Newcastle City Hall 1982

When the Cure play live, they can seem dull and depressive. I met them and there was nothing about them to contradict that sense. Robert Smith’s general view of life is so pessimistic that we might as well all wallow in the Tyne. He says, “A lot of the early stuff was taped when I was a lot younger and happier. ’17 Seconds’ was like a turning point in my life. Life becomes bleak as you become older. I don’t have that much to look forward to. When I was younger I was naive enough to think there was something to look forward to.”What is unexpected is that Robert, Simon and Lol are all very friendly and approachable. Simon says, “I’d love it for everyone to be able to come into the dressing room. We could all get drunk and everyone would be free to do what they want, but because of the security it’s impossible. There was a queue of people going back into the hall waiting to get autographs and partake in a ten second conversation with each of the band. Simon, “It’s funny, I don’t understand why people want autographs but I’m only too willing to give them. It gets really horrible sometimes, like tonight: it was like a factory line. It makes me feel like a real cunt. People must think that I think I’m a real superstar. I don’t, I’d like to sit down and talk to them but there’s just not the time. It’s a horrible situation. I’m sure everybody goes away thinking we’re fucking bastards”Visually, the band does very little on stage. To enhance the performance they have introduced various projection screens and they play in the midst of the pretty patterns. “We felt we needed visual dynamics on some of our songs so that people don’t start to look at their watches and get bored.”

ESN: Do Polydor help finance the visuals?
SIMON: No, Polydor don’t do anything. They weren’t even going to pay for the pressing of the LP. If any money came back they’d claims a share of it despite having put nothing in. I don’t think about them much. I don’t like them… correction; there are a few blokes from Polydor who are really nice.

ESN: The music has changed a lot since you came into the band, it’s progressed radically.
SIMON: You think it’s progressed?

ESN: From the commercial sound it had, yeah.
SIMON: It’s changed… yes, it has progressed. I’ll agree with you. There’s nothing else I can say.

ESN: Why has it entered such dismal territory?
SIMON: It’s just us growing old, I suppose. Before I joined, Robert and Lol had been playing together for ages. They were more influence by the time when they were younger. Now we’re a bit older, we’re not as influenced as we were. We have more bad as it sounds, direction of our own.

ESN: Why does that sound bad?
SIMON: I think it sounds pompous.

ESN: Not really. It seems unusual for a band to start with an accessible style of music and reach into a more subdued and depressive atmosphere. So many bands become commercial later.
SIMON: Robert and Lol were playing songs like ‘Killing An Arab’ and ‘Fire and Cairo’ for two years. That was before they even started touring. It’s not until you start touring that you become aware of what you really want to do because you’re having to do it 24 hours a day.

ESN: How is this tour going?
SIMON: It’s funny really; a lot of people still want to hear ‘Killing An Arab’ and that sort of thing, which is a bit depressing. Some dates have been really good. Down on the south coast, it was really awful. The further north you go, the better it tends to get.

ESN: A lot of people say that. Are you playing European dates to plug ‘Pornography’?
SIMON: We’ve got four days off, after Hammersmith and then we’re going to Europe for 6 weeks. We’ve played most of the places before: Holland, France, Belgium, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

ESN: How do the audiences react to you there?
SIMON: They tend to be more patient than English audiences. Our musical style of two years ago was more popular in Holland than our present style is now. Whereas, two years ago, in Germany and France people came to see us as an English punk band: now they come for us, which is much better.

ESN: Are you going to release a single from Pornography?
SIMON: We want to try and do a single when we come back from Europe and become rich megastars like the Associates!

© Eccentric Sleeve Notes





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