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introLanxess- Arena, Cologne, Germany
10th November 2016
The Cure & The Twilight Sad

27 years ago it was my first time that I saw THE CURE live on occasion of the “Disintegration” tour. As we are all not getting any younger I thought it was high time to see the band now a second time. The show was sold out months before this date.

I was eager to see if the band with its charismatic front man, who is not only known for his recognisable voice but also his special appearance with the red lipstick and the wild hairdo which apparently needed a lot of hairspray that probably a part of the ozone hole is named after him (at least back in those days when hairspray contained CFC), is still as good and entertaining as the guys used to be. Unfortunately my arrival at the venue was delayed due to traffic hold ups because of construction works and of course lots of people were on their way as well to the concert. And to top it all the car parks at the venue were already full and I was directed to a parking area that was actually a piece of ground with gravel and big holes that you had to be afraid for your car and had to pay for this barefaced 10€ (!). Well, Cologne you really make it hard for me to like you. When I finally arrived at the venue I unfortunately have missed the opening act.


The Twilight Sad

There is not much information to find about this Scottish Shoegaze / Indie Rock band. Founded in 2003 the band consist of a trio by James Graham (vocals), Andy MacFarlane (guitar, accordion) and Mark Devine (drums). All have been playing in other bands and projects before and gained experiences. The lack of information is even more startling as the first album of the band was critically acclaimed. THE TWILIGHT SAD has already released four albums, six EPs and eight singles. It is quite remarkable that THE TWILIGHT SAD’s live performance are very different to the album versions and it’s the intention of the band so that every live show is a special event. They already supported EDITORS in Germany and now they had the big honour to support THE CURE. With their Indie-Rock and Shoegaze influenced Pot-Punk, the band was surely the right choice as opening act and left a long-lasting impression. /

01. Reflection of the television
02. Last January
03. Don’t move
04. Seven years of letters
05. Nil
06. I became a prostitute
07. It never was the same
08. There’s a girl in the corner
09. And she would darken the memory


The Cure

Starting as a kind of student band in 1976 under the moniker EASY CURE, the band abbreviated the name to THE CURE after signing to the new Fiction label in 1978. Founding members were: Robert Smith (vocals, guitar), his schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Lol Tolhurst (drums) and also the local guitar hero Porl Thompson (guitar). The first single ‘Killing an Arab’ was controversially discussed by those who didn’t understand that this song was inspired by Albert Camus’s existentialistic novel ‘The stranger’. Therefor the release of the first album ‘Three imaginary boys’ was critically acclaimed with its sound of Punk and New Wave. Soon the band gathered a steady growing fan base. Did the guys still look quite plain after launching the second album ‘Seventeen seconds’ with its hit single ‘A forest’, especially the frontman Robert Smith changed his appearance with his wild teased hair and the red lipstick.


In the following years, THE CURE became one of the most important and influential bands in the Punk and New Wave scene alongside with bands like JOY DIVISION, THE SISTERS OF MERCY, THE HUMAN LEAGUE, HEAVEN 17, SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES, ULTRAVOX, SIMPLE MINDS to mention only a few. Has ‘Pornography’ been a very depressive and sombre “gothic” album the band showed on its following albums to be open to other musical genres by releasing songs and albums with Pop, Jazz and Classical influences. Characteristic for the music of THE CURE is the recognisable voice of Robert Smith and the sound of the six string Fender bass guitar. The history of THE CURE includes several changes of band members as well as on and off members but Robert Smith as steady member made it to keep the band going. Throughout its 40 years career the band toured successfully the world and has the reputation to play excellent long shows. 13 studio albums, 5 live albums, 8 compilation albums, 1 EP and 35 singles have been launched up to now. THE CURE is Robert Smith (vocals, guitar), Simon Gallup (bass), Jason Cooper (drums), Roger O’Donnell (keyboard) and Reeves Gabrels (guitar). / 


Music & Performance
As already mentioned I arrived quite late and was happy to find out that THE CURE started half an hour later after my arrival. Had I been more than annoyed about the price for the parking ticket I now was more than compensated when I found out that my press ticket was not just for a seat but even one in the loge. For the first time in my writing ‚career‘ I got such a seat including free drinks and food albeit a bit far away from the stage. But of course for a concert in such a big venue there were screens at the sides of the stage so that you could see at least a bit more. Also in the back of the stage was a huge screen where pictures, videos and every now and then the action, caught by some go-pros fixed on the monitors in front of the stage, were displayed. Under a thunderous applause the band appeared on stage and started to play. Though neither Robert Smith nor his band mates addressed to the audience the fans didn’t need any invitation to sing along to the songs. Robert Smith switched, depending on the songs, between the electric and acoustic guitar. I was pleased to find out that his vocals haven’t changed much and so there was no disappointment on this side.


With a history of 40 years the band had enough material to present and of course a lot of my favourite songs. An excellent light show underlined the songs changing from big effects to spare accentuation depending on the mood of the songs. The apocalyptic song ‚One hundred years‘ that was produced in 1982 was presented with pictures of bombed cities, marching soldiers, prisoners of war, war cemetery and concentration camps. Regarding the fact that Trump has just won the Presidential election in the USA, the growing aggression, racism, xenophobia in many countries worldwide this song felt like an omen that history might repeat again. THE CURE is renowned to play long shows and not to palm the fans off with 20 songs and possibly two or three more songs at the encore. Apparently they just love to play long shows and so we got even 3 encores after the main set. Thus even the die-hard fans who travelled from faraway places - even from Finland - could conclude that the effort of travelling was worth it.


I think that many “younger” bands/ musicians should take a page from THE CURE’s book for its high quality performance.

01. Open
02. alt.end
03. The walk
04. Push
05. In between days
06. Pictures of you
07. Before three
08. High
09. A night like this
10. The end of the world
11. Lovesong
12. Just like heaven
13. Trust
14. From the edge of the deep green sea
15. One hundred years
16. End
17. Step into the light
18. Want
19. Burn
20. A forest
21. Fascination street
22. Never enough
23. The hungry ghost
24. Wrong number
25. Lullaby
26. Friday I’m in love
27. Doing the unstuck
28. Boys don’t cry
29. Close to me
30. Why can’t I be you?

Music: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 10
Total: 9.8 / 10


All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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