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9/1/1985  Melody Maker (9-8-85 St. Austell, England Show Review)
Days Of Daring
The Cure: St. Austell Coliseum

SOMEONE, somewhere, sometime will divine the logic behind the antics of Club Smith and the cronies who occasionally participate. But not me. Not tonight.

Twisting in the light and shade of his latest erratic incarnation, Smith screwed up any expectations of the unexpected and plumped instead to whack through pretty much the whole of "The Head On The Door" peppered with some smart assaults on hits and near-misses recent and gone. No "Love Cats". No "Caterpillar". But everything else entirely.

Silhouette-tousled mane - in a massive strobe, Smith the showman boogalooed through some sacred stuff - "Primary", "Charlotte Sometimes", even "Killing An Arab" and "Boys Don't Cry" - with an unforeseen energy and boisterous majesty presumably drawn from working out with the band rather than carrying the whole damn Cure inside his own aching head. Simon Gallup, back in favour on bass after years of antipathy, vibrates through the songs with a malignant urgency while drummer Boris (ex-Thompson Twins but don't let that worry you) does a deft Ringo job in driving Smith's most famous mantras out of mothballs and into the midriff.

This, the first slab of a new UK tour, was The Cure at their finest, possibly ever. Smith, ridiculously relaxed for an anguished young man, gloried in the opportunity to re-evaluate even his latest string of paranoid pearls, polishing the simple melodies of "Push" and "Screw" until they gained the syncopation of epic stature barely suggested by the new album.

Now and again Smith even shed his guitar and indulged in a bout of idiot dancing while that whining croon of his wriggled all over forgotten things like "Let's Go To Bed" but mostly he stood immobile as usual, head bowed over the frets concentrating, sucking us by example into a torrid trance peopled by Japanese babies and howling women.

The Cure, just like this, defy any image they've gleaned over the years. They're not self-indulgent, they're not even gloomy, they celebrate in a splendidly straightforward way the power and glory of imagined mystique. This is a show not a seance.

And contrary to suggestion surrounding "The Head On The Door", these aren't in-between days at all for The Cure. They're days of daring. Destiny unknown.

- Steve Sutherland

 

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