Back To The Bars Concert Series
(To aid the Warchild and Shelter charities)
March 5th, 2004 - London, England (Barfly)
Shake Dog Shake, Fascination Street, A Strange
Day, A Night Like This, Lovesong, Push, Sinking, Pictures
Of You, Lullaby, Lovecats, Maybe Someday, In Your House, From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea, M,
Charlotte Sometimes, Inbetween Days, Just Like Heaven, Hey You, Play For Today, A Forest
Encores: Fire In Cairo (as a 3 piece), Grinding
Halt (as a 3 piece), 10.15 Saturday Night, Boys Don't Cry, I Dig
You (with Porl Thompson and Frank The Postman), Cult Hero (with Porl Thompson and Frank The Postman),
Close To Me, Lets Go To Bed, Why Can't I Be You, Friday I'm In Love
(Thanks Hugh and One Imaginary Girl)
Photos - Photos
The evening started as it was going to go on.
As soon as we entered the venue, we realised we were in for
something pretty special, and also appreciated just how fortunate we were to be a part of this. We knew that this
was going to be a small venue, but it didn’t really dawn on us just how small until we got to the room upstairs.
The atmosphere was one of eager anticipation.
There wasn’t a poor position to be had in the
venue, as other comments have attested to. After the support
band had played their set, we got guessing with a couple of guys as to what The Cure might open with. "Shake
Dog Shake" said one, "Push" said I, "Man Inside My Mouth" ventured my better half (how strange would that
The Cure arrived on stage, the opening chords
of Shake Dog Shake rang out and the place was bouncing!
What a great start to a relentless night of top Cure tunes. We were also lucky enough to experience the Islington
show, whose set was great but I was hoping for something just a little different at the Barfly…. I certainly wasn’t
disappointed, with the likes of Push, Sinking, Strang Day, A Night Like This and the Cult Hero stuff being just a
small number of the many highlights.
A fantastic night was had by all. I have to
agree with Tom, though, and say that, toward the end of the set, it was
becoming pretty unbearable in that tiny venue, with no ventilation or air conditioning. An extremely small price to
Thanks to The Cure and everyone at the show for a superb evening, one we will certainly never forget.
- Mr B & Rach
I didn't get into the Barfly gig, but I did
manage to get some cool pics of most of the band and the fans at the event.
Plus, I listen to the band from outside of the window, it wasn't so bad! So I would like to give you the link to view these pictures as well as tell you a little about my own experience that night. But first I have a really important bit of information that a lot of you may be interested in. I am doing a book, an artsy documentary if you will, about
Cure fans and our bond together and with the band. I will be taking pictures and interviews at the Cure party in
London and at Coachella. (I might get backstage and interview the band for Coachella as well) So I want to
advertise if any Cure fans want to contact me about contributing there own personal experiences, feelings, art, or
fan letters to the band. Also, the book is going to reflect this time in the Cure's career. If all goes well, it will be
published and given to Robert Smith and the rest of the band. If you are interested, e-mail me at Shinakai Kitty@aol.com. Thank you so much, hope to hear from you soon! Here is the Barfly experience:
Well, I got to the
Barfly 3 hours before the show as a good Cure fan should so I could catch
The Cure on their
way into the gig. Even though I couldn't get in, just getting to see Robert and the guys and taking pictures for a
second was worth all the effort. After my last magical experience at the December 11th gig, I just wanted to see
Robert meet my eyes one more time. Fortunately, my patience paid off. I ran into all of the guys except for Jason
(He is always so hard to catch!) one by one as they came to the Barfly. I was pleased that they all recognised me.
When Robert came up, reality seemed to warp to that alter dimension when only he exist. He quickly head for the
door, signed one autograph, but I touched his shoulder and told him that it was good to see him again. He smiled
and said hello and nodded. That made the whole night worth it. From then he hurriedly entered the Barfly. The
rest of the night me and the other hard core dedicated fans waited outside to hear our beloved band from outside.
It was so painful but a pleasure at the same time to just be near The Cure, and hear Robert's beautiful dream like
voice flutter from out the window. Me and a new Cure friend danced outside in a silly daze as we sang along to all
our favourite songs. We were determined to make the best of it. The night was lovely despite getting in because
I met so many new wonderful Cure friends. Thank you all for being so awesome, I love Cure People!
