Having seen The Cult play a blinding set in the summer when they announced Death Cult dates it seemed only fair to head to Duffys turf and catch the show in the spectacular surroundings of The Albert Hall. Once inside the old church after giving the merch a swerve due to the prices being £40 for a cap and £30 for a poster I put my wallet back in my pocket and headed for the bleachers as Lili Refrain who once again played a thirty minute set of Native chanting and floor tom loops. The minutes flew by and we were ready for what was promising to be an interesting evening of old school Cult. I’d seen social media posts complementing the band on how good they were but I’d avoided too many spoilers then the house lights went off and the swirls of dry ice engulfed the high room as the shadows took to the compact stage as ’83ed Dream’ creaked out of the PA system to howls of approval from the paced room. Duffy hunched over his White Falcon picked the chords whilst Asbury held the mic with a sturdy grip, some dark glassed his hair tied in a ball whilst wearing a leather jacket and black robe the clock was certainly turned back.
The pit was in full flight as ‘Christians’ punched into the ether and ‘Gods Zoo’ confirmed we were really doing this and the band sounded fantastic. I think its fair to say that live Asburys voice hasn’t always been as strong as it does on record but I have to say that in the summer and in Manchester he sounded unbelievable better than I’ve ever heard him. He looks in shape and his voice is strong and powerful and it really struck home on ‘Flowers In The Desert’ as the two bandmates stood alone on the stage and knocked out a really powerful rendition. It was the first sort of break in the set which had been full throttle up to that point.
Its fair to say that the next hal fof the set was spectacular and trying to think of superlatives to pour upon the set is tough because ‘Resurection Joe’ was huge sounding and it elevated the set to the next level but to follow it With the huge ‘Horse Nation’ I began to daydream as to why these songs went missing from the Cult setlist over the last few years of shows. Duffy seemed in the zone as he picked the opening riff from ‘Go West’ only to hit a hattrick of songs starting with ‘Loves’ ‘Hollow Man’ another they should play more often followed by ‘Dreamtime’ and the epic ‘Spiritwalker’ was magnificent and might well be up there as one of the pest live shows I’ve ever seen them do going back to the Love era tour.
It only left ‘Rain’ to finish the main set before the band retired, Earning a thoroughly deserved encore of ‘Moya’ and of course ‘Sanctuary’ and Manchester was now done. The Death Cult came, saw, and conquered and it felt a real privilege to have been there and witnessed such a special performance in such excellent surroundings. The band seemed to enjoy the show as much as the fans did and I hope this isn’t the last of these kind of tours because The Cult are on fire at the moment. They sound and perform better than they have done for decades and that is a fact my friends. Simply stunning.
Author: Dom Daley