GIG REPORT: The Cure we needed! The CUREheads


Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The STORY of GOTH Tour – Feat: The CUREheads, Chalk 26/03/2022

After several date changes and venue changes due to the Pandemic and various lockdowns, they made it!

Since 2018, The Cureheads have been opening their shows with an extensive set of songs, tributing Siouxsie and the Banshees fronted by Ceri Anne Gregory who has only recently taken over the mic/baton of the outfit that pays tribute to Siouxsie Sioux .This “double headline tribute show” has been touring as “The Story of Goth

The Cure are an English rock band formed in 1978 in Crawley, West Sussex.Throughout numerous line up changes since the band’s formation, guitarist, lead vocalist, and songwriter Robert Smith has remained the only constant member.

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Cureheads are the longest surviving and arguably the most prevalent tribute band dedicated to The Cure. The band plays the live music of, and in the main adopt the look of The Cure.

The Cureheads were formed in 1990 by Gary Clarke, vocalist of The Hiram Key and then-lead singer of Nosferatu. The band played its first show in Stockholm in July 1990 at Frietzfronten in St. Eriksgatan 89, an underground bar owned by a Swedish political party. In the same year they appeared on ZTV (Swedish Music TV Channel) playing live from Stockholm Water Festival. They played their first large headline show at the WGT in 1995. Then known as Fat Bob & The Cureheads.

The Cureheads name is taken from the Irish slang term for anyone with that “1980’s mop haired ‘Gothic’ look”. They were originally known as “Fat Bob & The Cureheads” until 2000. When someone at Fiction Records suggested they should change the name as not to offend The Cure!

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

With shows by the real Cure an all too rare thing The Cureheads have gone to painstaking lengths to re-create the atmosphere and sounds of a real show of The Cure at their 1990 peak. The Cureheads however play songs from all moments of The Cure’s career in their set.

Songs: Why Can’t I Be You? – Pictures of You – In Between Days

This performance was packed solid with creativity and the joyous celebration of a back catalogue that stretches back into the distance. Cureheads bring these sounds to life and those songs still sound as fresh as ever with some subtle changes and twists in the songs. Gary Clarke is spot on. Yes, if your turned your back, you would 100% believe Robert Smith was in the room. Astonishing.

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

With that signature smear of eyeliner sat underneath a scraggly pile of black curls – as it always has, Gary commanded his band and his crowd. Some fine banter and hilarious interjections littered through the set. For the band, who we had seen earlier, the four string the rhythm section and some fine drumming kept it all nice and tight. The keys, guitars and the main man Gary kept it all together as they effortlessly rolled through a set-list mixing in some lesser known material and yes the biggies and the pleasing sing-alongs.

Songs: Boys Don’t Cry – Just Like Heaven – Let’s Go To Bed – Primary

Gary Clarke is certainly in character as Robert himself, all mascara, lip stick, piled up hair and oh yes, the mood. Gary has obviously studied the man himself for some time. He carries of the poses, the awkward glances and even those moves. Fascinating to watch. Also some fabulous guitar spots.

The performance was crystal clear and full of dynamics. A good job on the mixing desk at Chalk. The stunning live sound from the guys seemed intent in exploring every nuance of their complex live sound.

The Walk, earlier in the set and later Friday I’m in Love are all exercises in pop perfection and presented perfectly tonight by The Cureheads. The inclusion of the Lullaby single seemed to be for the pure devotees. Put it all together and we were offered up a great selection of crowd pleasing choices. So many tunes, and the live version of Love Cats was superb. Damn these guys sounded so authentic.

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

I reckon if you closed your eyes, it could have been 1989 all over again. A great crowd lifted the whole gig and lots of great outfits, great hair, dancing and singing – all came together to make this a memorable night.

Just before 10:15 we had 10.15 Saturday Night and Primary to close the set. Well played The Cureheads! There was certainly a lot of love in the audience for you guys. And I had such a good time at this fantastic evening – I’m definitely going to see them again! (Lewes Con Club – 29 Oct 2022!).