Unfortunately the band rushed out after the gig, so I couldn't really get more Cure goodness, but it was still a
memorable night. Here is the link to my picture page of the night. Yahoo! Photos - THE CURE Scroll down to the
newer pics, the first ones are from December 11th.
Feel free to contact me about anything! Shinakaikitty@aol.com
- Britain Kitten
So my sister won tickets to see this band...
Wandering past the Barfly we saw eager Cure
fans waiting, but we couldn't hang around outside the venue for fear
of vomitting. We found a pub to sit in, that had lots of other obvious cure fans in. They had a guest beer called "Old
Bob". I couldn't resist it. It did taste however, like the brewer had happened upon a pair of Bob's sweaty post
concert trousers, bunged them through a juicer, and brewed a beer out of the liquid.
Clare kept getting over excited, and nearly
gave herself a panic attack through breathing too quickly... Then it was
time to go...
We felt fine in the queue outside. Panicked
a bit when we saw people being turned away, relieved when we got in.
Then we had to join another queue to get into the concert room...past the cloakroom, up some stairs and we're in. I
feel rather sick. I cannot be seeing The Cure in a room this small. I would guess that the Barfly about half the size
of Fibbers in York, a little bit bigger than The Adelphi in Hull. We took our places near the front, no one can
believe it, every one is all wide eyed and waiting.
Clare and I keep grinning at each other like
our faces are going to crack. Some woman with a keyboard who's name
no one will remeber had the unfortunate job of being the support act. I did feel rather sorry for her. I'm sure under
other circumstances we would have listened to her.
She was off, and then we got screamy when we
realised we're standing in front of Robert's mike stand. Some fat
men messed about for what seemed like forever doing what seemed like pointless things to instruments and
microphones and then the lights went out...
I've haven't heard Clare scream like that since
she gave birth the first time. I don't think that I've screamed so
loud since I've been born. They're out, they're on and OMFG me they're playing "Shake Dog Shake".
I feel like a hormonal teenage girl at a Westlife
gig. I could, I realise, if I really wanted to, actually get reach out
and touch... But I restrain myself. We are rewarded for screaming so loudly with a grin from Mr Smith. I feel my
And then it turned into the most peculiar and
enjoyable Cure concert I've ever been to. I nearly blubbed my make
up off to "A Night Like This" and "Sinking". I watched in awe as faces were pulled and shapes were thrown during
"Lullaby". I screamed like a siamese with its tail trapped in the door when "The Lovecats" started. Ecstatic! I
didn't think it would sound very good live, but it is wonderful. I too wondered along with Robert why they haven't
played it for all this time.
By then whoever runs the barfly had seen fit
to turn off the air conditioning. I guess we weren't buying enough
beer, so during "Maybe Someday" I had to lurk off to the loos to breathe and repair my smudgy eyes. I stood at
the back with a drink for the next few songs. "M" was beautiful... It slowly dawned on me that people were more
tightly packed at the back than at the front, and that it was just at hot where I was stood now as it had been before.
"Just Like Heaven" started and I launched myself back down to the front. Apologies to those stamped on by the
There was a break for encores that was ignored
and Robert chose to allow the audience to ask some questions.
They will not appear at Glastonbury. There will be a new record in June. There are 20 finished new songs, (none
of which we got to hear tonight unfortunately.
The band then went into fan pleasing obscurity
mode and played tracks from "Three Imaginary Boys" which were
such a nice surprise, sounded amazing and got me dancing again. Then they were joined on stage by Frank the
Postman and Paul Thompson. The crowd was pretty evenly split between those laughing and cheering and those
wondering why a man rounder than Robert was taking over singing. "I Dig You" and "Cult Hero" were stunning
and hilarious, with Robert providing falsetto backing vocals. (If you don't know about Cult Hero...read this)
And then we had some pop songs for dancing to and then they were gloriously gone.
And we were out on the street, not being able
to believe what we'd just seen. I doubt very much that we'll ever
see anything like it again.
A marvellous, magical night for all involved i think.
