Missing the train - lost opportunities to see The Cure

Started by Oneiroman, May 02, 2021, 14:16:12

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Oneiroman

In a previous post I mentioned the fact that I didn't attend many gigs before I was in my mid-twenties, despite being a big music nut.  I bought records, listened to the radio, watched bands on TV, and bought music papers but seeing bands live was never a priority, perhaps because I didn't particularly like being around other people!  But having researched my favourite acts on the internet during lockdown I could weep when I realise how many opportunities I missed in the late 1970s especially.  And I had quite a few chances to see The Cure.

1)  5 October '78.  Supporting Wire.  At this point I was starting (or about to start) my third year at the University of Kent at Canterbury.  This gig took place in the Dining Hall at Eliot College (one of four colleges at the university).  This was my college and the dining hall was where I would eat my sausage and chips followed by apple crumble and custard.  I can't actually remember if I was around at the time because this would have been freshers' week.  Entry was £1.00.

This was a seminal night for The Cure.  They were stunned by Wire's performance.  Robert Smith told Guitar World in June 1996:
"It was actually seeing Wire that gave me the idea to follow a different course, to hold out against the punk wave. At the time, it was a lot easier just to play loud and fast, and that was a good night. Everyone went home talking about you. But even then, I felt, "We're gonna go down with the ship if we do that." Seeing Wire pointed out another direction to me. I didn't even especially like Wire - still don't - but this particular performance was just earth-shattering for me. We were supporting them at this small place, like a student thing. We played pretty badly; I was drunk and it was a shambles. We did "10.15" three times and no one really noticed. Then Wire came on, and during the first song about half the audience left. It was the most intense thing I thought I'd ever see - blinding white lights shooting straight into the audience and this incredible wall of noise. But it wasn't like thrash, just ponderous noise. Then they'd stop it and do little quiet bits. I thought it was really excellent.

I remember having a big row in the van with the others about it afterwards because they all thought it was shit, and I thought it was immense. That's what I wanted the Cure to do. It took about a year and a half - between going to play with the Banshees, Michael leaving the band, and Simon joining - before I got to the point where I had people around me who understood that as well. Simon got the idea of doing stuff that had lots of power but didn't have to be fast. I think that's really what the difference was. There's some medium-to slow-paced things on Three Imaginary Boys. At the time, you just didn't do that."

Lol Tolhurst also remembered the gig.  In Cured he wrote:
"The [show] was a revelation to all of us in many respects. They seemed so much further along the path of their creativity than we were feeling. That point wasn't lost on Robert. I feel that day was when the germ for the minimal sound that came to fruition over the next few years was planted in our psyches."
He told Allan Raible in 2016 (Yahoo News):
"I think when we first saw Wire we were amazed that someone could actually do something like that. It was so stark and minimalist, but it was emotional and up until that point we had seen bands that were either really overblown or bands that were very, very fast and aggressive. There was no sort of middle-ground, but with Wire we saw that there was a way to do something very punk-y and minimal but also emotional and pleasing in that way. To me, they were the biggest influence at that time and we sort of aimed our ship right for that spot."

And I missed it.  Oh well.

2)  7 December '78.  Supporting The Jam.  This time it was in the university Sports Hall.  Quite expensive at £1.75 in advance/£2.00 on the door.  The gig was advertised as "The Jam and the Mod Revival".  It was a last-minute booking for The Cure (presumably through Chris Parry, producer of The Jam's early records), who replaced The Dickies who had been thrown off the tour.  Also appearing was Patrik Fitzgerald.  I don't think The Cure were much interested in the mod revival. 

At the university since the mid '70s there has been an annual summer festival, Keynestock (named after another college Keynes), initially free but latterly with a charge for entry.  I saw Alternative TV and some local punk bands there in '78.  On 2 June '79 two mod revival bands, Secret Affair and Back To Zero played.  I don't think I was around for that one.  The mod revival was huge in the UK in '79.  John Peel was a big supporter and lots of kids went around in parkas.  But it fizzled out after the film Quadrophenia came out in the autumn and the kids turned to ska and two-tone.

