“Burn” by The Cure at Glastonbury 2019

The 2019 Glastonbury festival took place between 26th June and 29th June. The cost of a ticket was £248 and 203,000 people attended. Headline acts on “The Other Stage” were Tame Impala, The Chemical Brothers and Christine& The Queens. The headline acts on “The Pyramid Stage” were Stormzy, The Killers and The Cure.

The Cure’s set was two hours long and included the following 24 songs: Plainsong, Pictures of You, High, A Night Like This, Lovesong, Last Dance, Burn, Fascination Street. Never Enough, Push, In Between Days, Just Like Heaven, From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea, Play For Today , A Forest, Shake Dog Shake, Disintegration, Lullaby, The Caterpillar, The Walk, Friday I’m In Love, Close To Me, Why Can’t I Be You?, Boys Don’t Cry. Most of these songs are very familiar to me but, before watching the broadcast on the BBC, I had never heard “Burn”.

The Cure have released 13 studio albums since their first album, “Three Imaginary Boys”, in 1979. “Burn” is not on a studio album but is from the soundtrack of the film “The Crow” which is a 1994 American film starring Brandon Lee as superhero Eric Draven. He plays a murdered musician who is restored to life to extract retribution for his own death and his fiancée. Brandon Lee was fatally wounded during filming, but the film was completed after some rewrites of the script along with digital effects and a stunt double.

I have no idea if “wealthypersons.com” is a bonafide website but this is the information that they have on Robert Smith, leader of The Cure.

Rеаl Nаmе/Full Nаmе: Rоbеrt Јаmеѕ Ѕmіth
Gеndеr: Маlе
Аgе: 62 уеаrѕ оld
Віrth Dаtе: 21 Арrіl 1959
Віrth Рlасе: Вlасkрооl, Unіtеd Кіngdоm
Nаtіоnаlіtу: Вrіtіѕh
Неіght: 1.78 m
Wеіght: 80 kg
Ѕехuаl Оrіеntаtіоn: Ѕtrаіght
Маrіtаl Ѕtаtuѕ: Маrrіеd
Wіfе: Маrу Рооlе (m. 1988)
Сhіldrеn: Nо
Nеt Wоrth іn 2021: $30 mіllіоn
Lаѕt Uрdаtеd: Осtоbеr 2021

Robert Smith started wearing lipstick in 1982 while touring to promote their magnificent album, “Pornography”. He was still wearing lipstick when he performed at Glastonbury in 2019.

Simon Gallup joined The Cure in 1979 after the release of their first album, “Three Imaginary Boys”. He has played bass on every album since apart from “The Top”. In May 1982, after a gig in Strasbourg, an incident occurred between Robert Smith and Simon Gallup. Robert Smith recalled “I was on the first floor of this club when they came up and told me there was a problem downstairs. Simon was so wound up that no-one could talk to him – he was screaming at the barman, this young kid who was nearly in tears. By himself, Simon would have never behaved like that but he was surrounded by the road crew so he was behaving the way he thought a rock and roller ought to behave. He didn’t want to pay for his drinks because he thought I wasn’t paying for mine. I told him to shut up and he punched me. It was the first time he really laid into me, we had an enormous ruck and I said ‘That’s it’, walked out, got a cab back to the hotel, got my suitcase, my passport from the tour manager’s room and got on the first flight to London. That was at 6:30 am and I was home by half past 10. I left a note saying I wasn’t coming back. Simon returned the same afternoon.” Simon Gallup left the band for two years after which Robert Smith asked him to return to the band. Four years later, Simon Gallup was best man at Robert Smith’s wedding.

In 2019, Robert Smith said “For me, the heart of the live band has always been Simon, and he’s always been my best friend. It’s weird that over the years and the decades he’s often been overlooked. He doesn’t do interviews, he isn’t really out there and he doesn’t play the role of a foil to me in public, and yet he’s absolutely vital to what we do. We’ve had some difficult periods over the years but we’ve managed to maintain a very strong friendship that grew out of that shared experience from when we were teens. When you have friends like that, particularly for that long, it would take something really extraordinary for that friendship to break.”

