The Cure - Leeds Festival 2012 review

'The depressive but groovy feel of The Cure is more relevant than ever'

Photographer:Peter Corkhill

Virtual Festivals - 25 August 2012

A significant number of people here do not understand what is happening: The Cure are headlining Leeds in 2012, mid-recession and many many years since their heyday. This explains the disappointing behaviour of many here.

The audience is by no means as large as it should be. Perhaps symptomatic of the entire festival so far, the field is far from packed, although the crowd does stretch to the back – dotted with wide spaces for dancing fans. A ragged line dance in unison a little way back, and throughout the mass couples writhe and twist, guitar, lights, smoke and wails weaving an atmosphere of nostalgia.

There is a reason for this. The Cure permeated radio playlists for much of the early nineties, an era that either holds a formative or influential place in the hearts of many who attend this festival. Vocalist Robert Smith stands in the smoke like some crumbling glitzy spider with a certain masochistic glory.

Penultimate encore track ‘Why Can’t I Be You’ highlights exactly what the group is not concerned with: updating their sound. “Stop loving me!” rings the lyric, yet some of us cannot.

‘Inbetween Days’ and ‘Friday I’m In Love’ precipitate ragged sing-alongs, but this set is not just about the erstwhile legends' hits; it is about defiance, and about their musical integrity. Somehow the depressive yet groovy feel of The Cure is more relevant than ever, and they deserve one last hurrah.

-- by Sam Lindsay

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