3)  16 June '79.  Headliners with Back To Zero and Joy Division as support.  This gig was at the local Odeon, but promoted by the university Students' Union (Kent Ents).  £1.25 in advance/£1.50 on the door.  I did actually attend this one but I missed lots of other bands who played there during my time, such as The Ramones/Talking Heads/Boomtown Rats (less said about the last of those the better) in '77, Blondie, Magazine, XTC and Siouxsie and The Banshees in '78 and Magazine/Simple Minds in '79.  I also missed The Rezillos gig of 14 November '78 despite being offered a free ticket - on more than one occasion I was approached whilst studying in the library in the evening of a concert by some guy offering free or cheap tickets to see bands, since they had difficulty filling the Odeon.  The band were supported on that night by The Undertones and Joy Division (who were playing their first ever gig in the south of England, six weeks prior to playing in London - they were kicked off the tour after playing one more night at Brunel University, Uxbridge, as The Rezillos had a big bust-up and were in the process of splitting up).  I only found out who the support bands were decades later when I discovered the details on the internet.  Oh well.

4)  23 September '79.  Bristol Hippodrome.  Supporting Siouxsie & The Banshees.  I was back home in Bristol at the time but still didn't go to gigs even though some of my favourite bands played locally.  This one was on the 'Join Hands' tour, a couple of weeks after the 7 September '79 gig in Aberdeen, shortly before which John McKay and Kenny Morris walked out on the Banshees.

As Robert Smith said (as quoted on the Cure-Concerts website):
"I remember after a warm up date in Bournemouth, we'd finished our set and we were sitting backstage and [Steve] Severin and Sioux came in an chatted to us, just getting to know us, but Morris and McKay wouldn't say anything. If we bumped into them, and said hello, they'd just turn their heads away like superstars!
The first we really knew about them leaving was, the pandemonium backstage at the concert. Dave Woods, The Banshees' manager, was in a panic as we came off from playing our set and asked us if we could go back on and play some more. I said okay and Sioux and Severin went on and made the announcement. The crowd started chanting and we went back on and played some unfinished new songs like '17 Seconds', ones that we'd written the music to but not the words. I think we did 'M' and then they joined us for 'The Lord's Prayer'. Severin was shouting to me 'E! Just play E!' and, as it turned out. that wasn't to be the last time he shouted it at me either!
I thought it was a good night. We went back to The Banshees' hotel afterwards and I ended up staying there with Sioux and Severin getting drunk together for the first time. They were discussing what they were going to do and I wanted the tour to go on. It was important to us so I just suggested that I'd play with them if they needed me. Severin told me they'd audition some guitarists and it was left at that."

So at the Bristol gig I would have seen Smith playing with The Cure and The Banshees, who had failed to get their preferred choice Marco Pirroni, who had been with them (along with Sid Vicious) for their first gig in '76, and later went on to play with Adam and the Ants.  Oh well.

     

SueC

Well, I've only liked The Cure since 2014 (when I first heard Bloodflowers) and they don't come to Australia that often, so I've only missed the train once, and that was in 2016.  We were in the finishing stretches of the five-year marathon of owner-building our house and had basically disappeared down a black hole.  We were completely oblivious of the fact they were touring or much else other than our huge project-for-two.  This is where we were up to around that time - doing final interior plaster coats - here in the front guest room:



At the time the Cure gig was actually on, the plaster in this room was drying, after which I painted the feature wall and furnished the place:



On the very day of the gig, when The Cure were four hours up the road from us, I was obliviously installing the rustic magazine holders I'd made from my leftover architrave strips in the two smallest rooms of our house - because at our house, we value all and any reading opportunities.  Did you know the average person spends months of their life on the toilet?  You can get an extra 50 hours of reading time a year by multi-tasking here - and there's no hygiene problems if you've got two hands and use your brain.





