Utrecht 1982 – part 3

Still working on the ‘big’ project mentioned in my previous post. In the meantime I might be posting some Cure in Holland discoveries every now and then. This month a new book about The Cure called ‘A Perfect Dream’ by Ian Gittins was released through publishing company Palazzo. I have not read it yet. Just browsed through it. It looks like a nice, big coffee table kind of reference book. It also contains many beautiful (sometimes full page) photos, some of which I hadn’t seen before.

On page 70 there is a great full page picture of The Cure threepiece lineup in 1982 style, posing in front of a map on the wall (snippet on the left/above). I came to look at this map. The outlines of the neighbourhoods looked so familiar. Then I recognised some details and suddenly realised this is the city map of my hometown Utrecht! 😀 On page 83 there is a smaller picture also in front of this map which must be from the same session. Judging from the clothes and the location I suppose they are from the same shoot as the famous sculpture picture, probably on the eve of The Cure’s concert at Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht on 10 May 1982. Maybe the pictures in front of the map were taken inside the Holiday Inn hotel? Picture credits: Gentlelook.

Rotterdam 5 November 1987

When I started this lazy blog one of the ideas was to write down the memories of my first ever Cure concert. Naturally this became a long-term plan. Now that it is already 30 years ago (the gig), I thought I should actually do it before things get even blurrier. So below is how I remember it or at least an attempt to reconstruct this life-changing event 😉

August 1987. It was summer holiday when I read an announcement that The Cure would be visiting the Netherlands on their upcoming European tour. They would be performing two shows at the Rotterdam Ahoy’ Sportpaleis: on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th of November. The article said that in case of sufficient interest there would be an extra show on November 6th, which by the way didn’t happen. It was also the first mentioning and picture I saw of Roger O’Donnell, who had just joined the band.

There was no doubt – I had to go there! I hadn’t been able to attend the Pinkpop festival the year before, because I was way too young. I was still young. But I was not going to miss The Cure another time. Actually, it would also be my first concert ever by any band…

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Utrecht 1982 – the sculpture picture

Today exactly 35 years ago The Cure played at the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in my hometown Utrecht. It was then and there where this well-known picture of The Cure was taken. However, I only realised this about ten years ago!

One day I was cycling along the backside of Utrecht Central Station, when I suddenly recognised this sculpture in combination with the sports hall behind it as the setting for this Cure photo. The sculpture is called ‘De Reis‘ (1971), which means ‘The Journey’. It is a creation of artist Paul Kingma.

At the time this part of the city was a bit of a concrete jungle. Across the street there is a hotel, formerly the Holiday Inn. Possibly The Cure were staying there for their gig of 10 May 1982. I imagine on the evening of the concert they went outside and took this photo shoot. The first two pictures below are from 2010 when it still looked quite the same as in 1982. The surroundings of the station have changed drastically since then, in a positive sense. The third picture shows how it looks today. The area is still under construction. Unfortunately the sculpture has been removed. No idea where it is now. We should ask the municipality to put it back because it’s a sacred place for Cure fans 😉

For a full retrospective coverage of the Pornography Tour 1982, please visit this great blog from my friend Guillaume.

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Amsterdam Ziggo Dome – 13 November 2016 – review

smile‘Nkyou… and hello… …again! (…) it’s been a while…

After the opening song of The Cure’s only Dutch date on their 2016 tour, at Amsterdam’s biggest – sold-out – concert venue the Ziggo Dome, Robert Smith memorialises that it has been a while since they played live in the capital city. ‘A while’ actually is an understatement. It has been 32 years! Of course The Cure have performed in other cities in the Netherlands throughout that period, but it’s still something special to reflect upon. Maybe that’s also the reason why we are treated with quite some exclusive songs on this Sunday night. But I guess almost nobody had expected this kind of setlist.

In the Internet era it’s easy to keep track of the songs The Cure perform everywhere. Setlist statistics is one of the favourite discussion topics among Cure fans, including me. According to these statistics, it would have been logical if The Cure would perform a heavily Disintegration oriented set in Amsterdam, thus opening with Plainsong. Another less likely option could be a Bloodflowers set. All wrong. Robert Smith remains an unpredictable genius. No logic with The Cure. They kick off with Open and probably everyone in the room expects a rather light Wish influenced show. But even that turns out a to be a wrong prediction…

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Circus Tour 1981

Tent2Probably the most exceptional tour The Cure did in the Netherlands, if not ever, is the Circus Tour 1981. Exclusively for the Dutch leg of the Picture Tour promoting the Faith album, The Cure chose a radical alternative to clubs or other concert venues. The band travelled zig-zag through the Netherlands performing their show under a circus tent with a capacity of about 2.000 people. During ten days the tent was being broken down after each gig, driven by trucks to the next town at night and then built up again to be in time for the show the following evening. There has been quite some (local) media attention for this short tour. I thought it would be nice to gather this information to create a sort of tour diary. Below is an attempt to do this. Of course I’m happy to add things if you have more stories, memories, pictures, clippings, anything to share…

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Amsterdam 2016

AmsterdamToday The Cure announced a 30-date tour across Europe in the Autumn of 2016, their first major European tour since 2008. They will also be playing in the Netherlands on November 13th. The concert will take place at the rather new 17.000 capacity venue the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, which will be a first for The Cure. They will be breaking with the tradition of playing at the Rotterdam Ahoy’ Sportpaleis, which The Cure visited 8 times since 1985. The last time they played in Amsterdam was in 1984.

