1/1/1979 Melody Maker (1-1-79 Railway Hotel London, England Show Review)
Killer Cure The Cure Railway Hotel, London
As the country slips into a non-operative stasis, here comes some good news. The subject of the bulletin is the Cure, a brand new three-piece from Crawley.
Last Wednesday, Robert Smith (guitar/vocals), Mike Dempsey (bass) and Lol Tolhurst (drums) played what I'm going to describe as modern pop. Don't groan - this is one of those occasions (happily growing more numerous) when the handle fits. All three members are in their late teens, and evince the kind of apprehensive excitement of discovery that make for interesting and invigorating sensations.
Of course, I'm not saying that they are ready-made saviours. There are rough patches (a new PA backline caused some nervy moments), and they need to work on projecting their act, but despite these teething troubles they showed a glorious potential.
Tolhurst is sturdy, while Dempsey and Smith manage to be both rythmically sound and melodically inventive. Smith's voice is a lot stronger than it appears to be on their current single on Small Wonder, "Killing An Arab" (a sort of distillation of Camus' novel, The Stranger) coupled with "10.15 Saturday Night" (which should have been the top-side).
At the moment, though, their real strength lies in the material, wich is generally co-written by the trio. The plundering of classic Sixties poprock with post-punk economy and drive. The effect is tight and open-ended, considered but on the right side of rough.
Take a song like "Boys Don't Cry," for example: reminiscent in structure of a Beatles' flipside around '64/'65, its appealing choppiness and ebullient angularity meet contemporary needs pretty well dead on. Mix in some imaginative lyrics (often tersely evocative narratives) and the experience should be far from unpleasant.