And this is the setlist we missed: 
https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/the-cure/2016/perth-arena-perth-australia-1bff499c.html


Brett also missed The Cure in 2007 (and if I'd been asked, I'd have said, "I don't like pop music, thank you." :lol:).  He's liked them since the late 90s, but in 2007 he was falling in love with me and therefore completely oblivious to matters like touring artists.  The evening they played their gig we were actually both in Perth - I was visiting him there - and we'd been up in Bickley in the Darling Range doing a walk in the Secret Valley.  For some reason we didn't feel well later that afternoon and we both went to bed early.  (I know this because I keep diaries.)  This was the setlist Brett missed (a huge setlist too, 39 songs) - and when they played this epic concert (look at the setlist!!!), we were snoring obliviously less than 13km away:
https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/the-cure/2007/challenge-stadium-perth-australia-7bd7e2a0.html

The previous time, Brett had caught them, and this was the setlist:
https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/the-cure/2000/perth-entertainment-centre-perth-australia-3d7e5ef.html

As you can see, this train has only been to Perth three times in 20 years and now may never come again, although if they do actually tour their new album and if Australia opens its international borders again and if they decide to return here - and these are big fat ifs - then Brett says he's going to take me to that gig even if he has to tie me up and bundle me into a suitcase to get me up to Perth if necessary.  (I've not been to Perth for nearly ten years, but would make an exception to attend a Cure concert.)

PS:  A rant:  I've been to the Perth Entertainment Centre, which had lousy acoustics but at least was set up for actual concerts, with semicircular seating around a stage etc.  It's been demolished, and sadly, big-act music concerts in Perth are now held in sports stadiums, which have even worse acoustics and whose seating is designed for looking at a sports court in the middle, not a stage at the end, so that during a concert, more than half the audience is at right angles to the stage, and those who aren't are either far away or crushed into what's usually a basketball court where they stand for hours and Thor help them if they're short people...harumph. :P  If you want to go to a dedicated music venue, you're looking at smaller places like the Perth Concert Hall, which has amazing acoustics but not enough seating for large international acts.
SueC is time travelling

Oneiroman

Well, I'm just old.  You would certainly have had a bargain if they played 39 songs.  But I don't think I'd pay the ticket prices to see any "major" band these days, even if they played for three days solid.  I mean, £1.25 in 1979 would have bought you four pints at the student bar so it was a close run thing when I bought my ticket to see The Cure for the one and only time I have done.

This is the setlist from that gig: https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/the-cure/1979/odeon-canterbury-england-63d6468f.html

They were fantastic but I maintain that Joy Division were even better, a completely mind-blowing performance.

Ulrich

Thanks for the report (if only more people would tell us about the gigs they went to in the form you talk about the ones you missed!).

In the beginning, when I first started liking The Cure, I missed a few gigs ('85 and '87 tours), but I was way too young and under-experienced to travel to any shows back then. The one I really do regret missing is the 1989 "Prayer Tour", they played the Rock am See festival among other shows (Munich I think?).  :'(

Well I got my "happy end" (or was it more like "the start"?) when I saw the band live in Stuttgart 1992. (And more times after that. As reported in various topics.)

Another "missed opportunity" for me was their festival appearance at Southside in 2004 - well there was a new album, so I'd hoped for a "normal tour" instead of a festival, but it didn't happen.  :unamused:

Last time I saw the band live (so far) in 2016 even (kinda) "made up" for me missing the 1989 shows, simply because they played a lot of "Disintegration" songs (almost the whole album)! :happy
A day without substance, a change of thought
The atmosphere rots with time

dsanchez

I missed the first ever Trilogy concert by The Cure at Vorst National, Brussels on 7th November 2002! I told myself since I already got a ticket to see them in Hamburg, Color Line Arena on 9th November that it should be enough. One of the biggest regrets in my life. In the other hand, the Hamburg show remains as one of the highlights of my life.
2019.06.08 Dublin
2019.07.04 Novi Sad
2019.07.17 Athens

Oneiroman

Great to see some responses.  As I said above I am old enough to have been aware of The Cure from pretty much the beginning (I'm roughly four months older than Robert Smith).  I liked them from the start but never thought they would become as huge as they have done, with kids still getting into them (along with The Smiths and Joy Division/New Order).