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Cureheads: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

 

Catch The Cureheads online on Facebook.

HALF TIME: DJ set

Dj Simon Price was on hand to spin up some tunes during the night. Top selection!

Siouxsie & The Budgiees – The Siouxsie experience

Siouxsie and the Banshees were a British rock band, formed in London in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bass guitarist Steven Severin. They have been widely influential, both over their contemporaries and with later acts.

 

Ceri Anne Gregory takes over the baton in the band which pays tribute to Siouxsie Sioux and wow!!  She takes on the responsibility with gusto. Huge hair and that heavy eye makeup, shes got the look! Q magazine included John McKay’s guitar playing on “Hong Kong Garden” in their list of “100 Greatest Guitar Tracks Ever”, while Mojo rated guitarist John McGeoch in their list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” for his work on “Spellbound”. Lets see how these guys shape up!

Sadly the person with the finger on the smoke machine button didn’t let up, and the drums and keys were pretty much invisible. But here is the band for Siouxsie & The Budgiees and the soon to follow Cureheads give or take a wig or jacket. Banshees drummer Peter “Budgie” Clarke – having his name used in this instance of band name.

From the Happy House to the Hong Kong Garden the Budgiees aim to please any fans of the Gothic Punk Queen and her Banshees. The UK based band strive to recreate the sounds, shapes and fashion-influencing style of, perhaps one of the most important influencers of the British Avant Garde scene.

Siouxsie & The Budgiees: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Siouxsie & The Budgiees: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

“Siouxsie Sioux’s” voice holds up pretty well, she has only been doing this for a few weeks. So fair play to Ceri Anne Gregory. The band played well and the band sounds pretty authentic. the entire set was pretty satistying covering off the singles etc. Ceri Ann had previously been in a band Elesium and had a part in the sci-fi series, a Dr Who spin-off, Torchwood.

Songs:  Israel – Killing Jar – Hong Kong Garden

Given the music that the Banshees’ produced, always driven by strong rhythms, accompanied by guitar and vocals, it is of great importance that the band deliver. I was a little surprised that Hong Kong Garden appeared so early in the set. They pulled it off. As the set progressed the sound got tighter and more together and Ceri Anne seemed to adapt to the role more and more.

Siouxsie & The Budgiees: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Siouxsie & The Budgiees: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The sound I have to say is pretty good and the drumming and bass partnership in parts stood out. Sadly we couldn’t see the drummer because of the excessive smoke.The keys and guitars gave us a very authentic sound. We had a full on assault with Iggy Pops – The Passenger along with Happy House. Loved those ones and were a set highlight for me. The band pulled those ones in really tight.

Siouxsie & The Budgiees: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Siouxsie & The Budgiees: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Songs: The Passenger – Face to Face – Happy House and Spellbound.

All in all a satisfying set closing with Spellbound. How did they measure up against the two songs I mentioned earlier? Well, pretty well actually and by the time we hit Spellbound the band had turned it up. Sadly no version of the Beatles’ Dear Prudence. Next time maybe?

Siouxsie & The Budgiees: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Siouxsie & The Budgiees: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Two sum up, two classic bands represented tonight. Two top tribute outfits did themselves and the material proud. Well played all. A great crowd with some space to dance! I think its safe to say we had a great time.

Siouxsie & The Budgiees can be experienced on Facebook here.

And Finally…

Thanks to: The Cureheads, Siouxsie & The Budgiees, Chalk and of course the Black Rabbit Productions team.

Thanks to Black Rabbit Productions.

Black Rabbit Productions hosted the evening. They work hard promoting live music on the south coast. They are a promotion company with years of experience putting on music shows. Tonight was superb. They have some great gigs lined up. You will always get, bang for buck, a great night out! You can find Black Rabbit Productions on the WWW 

 

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All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2022.

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