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10/9/2000  Perth Sunday Times

Those masters of modern melancholy, The Cure, are finding it hard to say goodbye.

When the legendary band began recording their 13th studio album, last year's Bloodflowers, enigmatic singer/songwriter Robert Smith informed his cohorts it would be the last. He'd reached the end of the road; life as The Cure wasn't a buzz any more. The end of the most enduring 70s stylists was nigh.

But a funny thing has happened over the past six months - The Cure have been rejuvenated. Smith says the group, which rose out of the late 70s British punk movement to become heart-throbs for the discontent, has never sounded better. That has resulted in him having a rethink about the band's future. All in all, it's great news for the group's Perth fans, with The Cure kicking off a five-date Australian tour at the Perth Entertainment Centre on Tuesday night.

Long-time addicts of The Cure, Californian group No Doubt, said recently they'd watched The Cure in Paris and were blown away. "Without a doubt, the best shows I've ever done have happened this year, so No Doubt wasn't lying," Smith said. So far this year, The Cure has toured the US for two months, spent time in the UK and Europe on the festival circuit and wound up a two month break this weekend. "I think the secret to it is how we approach things," Smith said. "Having Bloodflowers as the album we are basing the tour around has brought out the side of The Cure I particularly enjoy. "We decided right from the start we'd play songs we wanted to play, disregarding what people have come to expect. "And it has worked to our advantage because we're playing between two to three hours each night and covering stuff we haven't played for 15 years or more. "So because everybody on stage wants to play those songs, it really has become a vital experience. It's great, really. "This year we started out with a completely new look. We got new sound people and everything was done differently from the word go. "We organised everything ourselves this time and we've got a mind-set that 'No, this isn't to sell albums, it's for enjoyment'. So we're having fun playing some of the 'doomier' Cure music. "There's also the fact," he adds with a chuckle, "that I've told the others this is it. They think that if I have enough fun maybe it won't be the end." Smith says The Cure's career is on a real high right now, so it would be a good time to quit. But he admits it will take "an awful lot of convincing". "I've told the band that we'll see how the tour of Australia goes," he said.

The Cure, Tuesday, The Perth Entertainment Centre, 8pm, $66.


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