Being truthful this isn’t a gig that I expected to be reviewing, but with a poorly Johnny Hayward asking me to step in what could you say? Now that isn’t to say I’m not a fan of the Cure, especially early doors stuff, point of interest is the first CD I ever bought was ‘Japanese Whispers’, so the surprise is that I didn’t actually buy a ticket, probably because of hate (purely personal) for these large venue gigs, sounds always poor and you’re usually watching the band from a distance losing the personality that small gigs and venues generate.
Again, being honest myself and Mrs. H, arrived towards the end of the Twilight Sad’s set catching the last three tracks and you can fully see why they’re one of the headliners for the Tomorrow’s ghosts Festival in Whitby next year. Reading some background after the gig, they’ve released five LP’s, a number of singles and live recordings, described as both post punk and indie I could add Goth into the mix, which came over quite strongly, but again Bauhaus, The Cure and Killing Joke have all been described as Post Punk and all hinted at elements of Goth at some point in their careers, Post Punk is such a huge genre and timeframe, I mean, come on when you look at when punk kicked in its almost 40 years in the past so there’s a huge post-punk timeframe, I wish we could lose the labels and just say The Twilight Sad are a critically acclaimed band, with great musicians who gave everything and their passion in the music showed through.
As with all big venues everything runs like clockwork, but the big surprise for me when The Cure hit the stage was how fantastic the sound was, definitely the best I’ve ever heard in The C.I.A. But when you think about it, this is a small gig for the band, and I get the sneaky feeling that their own sound guys would be in control, if not Kudos to the C.I.A but please can you do the same for every event? Again a huge bonus is having Reeves Gabrels in the band one of my all-time fave guitarists.
Opening with ‘Alone’ a newbie from the soon-to-be-released ‘Songs of a lost World’ LP what strikes you straight away is the Reeves Gabrels influence giving that lift he gave latter-day Bowie recordings before we had my favourite Cure track very early on ‘Pictures of You’ from the superb ‘Disintegration’ LP, I’m not going to go into every track played tonight there were 27 in all with two encores totaling 11 tracks more than some bands main sets alongside a 16 track main set, but time flew by, the visual accompaniment was superb giving a real feeling to each of the songs almost a vignette of a time and place, attaching a memory to each and every song, these representations stood out powerfully, especially within And ‘Nothing is Forever’, ‘The last days of Summer’, ‘a Fragile thing’ and ‘Lullaby’. Even as he stated with a voice that was struggling as Rob said in his own words “Because some bastard sneezed on me” you couldn’t fault the vocal performance, the struggle only really showed towards the end, but what you did get was a subtle change in delivery from the band to allow him space to rest, a sign of great musicianship that you’d barely notice.
When you backtrack through the Cure’s history every LP was represented you had everything you could have wanted, I’d say this set was two tracks from perfection (’17 Seconds’ and ‘Charlotte Sometimes’) but if you think the second encore contained all the biggies starting with ‘Lullaby’, through ‘The Walk’, into ‘Friday I’m in Love’, drifting through ‘Close to me’, ‘In Between days’ and ‘Just like Heaven’ before finishing up with ‘Boys don’t cry’ that’s a very personal thought. One thing though after listening to the new tracks, I wish I didn’t have to wait for the release of the new LP, and when we get a final release date, early next year I can guarantee it’s going to sit on any number of LP of the year lists it’s going to be a bit special.
Author: Nev Brooks