Posts Tagged ‘The Cure’


Happy 20th Anniversary to The Cure’s eleventh studio album “Bloodflowers”, originally released in the UK February 14th 2000 and in the US February 15th, 2000.

The Cure greeted the millennium with their eleventh studio album Bloodflowers, a deliberate statement from singer and guitarist Robert Smith written in the run-up to his fortieth birthday. Whereas predecessors Wish (1992) and Wild Mood Swings (1996) were more exploratory entanglements by the British group’s five members, Bloodflowers shows Smith fully reclaiming the artistic reins, just as he had 10 years prior with Disintegration (1989). 

At the time he was making Disintegration, Smith was recently married and confronting the crisis of turning 30. His meticulous care in delivering on his vision for Disintegration was not only a gift to himself and the band, but to fans as well. Nearly 31 years later, the gorgeous opus continues to stir love and tears among all who come to know it. But, perfection is never easy to attain. And, Smith was well-aware of his obsessive, if agonizing, ways.

Speaking circa Bloodflowers’ released in February 2000, Smith commented, “I was very difficult to work with on this album, as I was with Disintegration, for that reason because I insisted everything was done exactly as I wanted. So, it’s kind of unpleasant band members really cos they don’t feel that they’re of any value, I suppose, when we’re making the record. Although I try and impress upon them the fact that without the group, it wouldn’t sound like The Cure….Who’s in the group defines the sound. But, with Wish and with Wild Mood Swings, they were group collaborations and everyone had a say. And I would kind of be just a fifth member of the band really a lot of the time.” 

Only about half of the songs seemed to have any real depth. To my barely adult ears, the new album sounded somewhat recycled and uninspired. “39,” the penultimate track from Bloodflowers  I caught up to the headspace Smith was in when he penned that song. But, it was also distressing to feel the gravity of the lyrics and realize them to be true: “Half my life I’ve been here / Half my life in flames / Using all I ever had to keep the fire ablaze / To keep the fire ablaze / To keep the fire ablaze / To keep the fire ablaze…But there’s nothing left to burn.”

After giving so much of yourself to life, whatever that may entail—relationships, career, artistic expression, yourself—it can be incredibly draining. It’s a struggle to find the energy to keep going through the motions, and if you do, it’s often devoid of emotion, which is all the more devastating for someone whose identity is so entrenched in feeling.

But, if Bloodflowers met midlife with this scorching warning, it also offers mature meditative acceptance that youthful ambitions and hopes may blind us to. Even in their earliest moments, Cure lyrics and instrumentation held a wistful longing, a romantic pull against reality, a nostalgic yearning for what never was. And although so much of Smith’s poetry, and the accompanying melodies, acknowledge the painful, often tragic, rift between fantasy and reality, time and time again, the records return us to this dreamlike world. With Bloodflowers, Smith consciously faces these idealistic tendencies. His choice to release the album on Valentine’s Day offers further evidence.

Smith explained, “I just thought it would be kind of darkly romantic…Valentine’s Day when you’re young particularly is a day of unrequited love. It’s actually one of the most depressing days of the year because you find yourself unable to tell the person you’re lusting or loving that it’s you….There’s elements of that, I think, that are in Bloodflowers…that sense of love never ever being able to be perfect, like my constant desire for things to be just as they are, as they should be and for them always to be as they are, which is not how I want them to be.”

As the tracks progress on Bloodflowers, the illusory narrative of youth asserts itself before eventually withering into quiet acquiescence, delivering waves of the heart-melting pangs, tingles and thrills long synonymous with The Cure

“Out of This World” is the enchantingly woozy opener, immediately drawing us into a dreamy reverie no sane soul would ever want to crawl out from—even if we know we someday must. It captivated me the moment I first heard it 20 years ago and tranquilizes me still. As mentioned, I’ve come to comprehend the sage musings of Bloodflowers, but if this song was the album’s only treasure, I’d cling tight to it forever. And in many ways, that’s what this starry-eyed, wonder-filled intro is all about.

The escapist sentiments continue into the writhing odyssey of “Watching Me Fall,” which thrusts headlong into the expansive night with nocturnal seductions and terrors that would serve handsomely as the abstract to David Lynch’s next film. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the song takes place in Tokyo, which is where I chose to celebrate my 40th birthday. (Have I already mentioned how Smith is always way ahead of me?)