Concerning the gig I did attend in 1979 in case anyone is interested I reproduce here in modified form an account of the night I was asked to write for a Joy Division fan website:

At around eight o'clock on a pleasant enough Saturday evening in June 1979 in sleepy old Canterbury (population at the time approximately 35,000) my friend Mark and I were enjoying a pint in the Pilgrims Hotel, just off the city's main shopping street and close to the Odeon cinema, a venue which also hosted occasional gigs; it is now the Marlowe Theatre.  We had recently completed our final exams and were hanging around waiting for our graduation ceremony at the end of the month.  Most students had gone home for the summer or were away for the weekend - a lot used to go up to London as Canterbury didn't have a single nightclub, although it did have some very good pubs and the University of Kent's Students' Union used to organise/promote regular gigs - tonight's had been due to take place on campus but was moved to the Odeon.

Mark had been a hippie in his teens, but I had managed to convert him to punk and he was by now besotted with The Undertones.  He was in a laid back mood, but I wanted to get to the venue as I had shelled out £1.25 for the ticket and wanted my money's worth.  The doors had been due to open at 7.30 but Mark fancied another pint, saying that all support bands were crap anyway.  I said that I'd see him there and got up to leave.

He joined me reluctantly and we were outside the cinema in less than a minute.  About thirty or forty juveniles were waiting outside, sitting on the steps or standing in small groups.  Some had made desultory attempts to look like punks, others were just scruffily dressed like Mark and myself. It felt as though we were about to gatecrash some kid's sixteenth birthday outing.  I was all of twenty and Mark a bit older.

"Told you we should have stayed for another pint" Mark whined, looking wistfully back in the direction of the Pilgrims.  Fortunately the doors opened shortly after and we all piled in.

The headliners were an up-and-coming trio from Crawley, called The Cure.  I was rather fond of a single they had released a while earlier, 'Killing an Arab'. This was on the jukebox in my college, and along with a couple of Wire singles was the only thing on there that could be termed "post-punk", which was my favoured type of music at the time (Public Image Ltd, Siouxsie, The Pop Group etc).  I had heard some other Cure songs on John Peel's evening show as well.  Having already purchased our tickets I was dismayed to see Paul Morley's scathing review of their debut album in a copy of the NME I found lying around the college.  Perhaps they only had a handful of decent songs.

I had tried to organise a group of friends to join me for the evening, but maybe they weren't enthused by my description (which I had read in an article by Adrian Thrills for the NME in December '78) of The Cure as a "light metal" trio.  Mark was the only taker, as he quite liked 'Killing an Arab'.  The poster for the gig promised the headliners 'plus special guests' while the tickets just indicated '+ Support'.  Fortunately, I had noticed a couple of photocopied sheets of A4 paper pinned on the wall in some obscure corner of the college, one with a picture of The Cure's frontman's boyish face, the other with the names and brief descriptions of the two support bands.  One was called Back to Zero, mod revivalists from London, and the other was called Joy Division, a "promising new band" from Manchester.  At least we'd get three groups, even if they were all crap.  That was the whole evening catered for.

Once Back to Zero arrived on stage as the first act I guess there were around 100 people or so in the venue, overwhelmingly teenagers.  All evening I only saw one other student I recognised - perhaps he was the poor Entertainments Officer who had promoted the event.  The place felt empty and the balcony was completely closed off.  We were in the third or fourth row of the stalls.

Back to Zero were one of the top mod revivalist bands of the day.  They later had a single on Fiction produced by Chris Parry, 'Your Side of Heaven'.  Mod was big for five minutes in 1979; The Jam were riding high, the film 'Quadrophenia' had been heavily trailed, and John Peel got behind the music.  By the end of the year ska and two-tone had taken over.  Lead singer of BTZ Brian Kotz tried to get the kids up and dancing at the front or in the aisles.  I remember the band for his onstage patter as much as the music, but Mark loved them.  After their set I had the unexpected bonus of seeing one of the kids spewing violently into the sink in the gents, his mate watching on with a mixture of hilarity and concern.  I resumed my seat feeling nicely refreshed.

