Last week, The Cure played two marathon shows that would have been any fan’s dream concert.
Frontman Robert Smith and his not-so-merry men took to London’s Royal Albert Hall for a pair of Teenage Cancer Trust benefit gigs that were long enough to cover a significant portion of their nearly 40 year career.
But the epic scale of the three-hour-plus shows and 45-song setlists proved too much for one music critic.
The Guardian’s Caroline Sullivan described the concert as “numbing” and that the goth rock forefathers have “yet to work out how to build up a show” with discernible “peaks or teasers, let alone much of the fraught darkness that got them here in the first place.” Sullivan’s negative appraisal then spilled into the review’s comments section, where she responded to one poster, “I have it on good authority that the band have read the review and liked it.”
But an even greater authority on the matter has since corrected Sullivan – Robert Smith himself.
In a post on The Cure’s Facebook page, the 54-year-old musician took umbrage with Sullivan’s claims and dismissed her write-up as “sad bitter junk”, as Pitchfork points out. His tirade delivered in the universal language of ranting: All Caps.
“I have it on good authority that the band have read the review and liked it.” Caroline Sullivan… WHAAAT?!!
SHE WAS COMMENTING ON HER OWN GUARDIAN ‘REVIEW’ OF OUR EPIC 45 SONG 213 MINUTE FRIDAY RAH TEENAGE CANCER TRUST SHOW
TO BE CLEAR – AND ON THE BEST AUTHORITY – THE BAND HAVE INDEED READ THE REVIEW – BUT DID NOT LIKE IT!
THE REVIEW WAS – TO PUT IT POLITELY – LAZY NONSENSE… swampy… numbing… yet to work out how to build up a show… GULP!!!
BUT WE NOW KNOW WHERE WE HAVE BEEN GOING WRONG ALL THIS TIME: Condensed into 90 minutes, this would have been one of the gigs of the year
WE PLAY TOO MANY SONGS! DOH! BUT… IS IT NOT VERY OBVIOUS THAT WE PLAY OUR OWN SHOWS (AS OPPOSED TO FESTIVAL HEADLINES) FOR FANS OF THE BAND?
THAT IS WHY WE PLAY A MIX OF SONGS, AND WHY WE PLAY FOR AS LONG AS WE DO…
WHEN WE GO TO SEE AN ARTIST WE ARE FANS OF, WE DON’T WANT THE PERFORMANCE TO END… THAT’S WHAT BEING A FAN MEANS… ISN’T IT?
WE HAD TWO FANTASTIC NIGHTS, PLAYING TO GREAT CROWDS FOR A WONDERFUL CHARITY… THE GUARDIAN ‘REVIEW’ WAS SAD BITTER JUNK
The ball now in her court, Sullivan then wrote another follow-up piece for The Guardian about The Cure’s epic concerts and her personal reactions, closing the piece with a personal plea to the band’s matted-haired leader: “Ok, Robert. Buy you a drink?” Not one for truce-making, Smith replied with another Facebook message.
LAZY NONSENSICAL CONTENT ASIDE; WE WERE DRIVEN TO REACT TO CAROLINE SULLIVAN’S ‘REVIEW’ BY THE BLATANT DISHONESTY OF HER ACCOMPANYING COMMENT
“I have it on good authority that the band have read the review and liked it.” IT WAS SIMPLY TOO MUCH TO IGNORE…
HAVING EXPOSED THE LIE, WE FIGURED WE WOULD AT THE VERY LEAST GET SOME KIND OF A HANDS IN THE AIR “IT’S A FAIR COP GUV” FROM HER FOR ATTEMPTING SUCH A BANAL SELF SERVING DECEPTION… WE THOUGHT THERE MIGHT EVEN BE A FAINT CHANCE THAT SHE WOULD BE MOVED TO APOLOGISE TO HER READERS FOR MAKING STUFF UP!
BUT AS COMMENT BY COMMENT SHE DIGS HER EVASIVE HOLE A LITTLE DEEPER, IT WOULD SEEM WE HOPED FOR TOO MUCH…
A SHAME. WE ALWAYS THOUGHT THE GUARDIAN AND ITS JOURNALISTS VALUED TRUTH?
“OK, Robert. Buy you a drink?”… gulp!!!
HONESTLY? ummm… WE WOULD PREFER YOU JUST REVIEWED WITH A TAD MORE UNDERSTANDING AND HONESTY AND CONSIDERING LINES LIKE “Not as scary […] as Robert Smith in full fig” MAYBE THREW A FEW LESS STONES? OR MOVED OUT OF YOUR GLASS HOUSE?!!
“Rock is about grabbing people’s attention.” REALLY? THAT’S WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO ‘BE ABOUT’? YOU THINK THAT’S IT? IT WOULD EXPLAIN A LOT
WE WILL NOW DRAW A LINE UNDER THE ‘SAD BITTER JUNK REVIEW’ EPISODE, AND SLIP BACK OUT INTO THE WORLD WITH A SHAKE OF THE HEAD AND A SMILE…
PREFERRING THE OLD GOTH DISNEY DICTUM TO ROCKER SIMMONS’;
“WE ARE NOT TRYING TO ENTERTAIN THE CRITICS; WE’LL TAKE OUR CHANCES WITH THE PUBLIC”
The moral of the story? Whether you’re a music journalist covering a historic musical group or the ringleader of said influential band, follow this simple online dictum: ‘Don’t feed the trolls.’
In more positive news, Smith recently revealed that he’s readying a new album, 4:14 Scream, the long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s 4:13 Dream. The musician was also keen to clarify comments he’d made that the new record had been a “sore point” to XFM with a long (and yes, ALL CAPS) post he’d written on The Cure’s website, as Rolling Stone reports.