Although my take on Bloodflowers has shifted in the last few years, I can’t say I’ve warmed up to the album’s third and fourth tracks, “Where the Birds Always Sing” and “Maybe Someday.” However, Smith has noted the latter was included to add a little upbeat levity to an otherwise heavy record. Unsurprisingly, it was also the first promotional track for U.S. radio, which is telling, especially since Smith was adamant about not releasing any singles for Bloodflowers.

The remainder of the album showcases the breadth of The Cure’s songwriting talents, with songs like “The Last Day of Summer” and “There Is No If” evoking some of the band’s sweetest ‘80s B-sides. In fact, although the two flow together well, “There Is No If” was written in Smith’s adolescence, signifying a constancy in character despite his newfound perspective. I’m so glad this courageously simple tune about innocent love found the light of day, and revel in its placement between the solitary depleted spirit of “The Last Day of Summer” and the shared disillusionment of “The Loudest Sound.”

It’s been so long I can’t quite remember what I envisioned upon first hearing “The Loudest Sound,” but now I see a relationship that hasn’t run its course. Rather, it lives on in calm perpetuity. The couple have grown old together and care for each other deeply. The chimes are no longer bursting and the edge-of-the-world exhilaration is no more, but they both remember what those heart-racing moments were like together. And while the tenor of their connection has evolved, they’re still side by side, united by the commonality of their youth and the loneliness of aging. Despite the silence, his thoughts still manage to echo hers. When I was younger, I probably thought of these lyrics more in the vein of The Cure’s “Apart” (from Wish), but Smith’s ever-masterful words are well-suited to new interpretations.

As Bloodflowers approaches its end with the aforementioned “39” and the closing title track, it pushes past the acknowledgement of our individual finite capabilities into a greater spiritual understanding. The fire may indeed be almost out, but it’s better to accept that as part of life than to fight reality. 

Before Bloodflowers, the Cure trilogy consisted of their second, third and fourth albums— Seventeen Seconds (1980), Faith (1981) and Pornography (1982)—as they were created in close succession and thematically related. However, once Bloodflowers was completed, Smith reassessed the trilogy as Pornography, Disintegration and Bloodflowers, citing these works as the three definitive achievements in the band’s career. I still wouldn’t say Bloodflowers is in my top three Cure albums, but I certainly have gained newfound appreciation in the last few years and see how it rounds out a story, for Smith the individual and the artist—and how the two are irrevocably intertwined.

Smith recalled, “When we were making it, everyone in the group believed that it would be the last Cure album because I wanted to have that sense of finality. There’s no point in making a record like Bloodflowers if you really think you’re going to do something else. I wanted it so that Bloodflowers would be so perfectly The Cure, there was no point in making another Cure album.”

The Cure

  • Robert Smith – guitar, keyboard, 6-string bass, vocals
  • Simon Gallup – bass
  • Perry Bamonte – guitar, 6-string bass
  • Jason Cooper – percussion, drums
  • Roger O’Donnell – keyboard
See The Cure’s Robert Smith Perform Three Songs For Charity Livestream

The Cure’s Robert Smith joined the line up for Nine Lessons And Carols For Curious People, a 24-hour-long charity livestream, hosted by comedian Robin Ince.

Created over 15 years ago by Robin Ince, Nine Lessons And Carols For Curious People is an acclaimed science/comedy/music variety night. Each December, along with Robin and Brian Cox’s Christmas Compendium of Reason at the Hammersmith Apollo, the world’s best scientists, comedians, musicians, poets and more come together for a celebration of human endeavour and creativity, and to raise money for a range of charities.

With 2020’s event cancelled due to the ongoing global pandemic, the event was instead broadcast online, free to watch, from Kings Place, London. It featured guests including Brian Cox, Helen Czerski, Chris Hadfield, Helen Sharman, Sharon D Clarke, Josie Long, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Chris Jackson, Jim Al-Khalili, and Eddie Izzard, with Robin Ince hosting for the entire 24 hours.

The event was broadcast by the Cosmic Shambles Network, with all proceeds donated to the charities Turn2Us, Doctors Without Borders, Mind and the Kings Place Music Foundation.

Robert Smith, whose set was pre-recorded, performed barefoot in a studio thought to be his own home studio. Surrounded by amps and a drum machine, Robert Smith performed a handful of Cure classics: In Your House, Play For Today and M, all three of which feature on the band’s Seventeen Seconds record, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.