In the past The Cure have played in Amsterdam on 12 December 1979 (Melkweg), 23 May 1980 (Paradiso), 17 October 1980 (Jaap Edenhal), 21 June 1981 (Circus Tent), 6 May 1982 (Carré) and 30 August 1984 (Jaap Edenhal).

Hal 4 Utopia Rotterdam 1980

Rotterdam WatertorenOn 2 November 1980, The Cure played the final date of their tour across Western Europe, for the second time around that year. It was in Rotterdam at the Hal 4 Utopia.

Not much is known about this gig. There is no recording circulating and, as far as I know, no pictures ever popped up somewhere. No other information to be found than a scan of the advert. But last December, Dutch online music magazine Muzine.nl published a ‘listening test’ with two members of the Dutch alternative rock band Spasmodique. They were being confronted with a couple of songs and were asked to give their comments. One song was The Cure’s Jumping Someone Else’s Train.

Singer Mark Ritsema commented: ‘The Cure has been more or less the most important influence on our first band Torpedos, the precursor of Spasmodique. With Torpedos we were once support act for The Cure at Hal 4 in Rotterdam. Robert Smith did the lights for us then. I still remember that we were quite impressed by their second album Seventeen Seconds.’

Guitarist Arjo Hijmans: ‘This is weird. Now that we’re talking about it, I even remember the date of that performance at Hal 4. It was 2 November 1980. And I remember that Reinier (Rietveld, the drummer)’s mum drove us with our complete backline in her Tin Snail….hahahaha.’

Thanks to Hans for the link.

 

Groningen 1979

The Cure Oor 1979 - Vitamine COn Sunday 29 July 1979, The Cure played their first ever gig abroad. It took place at the ‘Sterren in het bos’ (‘Stars in the forest’) Festival in Groningen, a city in the Northeast of the Netherlands. The Sterren in het bos festivals were organised in the ‘Sterrebos’ park on Sundays during the summers of the seventies up until 1983. It was free entrance. On most editions a couple of thousand visitors would turn up. In those days there was still quite a hippie-like atmosphere. Other bands that have played at the Sterren in het bos festival series include Fischer Z (1979), Echo & the Bunnymen (1980), The Sound (1981) and Comsat Angels (1982).

The Cure’s performance was in the afternoon. It’s probably mostly remembered due to a cloud-burst, transforming the park into a lake. At least two other local bands played that day: Suster Poppy and Plant. In the evening The Cure would do another show at a small club called Simplon, also in Groningen, perhaps to make it up for their soaked Groningen fans.

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Paradiso Amsterdam 1980

ParadisovenueLittle is known about The Cure’s performance at the legendary and most beautiful venue of the Netherlands: Paradiso in Amsterdam. Of the many shows The Cure have done in Holland, they only have played one time at the Paradiso, which was on 23 May 1980. It was the fourth concert of their 6-date May tour across the Netherlands promoting the new album Seventeen Seconds (they would return a couple of times to Holland later that year). Support act on this tour were Fiction label mates The Passions.

The entrance fee at the Paradiso that night was 10 guilders, which is about 4,5 euros. As far as I know there is no recording of The Cure at Paradiso. Also it is unknown what songs they played, although it’s probable that the set will be more or less similar to the next day in Arnhem.

Last week a rare picture from The Cure (Robert) at Paradiso Amsterdam 1980 popped up on Twitter. Hopefully more will follow…

Ascension 1984

Countdown84-3The Cure spent quite some time around Ascension 1984, at the end of May and the beginning of June, in the Netherlands. It was the week in which Robert Smith was on the verge of a mental breakdown, forcing him to cancel the upcoming tour with Siouxsie & the Banshees and to take a break away from The Cure. Despite his state of mind, Robert delivered three powerful shows with The Cure in the Netherlands, with two of them on one day (!), and did a promo performance of the new single The Caterpillar for Dutch national TV. To understand what was going on that week, I think you would have to look back at about a year and a half before.

Since the last quarter of 1982, Robert Smith had been working non-stop with three bands. Next to The Cure, he became a guitarist with Siouxsie & the Banshees, recorded the hit single Dear Prudence with them, the live double LP/video Nocturne and their new studio album Hyaena. They had toured the UK and Europe in Autumn 1982, then Japan, New Zealand, Australia, some European festivals and Israel in 1983 and Europe again at the start of 1984. In the meantime, Robert had also formed a side project with Banshees-bassist Steven Severin called The Glove and recorded the album Blue Sunshine, released in August 1983. On top of it all, he kept The Cure going. Robert and Lol had recorded a string of singles with accompanying videos, did some shows as a four piece in the UK and the USA in the Summer of 1983 and then toured the UK and Europe again in Spring 1984. In addition, Robert had written and recorded the new Cure LP The Top, which was pretty much a solo effort. He had also helped out video director Tim Pope with his single I Want To Be A Tree. One can imagine he couldn’t carry on like this.

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