They think it’s all over?
“If you had asked me 40 years ago, what I’d be doing now, I think I would have given you the wrong answer, but thanks to you, we’re still fuckin’ here.”
Robert Smith, doesn’t say much as far as (in)between song ‘chat’ goes, but as The Cure begin to bring their two-hour set to a close in front of 50,000 fans, there seems to be a genuine sense of emotion and gratitude attached to the few words he does allow himself.
“It’s been a great four decades, here’s to the next one.”
The audience, many of whom have been on this particular musical journey since that first Cure gig, four decades ago at The Rocket Club in Crawley, some of whom, clearly were not even born back then, raise their hands in the air in a collective, yes please.
On days like this, London is at its best, even if like many here, you have decided to dress entirely in black, have applied your make-up with a spade and are currently melting in this most unlikely, ongoing heatwave.
“I really can’t talk until the sun goes down, it’s taking all my energy, not to dissolve.”
Smith is of course head to toe in black as are the rest of the band;
(Simon Gallup bass, Roger O’Donnell, keys, Jason Cooper, drums, Reeves Gabrells, guitar) and it does seem a bit peculiar to be witnessing The Cure in such glorious sunshine, but clearly we are not doing ‘normal’ this summer! The country is baking, not drowning and earlier this afternoon England qualified for a World Cup semi-final! (maybe that’s another reason why the life-long Q.P.R fan is clearly in such a good mood?) London is clearly in a celebratory mood today and if the line-up in Hyde Park wasn’t your thing, you could join the Pride celebration on Soho, Noel Gallagher is with his High Flying Birds in Greenwich or there’s the Wireless festival in Finsbury Park.
When you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life and all that eh?
We are here for The Cure though and we start with Plainsong, from 1989’s Disintegration LP, I obviously have no idea at what point he decided to open today’s proceedings with the line,
“I think it’s dark and it looks like its rain, you said. And the wind is blowing like it’s the end of the world, you said. And it’s so cold, it’s like the cold if you were dead. And you smiled for a second”
Clearly, The Cure don’t concern themselves with the current tropical weather conditions any more than they have ever really paid much attention to the musical climate during their 40 year career. They do what they do, which over the next two hours is essentially demonstrate that rare ability to effortlessly switch between writing as good a pop song as you’re ever likely to hear…
Just Like Heaven,
Close To Me…
To carving out a sonic comfort-blanket for those people who probably find the rest of the world to be completely out of synch with their own existence.
“If only tonight we could sleep In a bed made of flowers. If only tonight we could fall In a deathless spell If only tonight we could slide Into deep black water. And breathe And breathe.”
If Only Tonight We Could Sleep.
Today was always going to be a retrospective celebration purloined from their back-catalogue, so we are also treated to an absolutely immense rendition of Shake Dog Shake, midway through a set that also includes, Pictures of You, A Forest, Lovesong, Fascination Street, Jumping Someone Else’s Train and,
“I know it’s the wrong day, but who cares?”
Friday I’m In Love.
The sun, slopes off as onstage, Smith and co, really start to find their stride, perhaps their more ‘natural’ backdrop of darkness and wonderful onstage visuals helps a band who’ve hardly been busy this past decade?
It occurs to me midway through proceedings that the vocal duties are an entirely solitary affair with The Cure, there are no harmonies from anyone else, which might explain the frugal between song chat? Smith’s voice is, well, it’s his voice and belies his 59 years on this planet. It’s Robert Smith, it’s The Cure, nobody ‘does’ The Cure better than The Cure. Yeah a nine-minute version of Disintegration does kinda struggle to keep my attention, but as they begin to bring proceedings to a close with Boys Don’t Cry, then a perfectly timed (yep it actually IS) 10.15 Saturday Night, Grinding Halt and finally Killing An Arab, it is clear that even the most thoroughly innately disconsolate of their goth fan-base can afford themselves a smile as they exit Hyde Park in tandem with those amongst the crowd who are singing ‘It’s coming home’ at the top of their voices too.
“Goodnight, we’ll see you again very soon”
Is Robert Smiths parting shot; With no official mention of any new tour dates or musical offerings in the pipeline, we shall of course, have to wait and see.
They think it’s all over?
Let’s hope not because for a band often associated with personal inner-turmoil and often, unfairly associated with being a bit glum, on tonight’s showing, they certainly seemed to be anything but that.
- Pictures of You
- A Night Like This
- The Walk
- Inbetween Days
- Just Like Heaven
- If Only Tonight We Could Sleep
- Play For today
- A Forest
- Shake Dog Shake
- Fascination Street
- Never Enough
- The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea
- Friday I’m In Love
- Close To Me
- Why Can’t I Be You?
- Boys Don’t Cry
- Jumping Someone Else’s Train
- 10.15 Saturday Night
- Grinding Halt
- Killing An Arab