It marks a busy year for Robert Smith, who has been working on a new Cure album and solo project during lockdown, while he also collaborated with Damon Albarn on a new Gorillaz song, Strange Timez. Smith also auctioned off his hand-painted Schecter guitar to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust, and collaborated with the British knitwear brand, HADES Wool, on a range of official Cure jumpers, with the band’s share of profits donated to Doctors Without Borders.And to find out more about Nine Lessons And Carols For Curious People and donate, you can visit their crowdfunder page.

Various Artists "Just Like Heaven: A Tribute to The Cure"

“Just Like Heaven” features 16 cover versions of Cure favorites by a bevy of indie artists, including; The Wedding Present, Dean & Britta, The Rosebuds, Tanya Donelly & Dylan in the Movies, The Submarines, Elk City, Class Actress, Joy Zipper, Black Francis, and so many more. Mastered by West West Side Music (Galaxie 500, The Wrens, Fleetwood Mac). Original illustrations and artwork by Melinda Rainsberger.

These tribute albums have become so ubiquitous and are so generally asinine that this one comes as a genuine, and at times quite moving, surprise. It’s not just that the artists who contributed are clearly doing so without any of the usual ironic detachment, but also that many of them have clearly thought very carefully and often very insightfully about their arrangements and interpretations. Elizabeth Harper & the Matinee deliver a sweetly sad and admirably straightforward version of “Pictures of You,” one that clears away the layers of gauzy, torpid psychedelia that characterized the (excellent) original version to create a song that has a very different spirit without sacrificing anything of its essence. Cassettes Won’t Listen give “Let’s Go to Bed” a slightly stiffer, more electro interpretation — again, one that reveals a depth of regret and bitterness that was better hidden in the original. It should probably come as no surprise that Tanya Donelly would pick the slightly creepy “Love Cats” to cover, in a duet version with the gruffly insinuating Dylan in the Movies turn “Close to Me” into a strangely detached disquisition on the obsession and self-disgust that animated the original, while Kitty Karlyle turn “In Between Days” into a brilliantly edgy slab of rough-and-ready pop-punk. Not every interpretation is equally brilliant, but every one of them shines an interesting new light on this powerful material.

An outstanding compilation… this is a must for all Cure fans – NYC Daily News
A genuine, and at times quite moving, surprise. – All Music Guide
Indie darlings past and present come together to repaint the mood swinging lyrics and remix the eternal sunshine of The Cure hits. – Rolling Stone

THE CURE 40 LIVE is a double concert film set that captures the two historic shows performed by The Cure in 2018 in celebration of their 40th Anniversary, available in a limited edition box set.

The first film CURÆTION-25: From There To Here | From Here To There – was captured on the tenth and final night of the 25th Meltdown Festival (curated by lead singer Robert Smith) at London’s Royal Festival Hall in June 2018. The band performed a song from each of their 13 studio albums with new, unreleased songs at the core of the set, offering a glimpse into the band’s future.

Released in theatres globally on 11th July, the second film – ANNIVERSARY: 1978-2018 Live In Hyde Park London features the band’s acclaimed 29-song, 135-minute anniversary concert. Filmed in one of London’s Royal Parks to a crowd of 65,000 fans, The Cure presented a four-decade deep set on 7th July 2018, including Just Like Heaven, Lovesong, High, and The End Of The World.

“This really was the perfect way to celebrate 40 years of the band,” Smith exclaimed. “It was a fabulous day none of us will ever forget!”

The Cure Glastonbury

The Cure presided over the Pyramid Stage for the first time since 1995, unleashing a perfect set that will be remembered as the bookend to a legendary career.

It’s a poignant setting for a band that first headlined back in 1986. In their ascendency, the Crawley group seemed fated to become post-punky upstarts or funereal doomsayers. That they emerged as emperors of goth and pop, and now stand as great British eccentrics, is testament to their remarkable vision. Their show on Sunday night illustrates the breadth of feeling that can be experienced in a single human life.

True to type, Robert Smith wanders on-stage at showtime head to toe in black, with panda eyes and crispy seaweed hair. He has appeared before the lights even dim, as if lost on his way back to the cemetery. Fans nudge friends as they spot his ambling figure, preparing to start the show. We laugh before we cry.