After a while a bloke who looked like a squaddie with short hair, a long sleeved shirt, and straight-leg trousers walked onto the stage.  He stood there for at least five minutes looking mainly down at the floor, appearing rather uncomfortable.  Then a bloke with a beard and another one who was obviously still at school walked on and took their positions - these were the two guitarists.  Meanwhile someone else, slightly nondescript looking, came on and sat at the drum kit well at the back.  This must be Joy Division and frankly I wasn't expecting much.  There was barely, if any, acknowledgment of the audience, in complete contrast to openers Back to Zero.

They launched into the first number, 'Disorder', and within seconds I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  With Morris' rhythmic and propulsive drumming and the guitars locked into a groove the music swelled, surged, swerved and reverberated around the large, mainly empty space.  Brian Kotz of Back to Zero was watching from the wings and he said (on the JD Central website) "I have to say I have never witnessed anything like it before or since.  Curtis. and in fact the whole band were mesmerising to watch and to listen to, whole banks of sound washing over me...and the crowd were mesmerised too.  Do you know something?  Not one person in the auditorium applauded after one of their songs but this was not indifference.  I could see the crowd from where I was positioned, and they were totally agog at the spectacle.  I'm sure that those who were there are still talking about the gig until this very day."

My friend Mark hadn't been so impressed.  He turned to me and said "Don't think much of this lot."  I feebly protested "I thought they were quite good", to which he replied "They're better musicians than the first band but there's no rapport with the audience.  The singer looks like a right miserable sod."  JD started their set with half a dozen songs from Unknown Pleasures and finished it by debuting four songs, including finale 'Atrocity Exhibition'.  Ian Curtis, who had been dancing wildly for most of the set, went into overdrive - you just knew it was the last number.  Bernard Sumner had fiddled about with a synth for the last few songs which had lessened the force of the performance to a certain extent, but overall they were very powerful.  I don't think many in the audience were as impressed as I was though.  Unknown Pleasures had supposedly been released the day before but it didn't actually appear for another month or so.

The Cure came on stage and the kids were happy - many obviously knew their debut single and maybe some of them had already bought 'Three Imaginary Boys', which had been released in May.  With only three people in the band they were widely spaced out, the singer on our left as we looked down on the stage.  He looked a bit like a mod, in a green striped top, but the other two were appallingly dressed (and that's me talking), perhaps slightly reminiscent of some early to mid-seventies bubblegum act. 

They were very good, in a completely different way to Joy Division; singer Robert Smith had a boyish enthusiasm and was chatting away merrily between songs.  He informed us that they had changed their mind about releasing 'Grinding Halt' as their next single (the poster for the gig had advertised it as such) plumping instead for a song they played called 'Boys Don't Cry' which wasn't on the album.  They played '10.15 Saturday Night', the B-side to 'Killing an Arab' (and their best song at the time) twice, once during the encore, when it might have been that very moment in the week!  All in all they were a pretty tight musical force.  Michael Dempsey was extremely energetic and mobile; perhaps Rpbert Smith let him go later in the year because he thought he was upstaging him.  They had a skewed pop sensibility but with a definite punkish delivery.  The crowd was certainly enthusiastic.

Two-thirds of the way through their set Mark promptly stood up and said "I'm off now, may as well catch the last train home".  I was flabbergasted, but he did have lodgings in a village, Sturry, some way out of town and a rather long walk.  I enjoyed the rest of the proceedings, glad to be getting value for my £1.25, and after leaving the venue I walked the ten minutes to my own digs well pleased.  At least I'd had a damn good night.  Brian Kotz however reflected "We'd seen The Cure soundchecking, but were back in the van heading towards London by the time they were playing their set. During the recording of the reunion album in 2003, I heard Sam [Burnett, lead guitarist of BTZ] tell a friend of mine that he thought they were "fantastic" that night, not too sure how he worked that one out, as he didn't see them!"

