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Down on Fascination Street with The Cure

…Down on Fascination Street with THE CURE!

By Ian Browne Shamrock News

As The Cure takes to the stage at Splendour in the Grass this month, I thought it time to pen an article of what this, my most favourite band, means to many. For the new fans to marvel, to loyal fans the world over who have fallen for the dark, yet gentle charm of this majestic English outfit, or to those that felt they missed the train and want to indulge; jump aboard.

Which ever way you choose to label their sound there is so much more to The Cure than just ‘Love Cats’! From the 80’s, I have followed Goth since its 70’s roots, a birth within punk. The enigma that is Robert Smith has been around since the dawn of the Pistols. This lyrical master asserts that The Cure’s sound is far more than its commonly used tag ‘Post Punk-Goth’. With uplifting songs such as ‘Friday I’m in Love’ and the comical ‘Close to Me’, juxtapose of earlier times the sound of mid-eighties Pornography -haunted the urban terrain. Songs from this darker era such as ‘The Hanging Garden’, ‘One Hundred Years’ and ‘ A Strange Day’ - set The Cure apart. However, amongst an industrial-tech sound, The Cure’s hugely popular punk-pop sound was born in even earlier times.

My sister had been listening to The Cure for years, but it was ‘In Between Days’ that found me, a slave to the cause. In my 80’s punk days, I would fill out the family lounge room in Woolooware with my beloved crew, where a communal trance would descend, stolen by the visual-audio feast of ‘The Cure Live in Orange’. Popular around this planet for such a long time, Bob Geldof stated that: “The Cure are easily as big as U2!” On a personal, spiritual level, The Cure have touched the lives of those close to me in times of need. Having two of my family members killed, I too found solace in their enriching sound- while savouring time within the surreal natural landscapes around the southern side of Botany Bay. Listening to The Head on the Door I watched a star fall from the new night into the fading of a tired day- at the Isle of Skye’s - Old Man of Storr in Scotland. My drives daily to work in Lismore, through the rainforested mountains beyond Mullumbimby, all the more meaningful in company with The Jezabels, The Cocteau Twins and The Cure.

The Cure have embarked on the first international tour in almost ten years, including the UK, The USA, New Zealand, and lucky us, here in Australia. This year will see the release of their new album 4:14 Scream, which is the unreleased singles the band wanted to release on their 2008 album 4:14 Dream. I have seen them play live three times. The Wish tour was awe inspiring! At the new millennium The Cure toured Bloodflowers and Robert Smith arrived a month earlier to stay with family in Sydney. In 1981 they stayed in Sydney for three months! Rumour has it they played to about 25 spaced-out hippies in Byron Bay also, but I can’t track down that reality. Robert also toured on bass with Siouxsie and the Banshees, playing venues in places like Sydney’s Kings Cross. So its little wonder songs like ‘Like Cockatoos’ came to life.

Who can’t resist ‘Just Like Heaven’ and the Indian/ Middle Eastern sounds drifting alongside the comforting loving feeling of flute- within Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me. They move on varying levels this spiky band. To suggest The Cure are uncreative would be odd at the very least, if you were to linger too long in a Nimbin Café, Robert Smith would start to sound like he is singing down through a tunnel to you. His voice is a rarity.

During the 91 The Wish tour, Sydney’s media were knocking the lack of on stage groove Robert Smith beheld. I thought: “Who bloody cares, this is the singer of The Cure! His words and emotions are enough!” It’s funny, but at the time I politely thought Robert’s 35 years on this earth meant he was old…heh, I wish I was 35 myself now! Ten years on, while living in Newtown, I went with some of my old Cronulla clan to see Bloodflowers and I enjoyed seeing all the young Goths getting about. This tour will see a whole new tribe of those falling in love with The Cure’s charms around this muddled world of ours. So, to that delicious marriage of flange-n-synth, the boldness of Simon Gallop’s bass lines, go and find wonderment in such nostalgia as The Head on the Door, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, The Wish, and one of most peacefully enchanting albums of all time, the ambient gothic fairytales of Disintegration.

….an angel will come with burning eyes like stars and bury us deep in his velvet arms… for my beautiful sister Suzanne- Charlotte Sometimes sweetheart…


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