It also looks like The Cure’s headline set on the Sunday night at Worthy Farm was a big contributor in the spike of interest in the six-string, with website searches for Schecter Guitars – the kind used by the band’s Robert Smith and Simon Gallup – rising by 55% after their set. “But 49 years later it’s amazing to see that people continue to be inspired by their musical heroes and it makes us proud that we’re able to give them everything they need to emulate their favourite musicians.” .

“It’s probably not the first time or the last that I’m going to burst into tears at the end of a show this summer,” he told us about the set down at Worthy Farm, Robert Smith said of the event.

“It was a long weekend and it probably got to me. For the first 20 minutes I was very, very unsure. In some respects, for the first half hour we didn’t really offer much concession to the ‘casual’ listener. Everyone was a little concerned about that. They were going, ‘Oh, maybe we should load the front end of the set with songs that people know a little bit more’, and I was going ‘No, we’ll build towards the end with this big release in the encore’.”

He continued: “I never get nervous, but for about 20 minutes I was like, ‘Ooh, maybe I haven’t read this one right’. Then by the end it was a slight release because the encore was absolutely fantastic. It was just a huge sing-along, but we’re not really that band.”.

Starting with “Plainsong”, the opening section is a transcendent mush largely composed of Disintegration tracks, full of waterfall reverb and basslines that breach an alternate dimension. If Smith once sounded wounded, time has lent him the sinister air of an avenging spirit, ready to reap vengeance through the medium of clingy boyfriend bangers.

It all sounds exquisite. The pitfalls of ageing rock bands never really applied to The Cure, their music a timeless wash and their frontman sounding, even at a sprightly 21, as if he were hovering by death’s door. But at this epic scale, backdropped by a setting Glastonbury sun, they sound otherworldly. The horizon swallows the last sunlight under the Armageddon squall of “Burn”, and it seems inconsequential whether it ever comes up again.

To my right, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien goes wild in the sort of trilby and overcoat combo usually favoured by 19th-century occultists. Moments of magic come in waves: the deferred ecstasy of “Just Like Heaven’s “run away with you” chorus, the way “A Forest” conjures a gorgeous dread you could sleep inside, before “Shake Dog Shake” shatters its reverie with diabolical thunder. But it’s in the finale – after Smith has taken “two minutes to put my pop head back on” – that all the pieces click.

“I’ve been here over the weekend,” he says on his return. “It’s just hot and f***ing excellent. It’s just weird to be part of it. What we do on stage is difficult to translate into this. Hang on. It isn’t. The next half-hour is Glastonbury.” If he had his bearings, he might accurately have said: the next half hour is Glastonbury history.

In a climax that sweeps from “Lullaby” to “Friday I’m in Love”, “Close to Me” to “Why Can’t I Be You”, Smith lets loose: vogues and scats during “Close to Me”, hobbles around and scrunches his face. It’s a strange and mesmerising spectacle that reminds us, before we head back to reality, that the world’s greatest glories will always belong to the weirdos.  The Cure at Glastonbury 2019

Image result for roskilde festival 2019 poster

The Cure bring their melancholic, majestic melodies back to Roskilde Festival Black clothing, sooty eyeliner, blood-smear lipstick and a cobwebbed forest of hair have always made Robert Smith a stand-out front figure. And once you have heard him and the rest of The Cure give sound to their sometimes mournful, sometimes ecstatic, always dead-on-catchy songs, you find a true signature there as well.

Robert Smith and co. have been around in various line-ups for 40+ years now, and they have a hit-after-hit catalogue of songs for a massive live show.  Today, The Cure have sold about 30 million records worldwide, and they have released no less than three best-of compilations. This says a lot about the popularity surrounding a band that started playing post-punk in the London suburb of Crawley before moving onwards to an infectious mix of haunting melancholy and off-kilter pop. Through the years they have produced more than 30 critical singles, including ear worms like “The Lovecats”, “Close To Me”, “Just Like Heaven”, “Lullaby” and “Friday I’m in Love”. Among their 13 studio albums they have created dark masterpieces that remain on various ‘best ever’ lists, including Pornography, Disintegration and Bloodflowers.

The Cure has always put on marvellous shows that resonate with thousands of Roskilde-goers. And once they start playing they don’t stop anytime soon. Their setlists are always immense.

Seeing the Cure live is much more than a celebration of their legacy. You sense that you’re witnessing that rare feat of a decades-old band perhaps entering their prime rather than their twilight years. On their 1982 track “Pornography” Robert Smith sings: “I must fight this sickness, find a cure”. A vivid image on how The Cure’s music is soul-cleansing, cathartic stuff.


