Photo by David Hall
While most people would be over the moon having witnessed a massive 45-song setlist from The Cure, one Caroline Sullivan, a writer for The Guardian, found the band’s recent performance at the Teenager Cancer Trust Benefit show too long, unimpressive, and even “numbing”.
“They may be able to play for more than three hours without exhausting their hits, but they’ve yet to work out how to build up a show,” she wrote on Sunday. She also compared Robert Smith to Gene Smiths and said he looked “scary”. Despite Sullivan’s less than savory choice of words, she pointed out to a disgruntled fan (in the article’s comments section) that she, in fact, had on “good authority that the band have read the review and liked it”.
But it looks as though Sullivan has quite the unreliable source, as Smith quickly took to The Cure’s Facebook to dismiss her review with harsh words of his own:
“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
PS. AS FOR THE TORYGRAPH HACK… sigh… ONWARDS
One would think this would be the last missive on the matter, but it didn’t end there. Yesterday, Sullivan published another piece on The Guardian titled “Why the Cure’s marathon gigs might not be the best way to play”, addressing Smith’s all-caps note while still defending her initial review. She ended the article with “OK, Robert. Buy you a drink?”. The line could’ve been construed as something of a peace offering from a music critic — after all, critics write unflattering critiques all the time and the world still goes on — but Smith seemed to not see it that way. He took to Facebook once again, posting:
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”
This may not be the end of the discussion, but while these two parties continue to duke it out, at least music fans can rest easy knowing that The Cure have three albums in the work.