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The Cure / Mogwai / The Twilight Sad

Glasgow Bellahouston Park (Friday 16th August 2019)

By • Aug 20th, 2019 • Category: Gig review

There had been dire weather predictions and after a week of rain the ground was pretty mulchy, but with high heels were retired for wellies, and the came out as The Twilight Sad gave a quite incredible performance, one that confirms their rise to something far beyond their humble beginnings.

Opening under a huge backstage banner of the new album cover, the five piece Sad tore it up with firstly cuts from the recent album (their best yet?) plus one from the previous, their Frabbits cover (BM does think James was crying during and after this) and the oldie closer ‘Darken the Memory’. The sound was crystal clear, James’ voice rang out across the park and the surrounding area and BM has never seen a man more engrossed and ultimately overcome within a performance.
This slot was truly a local vindication of years of work, and also self-doubt, but when Andy turns the thrash up and James bounds around the stage, there really is no better thing. JG gave great thanks to The Cure, and RS in particular, very touching for all of us in the audience as well…

Mogwai were up next, and again the elements were forgiving (apart from a dousing during ‘Remurdered’ that actually reinvigorated the crowd rather than sent them running!) – they played a festival-length selection of tracks, eight in all. Again the soundmix was perfect, and after an initial ‘Crossing the Road Material’, Stuart took the vocal on the very poppy (and Cure-esque) ‘Party in the Dark’, lovely! We also got ‘Jim Morrison’, relative rarity ‘Ithica 2709’ plus a closing sequence of ‘Freak’ and ‘Satan’, which did cause a few raised eyebrows – as it should.

It has only been 27 years since The Cure last played Scotland, and BM saw that ‘Wish’ tour at The Playhouse in 1992. Anyhow, that was then and this is now, and the 2019 version of The Cure gave us 27 songs tonight, from a 40 plus year musical career. It is worth saying that this was a pretty wide audience, not just hardcore goths and weirdos, also an inter-generational one, and with people (who BM spoke to) travelling from many bits of England as well.

The set majored on landmark album ‘Disintegration’ but also included many cuts from other albums and of course the hit singles. The current Cure is a battle-hardened machine, led of course by Robert Smith, going relatively easy on the makeup tonight but deft in guitar playing and of course there is the voice – utterly unique and not changed with age, what the fuck does he do to preserve it, but it hit the high notes tonight and did everything it had to do. Other original member Simon Gallup on bass was also great, jumping around like a teenager, while sometime Bowie consort Reeves Gabriels gave some massive guitar licks to supplement Smith’s strumming. Long-standing members Roger O’Donnell and Jason Cooper on keys and drums are music industry veterans and did the job, though it’s just worth remembering that this two plus hour set was a relatively short shift for a band who often play for up to three hours.

Highlights for BM were probably ‘Play for Today’, ‘Primary’ and ‘In Between’ but everyone will have their own highlight tonight, and BM thinks that the night the world’s arguably longest running and biggest cult band took over Glasgow southside will be discussed for quite some time to come.

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