00:00:00 – Intro 00:01:40 – Shake Dog Shake 00:06:20 – From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea 00:14:20 – Just One Kiss 00:18:40 – Lovesong 00:22:26 – Last Dance 00:27:31 – Pictures of You 00:35:04 – High 00:38:44 – A Night Like This 00:43:04 – Burn 00:49:29 – Fascination Street 00:54:29 – Never Enough 00:57:34 – Push 01:02:16 – Inbetween Days 01:05:13 – Just Like Heaven 01:09:12 – Play for Today 01:13:16 – A Forest 01:21:26 – Primary 01:25:35 – Want 01:30:47 – 39 01:38:09 – One Hundred Years [encore] 01:50:12 – Lullaby 01:55:03 – The Caterpillar 01:58:59 – The Walk 02:02:32 – Friday I’m in Love 02:06:27 – Close to Me 02:10:00 – Why Can’t I Be You? 02:13:49 – Boys Don’t Cry

the cure robert smith

Robert Smith wasn’t ready for the full 4K experience when he sat down to watch a concert film of The Cure’s stunning 2018 Hyde Park concert. “The first close-up of a human face I saw was me,” he says. “It was quite terrifying.” Smith says he was initially on the fence about making the film, which is titled Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park London and will get a special screening in movie theaters around the world on Thursday, July 11th. People tend to be more self-conscious when they know they’re being filmed, but he decided it was ultimately worth it since it was a momentous occasion.

The gig took place 40 years to the weekend from when the Cure played their first gig in Crawley, and he’d jammed the set list with favorites like “Just Like Heaven,” “Lovesong” and “Boys Don’t Cry.” So he asked the band’s longtime videographer, Tim Pope, to direct the film “on the sly” with 16 cameras and didn’t tell his band mates, who had enough to worry about with playing for some 65,000 people that day. Despite his initial fright with the close-up, he’s happy he did it.

“It’s actually quite an overwhelming experience,” he says of the picture. “I thought that I’d be a bit blasé, but I was actually quite taken aback with the whole thing. I’m really pleased we did it because it turned into probably one of the best days we’ve ever had through a combination of just great weather and England’s football team was doing remarkably well in the World Cup. And I picked the bill for the whole day at Hyde Park. … It was just, like, a huge celebration of music.”

The show came after the Cure played another gig in London as part of the Meltdown festival, so he worked hard to differentiate the two experiences. For the Meltdown show, dubbed Curætion, he played a set that started with the band’s earliest material, progressed to their most recent, and returned to the earliest. For the 40th anniversary show, he picked nearly 30 songs that “an audience would want to hear.”

“Knowing that we’d sold 65,000 tickets, you think, ‘This isn’t a normal show,’” he says. “We’ve got to acknowledge that a lot of people are going there for the whole day. So we approached it more as a festival. Certain clusters of songs I just know work really well together. I thought there’s no point in trying to shoehorn B sides or obscure songs into the set, because we would lose people in five or six minutes. So I think we knew the set was going to work before we walked out onstage.”

Beyond the performance, the other reason Smith likes the film so much is because he had some distance from making it. Other than working on a 5.1 surround sound mix with his Bloodflowers co-producer Paul Corkett, he left the rest to Pope. According to Smith, all he had to do was field questions like, “Do you think we should open with this?” “Do you think this shot works?” and, “Do you think you look too hideous in this shot for me to keep it in?” The space has made it so he was able to appreciate it more, and now he wishes he’d done more, such as filming openers Interpol, Goldfrapp and Ride, among others. But he’s happy things worked out as well as they did for his set.

The only problem he had during the day was facing off with the sun. It was nearly 90-degree heat, and he’s used to performing in the dark. “I really honestly can’t talk until the sun goes down,” he told the crowd. “It’s taking up all my energy not to dissolve into a pile of dust.” Looking back on it now, he says he just wasn’t prepared for so much light, which finally set about halfway into the gig.

“It was a bit shocking actually walking out because we were backstage the whole time, just kind of hanging out with everyone,” he says. “It’s all under covers, parasols, chilled drinks and so forth. So walking out onstage was really the first time I’d realized how hot it was. They had portable fans and stuff around us backstage, so walking onstage was like, ‘Whoa.’ We walked directly into the sunset, and it was quite dramatic. It was like the best light show in the world — if you can bear it. If we’d been 20 years younger, it might have been a little easier.