Well…I’ve just got back to Belfast after Friday
nights Barfly concert. We arrived at the venue at about 6:40 to
hear the sound check already underway. Outside I heard ‘The Lovecats’, ‘I Dig You’ and ‘I’m a Cult Hero’ and
thought it was going to be a strange set list. The small crowd who had gathered were very subdued, with no feeling
of excitement of what was to come. A BBC Radio 6 interviewer was chatting with some of the crowd, so there
may be some of the interviews used in future BBC presentations. There were a handful of people hanging around
searching for tickets to purchase or hoping that they could pay at the door but they were definitely not in luck.
By 7:20 the front doors were opened and we were ushered in 2 by 2 by very efficient staff, though it was 8.10
before we were actually allowed into the ‘upstairs room’.
The opening act was a two piece guitar and
keyboard act called “A girl called Eddy” www.agirlcallededdy.com .
It was a gentle, easy listening opener with emphasis on the lyrics. As usual with opening acts not much respect
was shown, as many in the crowd talked among themselves building up to the reason for what for many a long
trip. We spoke to people who had travelled from America, Germany and France and no doubt there were many
others who had made a similar pilgrimage – and hey was it worth it! The small room with bar was packed to
capacity – I’m sure there was more than the 150 tickets, felt more like 200. I had the best spot in the place –
front row right in front of Robert. I couldn’t have been more than 5 feet away and I doubt the opportunity will
ever arise again!
The gig truly kicked off at 9.10 with The Cure
arriving on the small stage and launching straight into ‘Shake Dog
Shake’ after Robert saying “Hello…This takes us back”. There might not have been the lighting and smoke
effects expected in their stadium concerts but this was a much rawer, personal and gig like show than I’ve ever
seen from them before. The sound quality was very good in the small room and it was fantastic to literally feel the
music as the floor heaved.
I don’t plan to dissect the play list, but
my own personal favourites were ‘From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea’,
‘Charlotte Sometimes’, ‘Hey You’ and obviously the two Cult Hero songs with Porl and Frank on stage was very
special. Porl stayed on stage chatting to Roger to the end and a young boy (possibly one of Porls kids, Roberts
nephew) also arrived on stage near the end. The whole band looked to enjoy the experience and could be seen
laughing and smiling to each other throughout and they played really tight…I was especially impressed with
Jason as you expect near perfection from Robert and Simon.
Rather than bringing the band on and off stage
for encores Robert asked the audience for questions. The Cure
won’t be playing Glastonbury this year as rumoured, however they will be playing other festivals, which ones
though weren’t revealed. The band have just completed recording of 20 tracks for the new album to be released
in June though they weren’t prepared to allow the crowd to sample any of the new stuff.
The strict ban on cameras and recording equipment
was not enforced as there were no personal checks to my
knowledge – mobile phone recordings and mobile phone cameras were being widely used and staff were actually
taking photos for the audience! There were two authorised photographers, and I did get to ask one of them where
we could get to see the photographs. Apparently they may be used in the re-packaging of the re-issue CDs or
more likely in a book that he is working on with Robert to be released in December. There was a single video
camera being used at the start at the stage and for the rest of the concert it was set up at the back but I don’t
know if it was running.
This was a fantastic night for a really good
cause and was a really special gig that will long remain with those
lucky (or rich!) enough to be there.
- Ali Boone
Just a few words as tom, ange and nicci have
summed up the night perfectly. firstly the strict warnings of no
cameras allowed was totally unfounded. we weren't even frisked let alone searched, i could have got a whole BBC
camera crew in without being noticed. however i enjoyed hiding camera down pants for that big packet look!
the show itself was brilliant, the band seemed
to be really enjoying themselves. lots of smiles on stage especially
between simon and perry when one of them hit an occasional bum note. it was really good to see the band
really relaxed and up close in such an intimate venue. the audience were ok i guess but i feel they could have
been a bit more energetic and appreciative especially as it was a fun party cure set being played. the setlist was
very similiar to the dec 11th london concert though the crowd were better there and danced around more.
