On a hot and sweaty Saturday in July, I joined thousands of people to watch The Cure perform at Hyde Park as part of Barclaycard’s British Summer Time Festival. I probably don’t need to tell you that this was the event of the year for me. Every Cure concert is a life-changing experience and I have always loved The Cure. The last time I saw them perform in Hyde Park was 2002. My sister and I drank too much un-gothic Smirnoff Ice (I have no idea why that was our drink of choice) and spent most the gig wantonly screaming at Robert Smith. I’ve since grown up and internalised my screams….. And I’ve been deprived of a Cure gig since Wembley Arena in 2016.
Goldfrapp, The Twilight Sad, Slowdive and Ride supported The Cure at the event. It was so bloody hot I spent the first few hours sweating lager in the shade of a marquee. I’d paid extra for Premium View so when I took my place to watch The Cure I was slightly distressed at how many champagne Cure fans there were. Who the hell takes selfies with a glass of Veuve Clicquot at a gig? I definitely prefer the gothic rough and tumble of normal ‘standing’ tickets at their smaller gigs.
It was so hot, I had to ditch my usual black goth clothes and had selected a dress that was a nod to the US version of the Boys Don’t Cry LP but I don’t think anyone got the (tenuous) link.
When the haunting opening chords of Plainsong (1989’s Disintegration album) pierced the balmy evening, I lost all awareness of everything apart from the band. “I can’t really talk until the sun goes down,” Smith told us, “It’s taking all my energy not to dissolve.” I love him.
And what a playlist. What a tremendous playlist. An emotional, heart rendering journey of classic Cure – with the climatic treat of 10:15 Saturday Night (played at exactly 10:15 on a Saturday night) and Killing an Arab.
They are the only band that I stop consuming alcohol for when they play (well apart from the 2002 gig mentioned above). I find it hard to describe what an ecstatic experience a Cure concert is for me. It taps into nostalgia, fear, happiness, joy, sadness and reflective drunkenness. They are the soundtrack to my life. And I hope Robert’s hints of a 2019 tour are true. Because that puts a whole different slant on 2019.
I left Hyde Park burnt, deaf, smelling of cheap wine and hysterically happy. Life doesn’t get much better than a Cure concert in London.
Pictures of You
A Night Like This
The End of the World
In Between Days
Just Like Heaven
If Only Tonight We Could Sleep
Play for Today
Shake Dog Shake
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
Friday I’m in Love
Close to Me
Why Can’t I Be You?
Boys Don’t Cry
Jumping Someone Else’s Train (First time since 2011)
Grinding Halt (First time since 2011)
10:15 Saturday Night
Killing an Arab