“But in a way, it gives it all a theatrical feeling,” he continues. “It gives the film itself what Tim would call a narrative or an arc. There’s a natural progression, and we end up right back where we started with a cluster of the very early songs and that very frantic, manic lighting. I think it would have been a lot less good in a funny way, if we’d walked on in darkness, and it had just been another concert film.”

He also likes how the sunlight makes the whole thing look “rubbish” and that people can see “all the junk on the side of the stage and backstage.” “It kind of makes you feel like you’re onstage,” he says, “which, for me, was the most important part of the film.”

And that’s a funny thing in and of itself, because Smith says when he’s onstage, he likes to lose himself. For all the times he looks like he’s surveying the crowd, such as in the footage of “Friday I’m in Love,” he says he’s actually trying to forget everything from the moment he sets foot onstage.

“For the first two or three songs, I’m adjusting,” he says. “I’m not one of the performers that constantly reminds themselves that, ‘Hey, Hyde Park, how you doing?’ I don’t really want to remember where I am. I’m just onstage, playing these songs. That’s why I don’t talk onstage. I’ve kind of lost the ability to communicate with words. It’s very odd. When I’m singing and playing, I’m just kind of transported and that’s what I feel like doing. It sounds hippie-ish, but it’s always been like that with me. I just feel like if I’m getting lost in the songs, there’s a fair chance everyone else is as well.”

Image result for The CURE – ” Disintegration The Album ” Live At The Sydney Opera House poster

Exclusive to Vivid LIVE, alternative British rock legends The Cure brought their magisterial, slow-burn masterpiece “Disintegration” to the Opera House Concert Hall for five shows to mark the 30th anniversary of their career-defining epic. This was the world premiere of these 30th anniversary performances, and their only Australian engagement. This live stream was directed by British filmmaker Nick Wickham, a close collaborator of The Cure’s who is known for his work with Iggy Pop, Joe Cocker, Annie Lennox and Madonna.

Released in 1989, Disintegration peaked at No 3 in the UK album charts, making it the band’s highest-charting record. Songs such as Lullaby, Lovesong, Pictures of You and Fascination Street cemented the band’s success in the United States too. By 1992, the album, described by this publication as “exquisitely morose”, had sold more than three million copies worldwide.

The Cure played the record with a full band, featuring lead singer Robert Smith alongside Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, Roger O’Donnell and Reeves Gabrels.

This will be the second time the Cure have played Vivid Live after 2011’s Reflections shows, at which the band played their first three albums in full: Three Imaginary Boys, Seventeen Seconds and Faith.

This time, the band will play Disintegration along with other tracks from their back catalogue.

Today marks 30 years since the release of the Disintegration album – and we are very pleased to announce to Cure fans around the world that we will be global live streaming our final performance from the Sydney Opera House on 30th May, where we will be playing the album in its entirety – plus extras! – at Vivid LIVE. We look forward to celebrating the anniversary of this special album with you all… …And remember: this album was mixed to be played loud… so turn it up!” — Robert Smith, 2nd May 2019.

The Cure’s fifth and final performance of “Disintegration” at Sydney Opera House on 30th May 2019


B-Sides and Demos 1. Delirious Night 17:20 2. Fear of Ghosts 23:44 3. No Heart 30:54 4. Esten 34:20 5. 2 Late 38:17 6. Out of Mind 41:10 7. Babble 44:45 Disintegration 8. Plainsong 49:15 9. Pictures of You 59:31 10. Closedown 1:06:44 11. Lovesong 1:11:00 12. Last Dance 1:14:40 13. Lullaby 1:19:54 14. Fascination Street 1:24:46 15. Prayers for Rain 1:29:47 16. The Same Deep Water as You 1:35:34 17. Disintegration 1:44:47 18. Homesick 1:53:10 19. Untitled 2:00:18 Encore 20. Burn 2:10:55 21. Three Imaginary Boys 2:17:52 22. Pirate Ships (Wendy Waldman cover) 2:21:30

Photos Ben Houdijk / Pinkpop and Bart Heemskerk / Pinkpop

From light and in love to a black swelling and gloomy. An extremely balanced layering that takes you to the depth. From a rather obscure start with album favorites, to hits such as ‘Friday I’m in Love’, ‘Close to Me’, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ that were completely preserved. The British new wavers from The Cure gave a mighty musical concert on the second day of Pinkpop that will be remembered for a long time.