it was great to hear rarely played songs like
"hey you!!!", "fire in cairo" and "the lovecats" played again, i hope
they continue this and play a lot of other long lost live songs on the next tour like "doing the unstuck", "letter to
elise", "birdmadgirl", "secrets", "one more time", "jumping someone else's train/another journey by train",
"laMent", "bananafishbones"...etc and maybe some B sides too since "join the dots" has recently been released.
the question time instead of going off between
encores was a great idea, i finally got my answer about whether the
cure were goin to play glastonbury from robert. the "cult hero" songs was very surreal and a lot of fun, robert
introduced it as "something we only do once every 10 years". it was a shame porl didn't stay on stage to play
some more songs after. apologies for embarrassing roger with our "roger roger give a wave" chants, he was very
nice to give us a smile and a wave. i know the cure normally stick to the setlist and don't do requests shouted from
the crowd but i couldn't believe it when they started up a big favourite of mine "push" after robert could
clearly see us shouting for it. i'd be very interested to know if it was a pure coincidence and it was on the setlist
anyway or whether they did play it just cos we shouted for it.
lastly, thanks to the ever charming and wonderful
perry for taking time after the show to talk to us before leaving
to go home.
a big cheesy hi to tom, nicci, jen, ange, mes, crimson, vicky, heinz and the MFC tolhunky posse :afro2:
- mr alphabet/nige
Firstly, thank you Tom and Ange for the really
great review - I cannot come close as my words just cannot
Secondly, I am SO grateful for have gotten
the chance to go...my words cannot explain...I could not have wished
for anything more....
A big thanks to Tom, Nige, Ange and Jen - u
guys are the BEST mosh friends ever! I know that we probably
annoyed almost everyone by being the maddest and probably loudest ones in there, but i guess it's fair to say it's
hard to contain our devoted enthusiasm to The Cure!!! U guys ROCK!!!!! (I'm sorry if I knocked anyone out....)
All that dancing and jumping and singing did actually make me wanna pass out at one point ---> as Tom said
before, the aircon was just not present in this tiny venue - SORT IT OUT PEOPLE!!!
I'd have to say my highlight was when people
were shouting out the songs that they wanted them to play, I
shouted out "M" with all my heart and soul, and there she came....drifting off the guitar....ahhh....the smile on my
face!!!!! THANK YOU FOR THAT!!!!
FTEOTDGS brought tears to my eyes....*PUT YOUR
HAAAAANDS IN THE SKY*... This is the song that made
me fall in love with them...and fall in love with them all over again...
Charlotte Sometimes I have always wanted to see live, and it was beautiful! Just perfect....
The band were on top form, and they all looked
so happy, although I think the heat was probably taking its strain
towards the end. A MASSIVE thank you to them for doing this and giving us such a wonderful show!!!
A Strange Day....ahhh...what can I say...splendid!!!
And what a complete treat to have Frank and Porl there!!! AWSOME!! WE DIG EACHOTHER!!!!!!!
Although, I must say that the majority of the
people in there did not join in the *WHOOAAHOOOHOOOO*
during Play For Today - I remember the guy standing next to me looking a little puzzled in my general direction
when we started WOHHAOO-ing....LOL.
And ending with Friday was great...although
by this time I was completely exausted, and so was the girl in front
who fainted...that was horrible, but it was so damn hot in there it was kinda expected.... bit of a downer as the
band were obviously affected by this, although, fair play to them for keeping the crowd going despite the her
To all those going to Coachella - WOW - I'd
say expect a spectacular performance from the best band in the
world!!! Wish I was going too!
I'm still high, and forever grateful
- one of the best nights of my life - thank you to all those who contributed
it....I love you guys!!!!
Now all the more excited for the upcoming Curedrink
in London, 20th March - we will be posting about this
again, so get prepared for another great night full of all things Cure...
"We definitely DIGGED YOU!!!"
From the second this gig was announced and
the manner in which to acquire entry it was obvious that the build
upto this gig was going to be fraught; days of compulsive texting and the pure agony waiting for that winning text
message resulted in one of my bestest cure buddies giving me the greatest 30th birthday present ever (THANKS
The day arrived and many of the loyal regular
faces (with and without tickets) turned up outside the venue around
4pm, welcoming the band members as they turned up one by one. Robert was the last to arrive by black cab, which
i thought was pretty cool!
