When they arrived in Europe in the autumn, The Cure had already performed 65 shows across the UK, North America, Australia and New Zealand that year. Not surprising if tour fatigue had set in a bit by then. It seems like you can kind of see that on videos of these shows. Bassist Simon Gallup would drop out of the European leg for a couple of weeks due to illness. Shelleyan Orphan bassist Roberto Soave would temporarily replace him. But in Rotterdam Gallup was still there. However, the band would play slightly shorter shows by Cure standards, at least in the Netherlands. Just over two hours, with fewer songs in the encores.
Rumours were already circulating that The Cure would be touring Europe in the autumn of 2022. Dates in Paris and Germany leaked out. On Monday 6 December 2021 exactly at 12 noon (CET), the band officially announced that they will indeed be embarking on a tour throughout Europe next year. As of now, 44 shows in 22 countries are scheduled. One of the stops on the “Cure Tour Euro 22” will be the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on 25 November 2022, where they also played on their last arena tour in 2016. Just like then, Scottish melancholic indie band The Twilight Sad will be supporting The Cure. It’s not the first time The Cure will be playing with the same support act as on previous tours. In the past, And Also The Trees and Cranes supported The Cure on several occasions.
On Saturday 12 October 1996, The Cure opened the European leg of their Swing Tour at the Ahoy’ Sportpaleis in Rotterdam. It was almost exactly four years after their last visit to the Netherlands. Quite a long hiatus for a band, especially in those days. A lot had changed in between, including the musical landscape. Some thought The Cure were the wrong band at the wrong time in 1996 (not me of course).
The changes also became apparent during the Swing Tour. Some shows were cancelled or moved to a smaller venue. Actually, I think Rotterdam was the first date on the tour only because of the cancellation of other shows (Budapest, Munich, Strasbourg?).
The only Dutch Swing Tour concert was far from sold out, while on the previous Wish Tour the band played two packed shows at the same venue (capacity approximately 10.000). This time around they covered the upper stands of the Ahoy with curtains. While the ticket mentioned otherwise, there was no support act.
A bit late, but still before the end of the year and also of the decade, so I thought to be just in time for a look back at the final Cure gig of the 2010s in the Netherlands. Actually, it would be the last of only three Dutch shows in the past 10 years!
At their annual press conference, last Wednesday at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, Pinkpop announced The Cure as one of the headliners of the three-day oldest festival in the Netherlands. Though initially everything seemed to indicate that the band would play there this year, I guess it still came as a bit of a suprise.
Last year there were strong rumours that The Cure would be part of the 50th (!) anniversary line-up. I always thought they should be. If only because of their legendary 1986 headline slot, which ‘saved’ the festival according to many. But when, in September 2018, The Cure announced a gig in Dublin in the same (Whitsun) weekend as Pinkpop, it suddenly became less likely. In November 2018 Pinkpop even explicitly denied all rumours. But apparently and luckily Pinkpop and the band still found a way to make it happen.
The Cure will play on Sunday 9 June. This will be their third Pinkpop performance. The others being at the 1986 and 2012 editions (the latter was Bowie guitarist Reeves Gabrels’s debut gig with the band).
As this decade comes to an end, I realise that The Cure (will) have only played three Dutch gigs during the 2010s, strangely enough two of which at Pinkpop. It shows how rare it has become to see the band play live in the Netherlands these days.
So here is your chance 😉 The presale starts on Saturday 16 March at 10:00am.
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.
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 keyboard player 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…
Continue reading “Rotterdam 5 November 1987”
Today exactly 35 years ago The Cure played at the Vredenburg music centre 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.
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. According to some of them, 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…
Probably 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…
Continue reading “Circus Tour 1981”