Welcomed as conquering heroes to Geleen in 1986, with The Cure Pinkpop didn’t just get one of the biggest bands of the moment (witness the all-time classics on their set list back then: Boys Don’t Cry, A Forest, In Between Days, The Walk, Close To Me), but after two slim editions a crowd of 50,000 helped ensure that the ‘sold out’ sign was once again hung on the Pinkpop gates. The Cure saved Pinkpop was the verdict, so it’s only logical that these new wave legends should play the fiftieth anniversary. 2019 is also a special year for the band: they’ve been inaugurated into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, their debut album Three Imaginary Boys celebrates its fortieth birthday, the successful Disintegration (featuring classics Lullaby, Lovesong and Pictures Of You) turns thirty and frontman Robert Smith turned sixty in April.

Who would have thought that The Cure would draw the fiftieth Pinkpop. The band colored no less than 2.5 hours of a festival day that had yielded much predictable sentiment until then. While Rowwen Hèze culminated in a hopping party, the band Krezip, who had just reunited after ten years, had a sympathetic reunion with Pinkpop. And retro star Lenny Kravitz also swung back in time. Casually cool with sunglasses – he doesn’t seem to be getting older – he brought a routine, edifying retro show like a cozy foam rock bath.

The Cure performs “A Forest” live at the Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, 2019.

As a final act of day two, The Cure took Pinkpop into the dark. The fact that a final act would follow, the dance of Armin, hardly counted for the fans of The Cure. Their heroes, now in their sixties, with the hefty foreman Robert Smith still as a melancholy eye-catcher with the dark raised hair, black flared eyes and red lipstick, were back since 2012.

With dedicated authority, The Cure immediately faded acts such as White Lies and The Kooks . With here even a little nod or smile. When ‘Just Like Heaven’ comes out fantastic. When ‘In Between Days’ is completed brilliantly. ‘A Forest’ was an eerily strong climax in which a lot came together: the depth, the quality, the load of a song that still comes in almost forty years later.

The Cure performs Boys Don’t Cry live at the Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, 2019.


  1. Shake Dog Shake
  2. Burn
  3. From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
  4. A Night Like This
  5. Pictures of You
  6. High
  7. Just One Kiss
  8. Lovesong
  9. Just Like Heaven
  10. Last Dance
  11. Fascination Street
  12. Wendy Time
  13. Push
  14. In Between Days
  15. Play for Today
  16. A Forest
  17. Primary
  18. Want
  19. 39
  20. One Hundred Years  Encores:
  21. Lullaby
  22. The Caterpillar
  23. The Walk
  24. Doing the Unstuck
  25. Friday I’m in Love
  26. Close to Me
  27. Why Can’t I Be You?
  28. Boys Don’t Cry


There is no other band in pop or rock who is able to master the balance between gloom and radiance quite like The Cure. And when it was released on May 2nd, 1989, no other album in their catalouge reflected both the darkness and light of their sound like “Disintegration”.
The band’s eighth LP was intended to be a return to the more oblique, gothic undertones of their landmark 1982 LP Pornography The epic, synth-heavy pastiche of opening track “Plainsong,” “Closedown” and the nine-minute “The Same Deep Water As You” all remain beacons of beautiful sorrow that seemed miles away from the pop vibrancy of such mid-80s faves as The Head On The Door and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.

Disintegration and this particular classic lineup of The Cure, comprised of fearless leader and vastly underrated guitar hero Robert Smith; longtime bassist Simon Gallup; guitarist Porl Thompson; drummer Boris Williams; keyboardist Roger O’Donnell; and original drummer Lol Tolhurst, who didn’t play on the album but provided the basis for the song “Homesick” managed to channel the pop maneuvering of songs like “The Love Cats,” “Close To Me” and “Just Like Heaven” into a dark wave of black romance throughout the record’s 72 minutes.