Having stood around eagerly chitchatting with
fans (whilst body parts were slowly becoming numb from the
dropping temperature) a roving reporter was interviewing everyone as the atmosphere was becoming more tense,
those with tickets becoming very excitable, whilst trying to contain it and comfort those who were going to listen
to this gig from the outside ;(
We were forewarned by COF/thecure.com that
there was going to be a STRICT security policy on entrance,
however funnily enough in reality I just got ASKED by a burly bouncer 'you got a camera on you luv?' ...'er no!'
...'ok go in then!' and that was it!!!;)
Having entered the barfly first it was really
heartwarming to see the reaction on fans faces as they walked into
the gig room, most looked somewhat taken-a-back when they saw the size of the room (about 15mx10m). I think
it was dawning on everyone how (even more so) INCREDIBLY lucky we all were to be part of this!
We knew this gig was DEFINITELY going to be
a one off; the first of the surprises was Simon's brother, Rick,
returning to do the light show for the first time since the early eighties.
From the second the band walked on stage to
the compact yelling and screams of the fans 'shake dog shake'
was the perfect parallel and release of all the stresses we had gone through to get to this point. The atmosphere
was awesome, in that all the best bits of crowd participation seemed to be apparent tonight - everyone was
singing their hearts out, dancing and generally embracing the bands every move. There weren't any knobheads
trying to claw their way 2cm nearer to robert or drunkern arseholes falling into everyone jumping up and down
(oh apart from me, jen, nicci, nige and tom that is!!!)
The band were extremely tight tonight maybe
this is down to the new recording process of playing live (?) or the
on looking Ross Robinson. Never have 85's head-on-the-door songs sounded so sweet! Robert was very
responsive to the crowd taking part in a 'question and answer' type session inbetween songs....answering that
question on all of our lips about WHEN will the mystical next album appear!?
The pace of the gig was very frantic, punching
the upbeat hits out one after another, I have never experienced
such a fun and uplifting gig in 14 years of doing this and having bent down after 'BDC' to regain my breath I
lifted my head and readied myself for the onslaught of the next stomping track - however as i looked on stage i
thought i must have been seeing things when combined with the present line up on walked porl and frank bell.
The diehards in the audience grinned from ear to ear and those who were one off cure-gig-attendees were looking
puzzled as to who the big chirppy chappie was grabbing roberts microphone, who had just invaded the stage.
As the combined 'supergroup' (!) knocked out
'i dig you' and 'cult hero' I just couldnt wipe this silly smile off my
face as we bounced around to songs which have not been done live since Brighton '85 (?) Frank Bell was hilarious,
the generously proportioned chap jiggled around sweating profusely with beer in one hand and mic in the other as
the fans egged him on. At the other side of the stage the guitar god aka porl seemed to slot back into his old stage
position with ease and many of us 'old timers' screaming for him to knock out that infamous 'never enough' guitar
rift that we all adored!
The gig ended with a barrage of pop hits, leaving
us all breathless (in more ways than one) in the claustrophobic
venue - some more than others as i spotted my diehard mate and caught her as she was in the process of fainting
with both porl and roger giving a helping hand at the front!
The energy sustained throughout by both band
and audience yet again reaffirmed why I put myself through the
stresses of following the band over the years. Sharing these experiences with the likeminded and ever-growing
huge family of cure friends that I now know just doubles the fun!!
So today I awoke feeling the normal aching
limbs, bruises and that post gig 'low'! However we have not long to
wait for a fix of 'the cure', its only 2 weeks to our next 'OFFICIAL CUREDRINK' (March 20th, The Verge,
Kentish town) where 'Easy Cure' are coming over to play, its also doubling as my 3oth (eeK!) birthday party, so
please come along AND you're ALL guaranteed entry!!!
Just like to give my thoughts on the Barfly gig...
