12/1/1979 Record Mirror (11-17-79 LSE London, England Show Review)
The Cure/The Passions LSE, London
The Passions as you would think, are reasonably passionate. Unfortunately they are equally mediocre and up against the Cure, in whose direction they seem to be heading, miserably substandard.
Their best number sounded as if it had been borrowed from a Fischer-Z songbook, lightweight reggae with high-pitched vocals from one of their two female members. It wasn’t that the band weren’t trying to get the best from their songs (though only the drummer seemed to be succeeding) it was just that they hadn’t given themselves a great deal to work with in the first place although the set did perk up a little at the end.
The Cure, fortunately, were worth hanging around for. The set flew by (a good sign) and the departure of their bassist and arrival of a new keyboards player has left no flaws in their performance, although while three of them were working away like trojans, the thought lingered that the keyboards man was not exactly earning his daily bread.
They slipped into their old numbers from the ‘Three Imaginary Boys’ album like a pair of well-worn slippers, after their recent extensive touring, but slipped in many a taster of their forthcoming LP. The new songs are not vastly different in style, yet were just far enough removed to be conspicuous. ‘M’, ‘AM’, and ‘Bleak One’ (a suspect title if I ever heard one) were particularly appealing in the usual Cure manner - both exciting and haunting.
The inevitable ‘Killing An Arab’ was wheeled out in the encore, along with a repeat of their rather good single ‘Jumping Someone Else’s Train’, by which time temperatures were soaring sufficiently to satisfy any neighborhood sheik.
They’re skilled, interesting, sometimes exhilarating and usually underestimated. See them - now.