anyone’s guess.

The other 38 numbers are a trip through the a back catalogue so vast, it is only with hindsight that you realise how much you didn’t hear. But then again, how can you complain that there was no ‘Fascination Street’, no ‘The Figurehead’ or no ‘Pictures Of You’ when you have had more than three dozen other classics, including frenetic, punky thrashes through ‘Grinding Halt’, ’10.15 Saturday Night’ and ‘Killing An Arab’ in an attempt to fit as many songs as possible in before the curfew?

3 Comments:

Blogger Superpat said...

Seven months between posts? Young Will cramping your style? ;-)

1:23 am  
Blogger The Skiver said...

Not really - there's not been anyone on worth seeing for a long time. Normal service will be resumed, etc...

10:53 pm  
Blogger Sarah said...

At least you could see them!

2:54 pm  

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