Was a great 'party' setlist similar to that
of Islington on Dec 11th. Discussing what songs we would like to hear
before entering the venue I got chatting to a few curefans, we agreed that Shake Dog Shake would be the
ultimate opener. How pleased were we then when we heard Robert sing 'ha ha ha' and the band launching into a
powerful rendition of Shake Dog Shake - always gets the crowd going from the very start. The venue was
absolutely tiny, a 3rd of the size of Islington, I dare say even the people at the back could still see every facial
expression of the band members. We know we will NEVER see The Cure in a venue like this again and you felt
you were witnessing something so rare and so special. It turned out to be...
Without going into too much detail about the
setlist, the highlights for me were Push (we had been shouting for it
since the band came on hehe), Lullaby (complete with different vocals and a scream from Robert which were
quite amusing!) Lovecats (Robert saying afterward "why did we go so long without playing it"), In Your House
(I love this song!), a fantastic Deep Green Sea and M (our mini moshpit of 5 people still going strong) and Hey
You (probably my favourite of the night). As soon as the opening notes of A Forest had started I knew that was
going to be the end of the main set, no Forever or different lyrics, just a standard version. It was a great set,
another memorbale moment for me was when Robert picked up his black acoustic guitar and asked us to guess
what was coming next, to which I shouted out "Just Like Heaven!" "no" he said "but very very close" before
playing Inbetween Days! Magic!
Instead of walking off the stage after the
main set, rather surprisingly the band stayed on. Robert said
something along the lines of "usually we'd walk off then come back on but I will take this opportunity to answer
3 questions, anyone got any questions they'd like to ask?" My main Cure buddy Nige asked if they were playing
Glastonbury to which Robert answered "no because the organisers dont think The Cure have ever played a good
set at Glastonbonbury!" obviously some kind of fall out there, enough said! Then someone asked when the new
album was coming out, he replied "we just finished recording the 20th song yesterday, and it will be out in June"
that was music to my ears! I can't remember what the last question was perhaps someone can help me out
there...After this 'question time' the band played Fire In Cairo as a 3 piece, Roger was sitting reading something
at this time, he looked so cool and non-chalant! Then a frantic Grinding Halt which just about pushed me over the
edge, as by this time, the ven! ue had become increasingly unbearable...why oh why don't these venues put in air
conditioning? it would be a simple solution, I had to leave after Grinding Halt to get air (there simply was none in
the venue!) and I really felt like I was going to pass out...ughhh so I decided to stand by the side for the rest of
the gig, brefily returning to the front rows during Close To Me. It was great to see Porl back onstage during I Dig
You, really nostalgic...of course he looks alot different now to when we last saw him in the line up during Wish, but
his guitar style hasn't changed. Frank the postman (aka The Cult Hero) was spotted by us hardcore fans going
into venue...but we never expected him on stage to 'sing' these two songs! The crowd reaction was fantastic as he
grooooved onstage...bottle of beer in one hand, mic in the other! "I dig you, you dig me..we dig each other, thats
groovy baby, oh yeah'! the band looked to be having alot of fun, it was great so see all the smiles! Robert di d the
wacky backing vocal! s. Who would have thought we'd hear these two songs!?
After this, perfect Cure pop was the order
of the day, finishing with perhaps their most well known (in UK at least)
pop tune, Friday I'm In Love. Overall it was a very upbeat night, the band seemed in excellent spirits, this
enthusiasm I think will contribute to what will be the best Cure album ever, I have no doubts. My only gripe with
the night was that it was so damn hot in that tiny little room that it made me feel quite ill (contributing to me
throwing up in a nightclub later that night, but I won't go there!), infact a couple of people fainted as I remember,
they wanna sort out something cause it was pretty deadly up there!
Hello to Nige (thank you for taking me as your
'guest'), Nicci, Ange, Jenny (you lot are awesome!),
ShakeDanShake (very cool guy I met while waiting for us to be let in-see you at Coachella?!), BritainKitty, Vicky
and Anna (sounds like you had a good night despite not getting in!) Mes, Crimson, and all the other lovely
Curefans (of which there are many!)
And also thank you to the whole band, in particular
Perry for recognising me when I was outside venue "didn't
we talk on dec 11th?" he said - that was nice of him to remember!, Roger for waving to me and Nige (during
Lovesong) and Robert for...well...just being Robert :D see you guys again at Coachella!
- Cureboy (Tom)