The romantic gloom on Disintegration is more achingly beautiful depressive wallowers everywhere rejoiced. Perfect for any introspective occasion it also happens to be the perfect breakup album, including the album title! If there was a class called Album Openers , “Plainsong” would take up the first and last sections of the course. We relive the happy times captured in pictures “Pictures of You”, experience the high of expressing one’s love and devotion (“Lovesong”) only to experience the sadness of impending heartache (“Last Dance”) and the nightmares that follow (“Lullaby”). There’s also anger and desperation in songs like “Fascination Street,” “Prayers for Rain,” and “The Same Deep Water as You” in which Smith laments “can’t you see I try?/swimming the same deep water as you is hard.” With the sounds of breaking glass the epic title track begins where Smith describes his own failings. “Homesick” has Smith begging for another “go” before walking away and the album closer (“Untitled”) has Smith sadly admitting that he’ll “never lose this pain/never dream of you again.” Full of shimmery guitars, synths, and emotional lyrics, the album creates a lush atmosphere of love and loss. Perfect for heartbreak in the dark.

Each of the four singles taken from Disintegration provided more momentum for The Cure’s visibility and success on the charts across the globe. And while songs like “Fascination Street,” “Lullaby” and “Pictures of You” did, “Fascination” peaked at No. 1 on the Alternative Songs chart, it was the album’s most pop-positive moment, “Lovesong,” that skyrocketed them to the No. 2 position as well as largely universal acclaim to music listeners beyond the goth crowd.

“Despite making challenging music that deals with the biggest themes, their impact has been gigantic,” proclaimed Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails in his speech inducting The Cure into the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “They’ve sold the best part of who gives a shit how many million records and been an essential touchstone in the genres of post-punk, new wave, goth, alternative, shoegaze and post-rock. They’ve been in and out of fashion so many times in the last four decades that they ended up transcending fashion itself. Though they might be a hip name to drop in 2019, this wasn’t always the case. Their dedication to pushing sonic and artistic boundaries while making music for the ages wasn’t always rewarded with glowing reviews in the press. But they never failed to attract a passionate, intelligent and loyal fanbase who always knew the truth: The Cure are one of the most unique, most brilliant, most heartbreakingly excellent rock bands the world has ever known.”


Dropping through sky, through the glass of the roof, through the roof of your mouth, through the mouth of your eye, through the eye of the needle / It’s easier for me to get closer to heaven than ever feel whole again I never said I would stay to the end / I knew I would leave you with babies and everything.” Running more than eight minutes, the title track to the band’s best album features Robert Smith at his wordiest … and nastiest. It’s basically a cycle-of-life thing, with childhood abuses giving way to similar adult patterns. Chilling.

‘Pictures of You’

“Pictures of You” is the fourth and final single from the British rock band the Cure’s 1989 album Disintegration. Called “chilly goth-rock” and “accessible…synth-pop”, the song has a single version which is a shorter edit of the album version.
“If only I’d thought of the right words, I could have held on to your heart / If only I’d thought of the right words, I wouldn’t be breaking apart all my pictures of you.Robert Smith has said that he wrote ‘Pictures of You’ after a fire at his home. Among the remains were some pictures of his wife in a wallet. But read the lyrics, and you’ll discover something that cuts way deeper: a broken heart and shattered memories.

‘Fascination Street’

a 1989 North-American-only single by the English rock band The Cure from their album Disintegration.Their American record company refused the band’s original choice of song“Lullaby” as the first single (it was the lead single in the UK and was released in the U.S. later) and used “Fascination Street” instead.
The song is notable for its extended bass introduction. “I like you in that like I like you to scream / But if you open your mouth, then I can’t be responsible for quite what goes in or to care what comes out.”The first single from the Cure’s breakthrough U.S. album is one of Robert Smith’s vaguest songs. Is it about sex? Control? A breakdown of a relationship? We can’t say for sure, but the menacing rhythm hints that something sinister is going on. A perfect summation of the Cure at their best.


The Cure, released “Lovesong” as the third single from their eighth studio album Disintegration in 1989. The song saw considerable success in the United States, where it was a number two hit.

The song is performed in A minor and is built around a distinctive bass riff. The verses follow an Am/G/F/Em chord progression, which changes to F/G/Am/C in the choruses. The lyrics are simple, with each verse having the same structure (“Whenever I’m alone with you / you make me feel like I am … again”). Speaking of its simplicity and unusually upbeat nature compared to the other tracks on Disintegration, Smith stated, “It’s an open show of emotion. It’s not trying to be clever. It’s taken me ten years to reach the point where I feel comfortable singing a very straightforward love song”

The single version of the song is almost exactly the same as the album version, but the mix is slightly different, with extra reverb and harmonies added to Smith’s vocals. In addition, in the instrumental section between the first two verses, the guitar doesn’t join the keyboards like it does on the album.