The Cure – Malahide Castle – Review

The Cure – Malahide Castle – Live Review – 8th June 2019
by Killian Laher

Perhaps one of the greatest one day line-ups gathered at Malahide Castle for the Cure’s first visit to Ireland since Electric Picnic in 2012.  The coastal village was well prepared for the invasion, not so much of goths, but Cure t-shirt wearing fans with Gibney’s pumping out Cure songs to the masses.  At the venue itself, Dundalk’s Just Mustard started things off, the band kicking up a mighty storm.  Singer Katie Ball did a 4AD-style ice queen routine as the band raged and roared behind her on sombre, shoegazey rockers like Deaf and Curtains.  Ball harmonised well with the guitarist on Boo before they finished with recent single October.  Ones to watch, definitely.

Next up were Scottish miserablists the Twilight Sad.  Singer James Graham has developed into quite an arresting performer, hurling himself around the stage to 10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs and VTr.  Although the wind blew the guitar riffs all over the field, it was an intense and compelling performance, especially on the Robert Smith-endorsed There’s A Girl In The Corner and I/m Not Here.  After the final roar of Anď She Would Darken The Memory they were gone, not quite triumphant, but comfortable that they they can now hold their own in a stadium-sized show.  Ride have been steadily ploughing away since reforming and took to the stage for the first of two shows that day (they played the Workman’s Club at midnight!).  Beginning with jangly recent single Future Love, the band were tight but their set lacked any real punch.  Lannoy Point, Seagull and Vapour Trail had some in the crowd dancing, but only the epic Leave Them All Behind made a lasting impression.

But 90% of the audience were here for The Cure.  Opening with Shake Dog Shake, at first the sound seemed muddy and hard to discern, particularly Robert Smith’s vocals, his chatter between songs was unintelligible.  Gradually the band found form, driven by Simon Gallup, sporting an Iron Maiden t-shirt on energetic bass.  The liquid guitar lines of Pictures of You were an early highlight, and Lovesong and Just Like Heaven had the crowd ecstatically dancing.  They found time to dust off the seldom-played likes of Just One Kiss, Last Dance and 39, but more well known songs such as The Walk and In Between Days prompted mass singalongs.  Smith’s guitar sounded great at times, rising above the murk on Play for Today, A Forest and a gloriously miserable One Hundred Years.  The sound was accompanied by a fine light show, with a backdrop of flames on 39 (“the fire is almost out”), and a spider web for Lullaby, the first of a lengthy encore.  With Friday I’m In Love, Close to Me, Why Can’t I Be You and Boys Don’t Cry making up the climax of the encore the band played very much to the pop side of the Cure, but few were disappointed with that.  Although the band claim to be recording a new album, they also (as usual) claimed this is their last ever tour, and if it is, they are finishing on a high.

Cure Setlist:

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. Never Enough
13. Wendy Time
14. The Walk
15. Push
16. In Between Days
17. Play for Today
18. A Forest
19. Primary
20. Want
21. 39
22. One Hundred Days


The Caterpillar
Doing the Unstuck
Friday I’m In Love
Close to Me
Why Can’t I Be You?
Boys Don’t Cry


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