Concert Review

It was “Just Like Heaven” as The Cure’s Marathon Tour reached Glasgow

The Cure’s Euro Tour ’22 aptly named “Shows of A Lost World” arrived in Glasgow on the 40th night of the tour

With Europe and UK both shadows of their former selves, the crowd could take solace in knowing that for one night, they could leave all their troubles behind and immerse themselves into the weird and wonderful world of The Cure. Nothing is left to chance at a Cure gig as everything is near perfection, the lighting and sound were incredible. Even the merchandise sales accommodate almost every fan’s taste and at prices that were very low for a stadium gig! No argument, the entire night was value for money considering ticket prices and the length of the show at nearly three hours. With a back catalogue spanning over four decades, the crowd were guaranteed to love at least part of the show.

The support for the tour hail from Glasgow so it was a very special night for them. The Twilight Sad have supported The Cure before in Glasgow back in 2019 when the world was a very different place but with all of that behind them, they were determined to show Glasgow what they had to offer. The hard hitting alt-post punk rockers certainly did their best to impose themselves from the off. James Graham’s animated gestures made him look menacing and deranged at times as he leered at the crowd. The music pulled no punches as the band fired into “Kill It in the Morning”. Graham’s broad Glaswegian dialect came through strongly throughout the night. The tempo increased with “Let’s Get Lost” from the band’s last release in 2019. The eight-song set featured a cover of “Keep Yourself Warm”, by Frightened Rabbit, the drummer Grant Hutchison’s previous band. “10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs” closed out the show the sprawling richly layered song was a good representation of what was to follow.

TWILIGHT SAD

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The OVO Hydro is like many modern stadium-type venues, it can be a cold place and devoid of atmosphere but there was little chance of that with The Cure in the building. Packed to the rafters, the venue was close to being sold out and as the lights dimmed, the cheers were deafening. The familiar sound of falling rain through the PA was the perfect backdrop for the band to enter the stage. The cheers got louder and louder until Robert Smith took centre stage. Looking as dishevelled as ever, the 80’s icon was sporting a T-shirt with “Vambo Rules OK”. A nice tribute to the legendary local singer Alex Harvey of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. The Cure kicked off the marathon set with a new song, “Alone”.

Smith wandered aimlessly around the stage as if he were in isolation. The distant yet engaging looks across the heads of the audience just enhanced the mystic allure. Smith finally picked up his guitar towards the end of the song and normal service was resumed. “Pictures of You” brought a swell of appreciation from the packed crowd but the tour has given the band the opportunity to air a number of new songs due for release on the impending album “Songs of a lost world”. The set consisted of three major sections which were dispersed with songs new and old. It can be a minefield for even the biggest artist to unleash so many unknown songs on even the most hardcore fans but The Cure tempered their audience all night with dark classics like “Cold”, “Strange Day” and “100 Years” all from their seminal album, “Pornography”. They also gave their fans some light relief with material from their mid 80’s album “Head on The Door”. Songs like “Close to Me”, “A Night Like This” and “Push”. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of their 1992 hit album “Wish”, the band played a massive-sounding version of “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea”. Throughout the night, the ebb and flow of the performance rarely dropped as the tide of hits kept coming.

After the initial 17-song set, the band returned to play a song Robert touchingly referred to as written about his brother who had died recently. It has been an emotional few years for Smith losing his Mother and father as well but he has found salvation in writing the new album. The delicate piano start to “I Can Never Say Goodbye” felt almost melancholy but the drums and edgy bass gave the song a more powerful fuller sound. Smith’s voice carried the sentiment of his brother’s passing and Reeves Gabrels solo was almost heart-wrenching.

The screaming sound of his Reverend guitar was like a banshee. The dark mood continued with “Faith” as the backdrop of the crumbling church looked so fitting. The huge screens maintained the interest of the crowd and Simon Gallup certainly put in the steps during the set with the rest of the band staying relatively planted. Simon embellished his presence with his low-slung bass guitar stances and domineering moody poses standing on top of his monitors. The imagery during “100 years” was as bleak as the song itself. The black-and-white images of worn-torn Europe and Asia were a stark reminder of the consequences of war. The black and white theme continued for “A Forest” but the trees were not as imposing as Simon Gallup’s bass as the crushing distorted bass ended the song replacing the customary delayed solitary bass notes.

The band took their leave for a second time and although the eager crowd screamed and shouted for more, there was never any doubt the band would return.

The final seven songs did have that feel of inevitability but nonetheless, it’s why so many had attended. The hits, the singles, the pop side of The Cure. The impressive backdrops to “Lullaby” and “Friday I’m in Love” were split by an energised version of “The Walk”. The hits kept coming with “Close to Me” and a thriving upbeat version of “In-between Days”. The time had flown by and the band maintained the momentum as many of the crowd must felt the performance was “Just Like Heaven”, all things must end and “Boys Don’t Cry” brought joy to many including Robert Smith himself as he did his best to thank everyone in the building for the extremities of the stage as he took his leave.

The Cure was once regarded as the best live band on the planet, considering they had done 39 shows prior to Glasgow, they can certainly match anyone on any day. The tour is not done yet as they head for a three-night salvo in London taking in a few major venues en route in Birmingham and Cardiff.

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Raymond Thomson - Deputy Editor

I am a photographer/musician/engineer living in Scotland. My passion is music and motocross and I share my work on facebook/punk4RT and facebook/madmaxmedia. I do like a bit of throw back to the heydays of the 60’s/70’s/80’s when it comes to taking shots of bands. I grew up on the music papers (NME/Sounds/Melody Maker) and drew influence from Pennie Smith/Jill Furmanovsky/Anton Corbijn/Bob Gruen/Adrian Boot/Charles Peterson.
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