Last night I was lucky enough to be able to get tickets to see what has to be my favourite band, The Cure live at Hammersmith Apollo in London.
What this has to do with being a coeliac of gluten free I don’t know but as this blog is my life and loves, I thought I would ramble on about this for a change.
Normally The Cure play fairly large venues – Wembley, The O2 or massive sheds abroad. However, this was a bit of a homecoming gig to return to a venue they had played 30 years ago and to about 5,000 people, with the same support band that they had all that time ago.
It was billed as a Christmas special, not to be missed and with the promise of a few surprises. And there were…
The set list was made up of a real mixture – classic pop songs that they normally play live – Just Like Heaven, Close to Me, Boy’s Don’t Cry, Lullaby and Lovecats. There were also plenty of dark, brooding epics – the thunderous opener Shake Dog Shake, 100 Years, M and From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea. And yes, they did also play a couple of songs that I’m really not that keen on – Wrong Number (why do they do that?) and Want.
But the real surprise was the volume of rarities that they played. As a real fan of the band it was great to hear Dressing Up from The Top album, B side Man Inside My Mouth (never ever been played live before) Like Cockatoos from Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me and Kyoto Song from Head on The Door.
However, we weren’t expecting to hear every song from The Top album being played – in hindsight this makes sense now as last time they were playing here, they were touring this album in 1984. Yes, there are a couple of songs on this album that are ‘difficult’ – The Wailing Wall and The Top for starters but Give Me It was outstanding as the last song of the main set, The Caterpillar sounded as quirky and fresh now as it did when I first heard it back in the 80s and the military like snare sound on The Empty World (which had not been played live since 1984) sent the crowd into rapturous applause.
In total they played a huge 40 song set for over three hours. There were 4 encores! As Robert Smith came on for the last encore at 10.55, he said “We’re probably going to overrun a bit but pffft, it’s Christmas!” And after this they managed to play 5 songs! Robert seemed on great form, he was chatty and up for banter, the band were tight and sound was good.
I have now seen The Cure too many times to count, from the first time in 1987 to this – and last night’s gig was right up there with the best of them, if not one of the best. They are playing tonight and tomorrow – if you’re reading this in time and you’re near London do all you can to go, it will be worth it!
Full set list:
Shake Dog Shake
Kyoto Song (First time since 2008)
A Night Like This
Wailing Wall (First time since 1984)
A Man Inside My Mouth (Live debut)
Close to Me
Just Like Heaven
Pictures of You
Like Cockatoos (First time since 2004)
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
The Hungry Ghost
One Hundred Years
Give Me It
The Empty World (First time since 1984)
Piggy in the Mirror (First time since 1997)
Three Imaginary Boys
Play for Today
Let’s Go to Bed
Why Can’t I Be You?
Boys Don’t Cry
Hey You! (First time since 2004)
Photos are all mine from last night…please let me know if you want to use. Thanks