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Me and Nicole went to see the Cure on Saturday night.

It was at Challenge Stadium, a basketball stadium, and the setting for part of my novel The Fur. It was strange to be back in that place again; the last time was nine years ago when I was playing volleyball at countryweek. Robert Smith was standing on that same ground where I’d been playing sport.

They played for over three hours, a loud and generous set that seemed to cover every single album except Bloodflowers. (I wonder if he regrets Bloodflowers? I have always liked it and I always will.) Some of the songs I remember him playing are:
– Us or them
– A hundred years (a real treat)
– Wrong number
– Lovesong (at this point Kath and Kim next to me got up and did a chicken dance.)
– Plainsong
– Pictures of you (another highlight for me; but if only he’d played Last dance.)
– Fascination street (actually this was early in the set)
– Deep green sea
– Friday I’m in love (was this in the encore? I think so)
– The kiss (the only song I remember repeated from the last Perth concert in 2000 – when he played every single Bloodflowers song.)
– Why can’t I be you?
– Just like heaven
– Jumping someone else’s train
– Killing an arab
– The forest
– The walk
– Never enough
– Three imaginary boys
– Fire in Cairo

The bass player, Simon Gallup, was annoying, he kept on bending his knees and crouching and swaying; he didn’t have any of the dignity of the others. He looked like a little boy playing with his older brothers. Even if he’s been with the band since the start.

I wish Robert had said more, revealed something of himself, or about the songs. I guess he wanted them to speak for themselves. At one point he said he wasn’t saying much because he kept forgetting he spoke the same language as us.

With two guitars, a bass and drums in a heavy rock stadium setup, the interpretation of the songs was really aggressive. I guess that’s my main criticism. I would have liked to have seen a softer, more varied performance. And keyboards. Give us that 80s sound! Instead, we had a clear message that ‘we’re not too old for this’.

UPDATE: Here’s a complete setlist-