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11/1/1985  Unknown UK Newspaper (11-19-85 Camden Palace London, England Show Review)
The Cure: Camden Palace, London

The Cure have been responsible for several of the most turgid evenings in (I daresay) many of our lives. Records with names like "Faith" and "Pornography" spring to mind as ready-reckoning indices of monotony, mist-shrouded expanses of opiated sloth. Dull they most certainly were.

Therefore, the new quick-witted Cure is welcome and amazing. Robert Smith, daft as a brush and dressed like one as usual, told a quite comical joke about bills in between (days) leading his current quintet through a quicksilver survey of many of The Cureís best bits. Lol Tolhurst is now installed as a synthesist while there is a drummer called Boris, who gives the skins some hammer. Simon Gallup, restored bassist, looks like something made of old J-Cloths but fits the bill to a tee. Above all, The Cure seem to be enjoying themselves and pride themselves on their accuracy.

Even the regular "Whistle Test" interruptions couldnít scupper them. The programme becomes more incongruous as the weeks go by, a fantastic irrelevance, but once the links and the pauses were finished with, The Cure got down to some serious business. All sorts of surprises kept occurring. "Play For Today" was alert, crisp and tuneful, while "Primary" was comfortably assured. These were songs worth remembering and you wondered how youíd forgotten them.

Nothing lingered too long. "A Forest" was a lush canopy of shimmer and suggestion, both more sinister and more alluring than it ever used to be. "Charlotte Sometimes" felt very much like pop, "Inbetween Days" even more so. The instruments meshed to perfection, Smithís guitar and Gallupís bass scything across the interleaved layers of synth and matrices of percussion.

Of course, The Cure have been more accustomed to playing arenas and domes recently, squatting smugly among the anonymous ranks of pasty-faced punters who were too anaesthetized or simply too far away to bother about complaining of kicking up a fuss. Tonight, The Cure were playing a benefit for MENCAP in a small hall where the audience had faces and voices. They couldnít get away with murder and they didnít try to. Perhaps every group needs a good kick up the arse every couple of nights of so. It didnít hurt on this occasion.

- Adam Sweeting


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