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4/1/1984  Unknown Source (4-26-84 Edinburgh, Scotland Show Review)
The Cure

Flicka Flicka Flicka Flicka...

Returning to The Playhouse for the first time since a rather harrowing Tears For Fears concert, some months back, was cause enough for butterflies in my stomach (no, no, the 'Caterpillar' comes later) but they soon subsided on realising that my 'Cure fan' disguise had succeeded in outwitting the 'concert security'.

Naturally, the primary function of tonight's performance was to promote the new album, 'The Top' and to open a few new hearts to The Cure's all consuming 'menagerie' of songs, but it didn't seem too important.

Things happened naturally. Robert Smith sang the songs just as he sang the older songs in 1980. No showbiz, no razzamatazz.

Although this set proved that he has the ability to go against all expectations and disappoint no-one, there was never any sign of old favourites like 'Killing An Arab'/'Boys Don't Cry'/'Jumping Someone Else's Train'/'Charlotte Sometimes' or even the more recent 'Lovecats'.

Instead they concentrated on tracks from the new album and what were obviously considered to be the most worthy tracks of old.

Perhaps significantly, there were only two tracks from 'Faith' ('The Drowning Man' and 'Primary') and just one from 'Three Imaginary Boys' (the title track).

'Shake Dog Shake' opened the set, in near darkness and with the new five-piece Cure positioned well to the rear of the stage, followed by a polite "hello!" from the real Smith genius (never mind the Mancunian, here's the Surrey-alist - groan!). An immediate hint at the new direction being taken by the ever changing Cure.

They concentrated on a comfortable balance of album tracks, new and old, the main highlights being 'Bananafishbones' (containing lyrics so abstract that to guess at their meaning would just be a shot in the dark) with its haunting but colourful melody, and 'Wailing Wall' which conjures up images of the dry, parched and busy streets of Jerusalem.

Obviously no concert could be complete without 'A Forest', the perfect pop song, the all time classic, the song which half of this audience think was their first single.

How sad.

There was the occasional Floydian slip, although few of us were old enough to realise or even have heard of Syd Barrett.

There were the occasional slides which didn't quite come anywhere near those on the 'Carnage Visors' or 'Pornography' tours, and there was the fascinating sight of constantly smudged lipstick close to Robert Smith's mouth as he pulled his lips apart for 'The Top'.

The encore of 'Caterpillar' and 'The Walk' saw the first signs of weakness in the band as Phil Thornalley (bass), Andy Anderson (drums), Porl Thompson (guitar) and founder members Lol Tolhurst (keyboards) and Robert Smith (violin, guitar and vocals) seemed to have difficulty playing in tune.

A most amusing ploy and one which was obviously tongue-in-cheek.

Flicka Flicka Flicka Flicka... and they were gone.

- John Dingwall


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