Yesterday afternoon found me lying back in the sun and enjoying the cricket at Channel 4’s Indian Summer event in Regents Park, when I got the call: Cinderella, you shall go to the ball, and it won’t cost you a penny. An hour or so later I’m sprawled, Pims in hand, in the VIP enclosure at The Cure’s Route Of Kings event in Hyde Park, a mile or so further south. Now I’m generally not really a fan of these places — the drink is always more expensive than it is out front, and you end up surrounded by wannabe media bunnies queuing up for their next line of ‘beak glitter.’ Talking of which, and on the up side, the toilets tend to be clean, and you get to stare in wonder at Gary Numan’s extraordinary dress sense (baggy shorts, black socks and patent leather shoes, anyone?) and his incredible looking stalker-wife (insane hair, tiger-print dress, high heels and lavish cleavage).
Oh yeah, and I watched the bands. Mogwai sounded as good as I’ve ever heard them, despite the daylight and genteel surroundings, whilst The Cure continue to rely on a set the bulk of which features songs between fifteen and twenty years old. Almost to reinforce the fact that they probably belong in a different era now, they encore with songs by Alex Harvey and Thin Lizzy. It’s kinda sad, kinda karaoke, kinda irrelevant, but judging by the sheer number of Robert Smith-alikes in the crowd the band can continue to wheel out this tribute to themselves act for a few more years to come.
To be fair, a lot of this is based on the reaction of the fans. I was at a christmas concert they threw in 1998, and the opened with 3 of their then brand-new tracks to almost no reaction. Then they launched into “Just Like Heaven” and the crowd was on its feet. Even from the cheap seats you could see Robert Smith roll his eyes. “Fine, let’s get this over with,” he says to the mic, and the band proceeds to essentially reprise their 1994 concert set.
Wow folks. These are all great performers and some of them are awsome live. However, you haven’t seen a show untill you’ve seen Dada Pogrom who falls into the same category as Gary Numan, The Chemical Bros etc… Good Icelandic stuff, ya know?