On 15th August 2021, Simon Gallup announced “With a slightly heavy heart I am no longer a member of The Cure! Good luck to them all…” Asked if he was OK, he responded: “I’m OK… just got fed up of betrayal.”

During his performance at Glastonbury, he prowls the stage as if he is searching for something – a lost chord, a muse, the best camera angle, who knows? His intensity and movement are in complete contrast to the other musicians.

In 1995, Jason Cooper joined The Cure as drummer. Watching drummers perform live is always entertaining and Jason Cooper is more dynamic than most, looking a bit like a bleach-haired surf boy from Bondi Beach even though he was born in London.

Roger O’Donnell has played keyboards with The Cure since 1997. Aged 65, his first paid gig was backing Arthur Brown in 1976. He later joined The Thompson Twins and The Psychedelic Furs. He has a great look, with great hair and could easily be assigned an acting role as a sidekick to a gangster in “Softly Softly”

Reeves Gabrels plays guitar with The Cure and gives the impression of a wise uncle, indulging his wild family while he maintains a semblance of civility. He was born in Staten Island in 1956 and after playing in several New York bands, he met David Bowie in 1987. He was a member of Tin Machine and subsequently played on all six of David Bowie’s 90’s albums. In 1997, David Bowie invited Robert Smith to sing at his 50th birthday event at Madison Square Gardens. Reeves Gabrels and Robert Smith met, formed a friendship which resulted in him joining the band in 2012.

It’s not possible for me to write an informed comment on festivals because I’ve never been to one. I’ve attended three separate events at Finsbury Park including one glorious moment when I could see Billy Bragg finishing a set in a tent and simultaneously watch the start of Neil Young’s set on the main stage. But I’ve never attended a festival. I love watching Glastonbury on TV but the thought of actually attending is horrifying, even if I were 30 years younger. What are the queues for a pint like? What if I want to go to the toilet? How do I know which stage to go to? Most importantly, what are the chances of getting any sleep? In recent years, the TV coverage always includes a long range shot of the stage seen through a sea of flags which makes for a highly impressive sight. Although, obviously I’m thinking how irritating that must be for people behind whose view is obstructed. The practice of taking flags was originally started so that your friends could easily locate you. There has been some discussion about the desirability of flag waving but the organisers released a statement a few years ago stating “The topic of whether flags should be banned from in front of the Pyramid Stage at the Festival seems to have been cropping up a bit recently. Our gut feeling here at Festival HQ is that they shouldn’t be banned, as we think they add to the magic of a big Pyramid stage performance.”

Robert Smith has a fantastic demeanour. At times, he appears amusedly detached from the carnage around him: the big music, the light show, Simon Gallup walking up to him with a menacing look on his face. Just as quickly, his expression changes and it appears that he is agony – desperately attempting to purge his soul of demons. As the performance of this song comes to a conclusion, he screams “Every night I burn and scream the animal scream. Every night I burn and dream the crow black dream” over and over again until the rest of the band stop playing and Robert Smith is left to perform alone with none of his hurt resolved.

Robert Smith is now 62 years old and is not quite the svelt, post-punk arrogant youth who sung “Boys Don’t Cry”. Nevertheless, his charisma has not deserted him, despite his odd appearance. His hair appears to be not quite as luxurious as it was in the 80s and his lipstick remains incongruous. Nevertheless, his guitar playing is excellent and his half spoken/half sung vocals are pure English goth-rock at its very best.

Sometimes, a musical performance on TV grabs me and I am unable to stop watching it. The combination of the TV direction, the magical music and the willfully obscure lyrics mean that I never seem to tire of watching.

Published by wilfulsprinter

Music lover

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