The European leg of the Pornography Tour started in Rotterdam on 5 May 1982. From 5 to 10 May The Cure played six dates in six cities in the Netherlands, before proceeding to Belgium, Germany and France. For a change, most of the Dutch shows were booked at rather large classical music venues, like De Doelen in Rotterdam and De Vereeniging in Nijmegen. The last concert in Holland, on 10 May 1982, was at a classical concert hall as well, the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht.
For many Cure fans, Pornography is their favourite album. But the tour promoting that album wasn’t that successful at all.
The ‘last’ tour
Venues were only halfly filled. The press criticized the new show of the band, being too rock & roll, excessive or even boring. In addition, there were tensions within the band. Dutch pop music magazine Oor interviewed The Cure backstage in Utrecht. Robert said: ‘I think this is the last time we tour this way. It is mentally exhausting, performing every single day and then also that whole rock & roll approach! (…) Three weeks left, and then it’s over. That’s it. Definitely.’
The Utrecht show
Local newspaper Utrechts Nieuwsblad reviewed the gig at the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg. The journalist observed that since the last time the band had made big investments in gear and visual entourage. They used impressive stage lighting, stroboscopes and the drum kit was built on a separate stage with embedded lighting.
It struck the journalist that The Cure had much longer hair than in the early days and they wore heavy red make-up on their faces. Especially Simon Gallup, according to the journalist, looked weird, like a sort of crossover between Siouxsie Sioux and a militant blitz-punk with a heavy bullet belt. The journalist asked himself what this all has added to the earlier Cure. Unfortunately nothing, he concluded. The magic had gone. Most original fans have abandoned The Cure and they have been replaced by new, very young twelve year olds, he wrote. He thought the Dutch support act Mekanik Kommando was more interesting.
There is no confirmed setlist of The Cure’s concert on 10 May 1982 in Utrecht. Until now, it is unknown if anybody taped the show. Some recordings mislabeled as Utrecht ’82 have been shared on the internet, but usually they are Plymouth or Neu Isenburg or another gig from 1982.
On the first three shows of the Pornography Tour in Holland, The Cure played exactly the same setlist every night, apart from different versions of the improvisation song they ended up with each night, which later has been entitled All Mine. Maybe they performed this set as well on the remaining three concerts (Zwolle, Groningen and Utrecht) where no recordings of have been circulating. But that’s just guessing.
It’s probable that The Cure played all the songs from the just released Pornography album, like on the other Dutch dates. Also, they played Three Imaginary Boys and Killing An Arab, according to the review above.
Return to Utrecht 1982
As Robert predicted, The Cure disintegrated after the Pornography Tour. But they would resurrect later that year as a duo. In the meantime, Robert joined Siouxsie & the Banshees as a guitarist on their A Kiss In The Dreamhouse Tour. In December 1982 he played with them at three Dutch venues where he had been before in May of that year with The Cure. Also at the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht, on 21 December 1982.