We have seen The Cult a couple of times and tonight, we really don’t know what to expect.
The first occasion was at Sonisphere in 2010. The band were high up on the second stage and they absolutely killed it, a brilliant show where you saw how good a band Duffy/Astbury and the boys were.
Then the following year they headlined The Civic and they were – and we are being kind here – dreadful. A truly awful gig, in which Astbury was dressed in jogging bottoms and looking like he would rather be anywhere else. The show was bad enough, even before it was augmented with some awful videos.
That said, we like to give people a second chance around here – and tonight The Cult are playing the “Electric” record all the way through. We liked this album as a kid, from the day we first heard “Lil Devil” on the Chart Show 26 years ago, we had been fans.
So just after 9pm (we had given the support band a miss) they stride out on stage and happily they look like they mean business tonight. Astbury is wearing jeans and a jacket for a start off and he looks like he’s enjoying himself, which is a great improvement.
The show is in two parts, the first is “Electric” played from “Wild Flower” to “Memphis Hip Shake” (although “Born To Be Wild” is missing). And it sounds fresh and briefly we are transported back to being 12 again, so far so good.
There is an arty farty video in the break, before we are back for part two. This is where you might have been full of trepidation. Tonight, though you need not be concerned. The next 50 minutes are quite excellent; beginning with “Rain” there is a detour to “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Honey From A Knife” – the pick of the most recent record “Choice Of Weapon” and the greatest hits set is only missing “Fire Woman”, and when “Sun King” ends things you remember how good The Cult were.
Astbury’s voice is greatly improved from a couple of years ago, and its Jim Morrison like qualities are to the fore, while Billy Duffy is busily looking cool stage right, playing riff after riff, looking every inch the guitar god he always wanted to be. The two are backed by a superb rhythm section, Chris Wyse has played with Ozzy and John Tempesta was once in White Zombie. In short these boys know what they are doing.
This has been an evening to enjoy, and one to enjoy to the full. Maybe the show a couple of years was just an aberration, because tonight was suitably electric.