SueC

Quote from: Oneiroman on May 03, 2021, 16:23:31Well, I'm just old.  You would certainly have had a bargain if they played 39 songs.  But I don't think I'd pay the ticket prices to see any "major" band these days, even if they played for three days solid.  I mean, £1.25 in 1979 would have bought you four pints at the student bar so it was a close run thing when I bought my ticket to see The Cure for the one and only time I have done.

:lol: I wonder how many pints of beer the current average Cure ticket price is equivalent to - and am an expert on neither, having bought exactly zero pints and zero Cure tickets thus far in my existence.  I suppose I could research it, but @Ulrich is well informed on the price of beer and Cure tickets and can probably do this calculation in his sleep.  The only stumbling block may be that beer is sold in pints in the UK but probably in different quantities in Germany (wieviel ist ein Maß, Ulrich?) - although he's been to the UK and probably had a pint or two there - but the price might have increased since his last visit...

I'm not that much younger than you (and does anyone know where the last 20 years went???) - I've just started rounding myself up to the nearest century.  :1f631:  The funniest thing is that at a certain point in your mid-40s you stop noticing your wrinkles etc because your eyesight goes into freefall.  Someone made a commercial 50th birthday card that said, "At least your eyesight won't get much worse now!" but a recent guest who just turned 60 strongly disputed this (bang goes that idea!  :-D).

Anyway, I agree with you about the price of modern "big/semi-big" touring acts - and would have agreed with you when I was 25.  I've only ever paid a disgusting big-act ticket price once in my life, which was to see U2/BB King in 1989, my very first concert, which I saved up all my pennies for and was then terribly disappointed - the gig was turned up too loud and combined with the shitty acoustics of the venue this was both pain-inducing and actually too loud to hear; the instrumental part of the band played well as far as I could tell given the physical problems I was getting with the sound but Bono really didn't sing well, his voice was all over the shop, and he annoyed shiitake out of me with his stupid spotlighting of the audience - I was thinking he maybe ought to pay more attention to singing properly than doing those kinds of unnecessary escapades.

It's funny, at the Red Rocks concert in 1983 and all the early 80s to mid-80s live recordings I ever heard, he sang well and they all played well, and that made me want to see them live.  But at the 1989 concert, and actually at many concert recordings I've heard from that time on, he just doesn't sing well much of the time, and that's very disappointing.  I mean, can't he hear it?  But then, that's the same question I ask myself when hearing quite a few big-ticket people's live recordings.  Surely it would be a priority to work on that?  But perhaps fans of that kind of music are in it more for the spectacle than anything else.  You'd not get away with that for long in classical or folk or jazz - you'd be back to your daytime job.

And this isn't a problem I've heard on live recordings from The Cure for at least the last 21 years (we've got the Trilogy film, the 2018 box set, Slicing Up Eyeballs - Lodz, we saw the Opera House live stream a couple of years ago and the Cancer Trust one from recently, I'm currently watching the 2019 gig from Finland, and I watch a fair few live clips on YT).  When I was growing up I never particularly liked Robert Smith's voice - he was kind of singing through his nose a lot early on - but these days I think he's a fantastic singer, and I wouldn't mind hearing his low register more often either (as displayed in Harold & Joe etc).  It's funny, I actually dislike a fair bit of their early studio material (...though I've not listened to their first four studio albums yet, I'm just getting that off the early B-sides and radio songs), but when they play it live nowadays it sounds so much better to me and I actually enjoy it (and even get through their pop songs because those aren't a huge proportion of their repertoire and because they're playing so well).

So while I have no idea how many beer-equivalent units a modern Cure ticket price is, in their case it wouldn't stop me from going to see them at least once - but I'd probably not make a habit of it, even if that was possible where we live - I'd probably prefer to support local smaller-price acts at more music-friendly venues instead.

As I said, I've only paid that typical, exorbitant big-ticket price once in my life.  The other things I saw at the Perth Entertainment Centre were medium-price acts, like Clannad and Hothouse Flowers and Riverdance, all of whom were infinitely better live than that U2 gig was (and didn't cause injury to my ears).  Hothouse Flowers by the way, like The Cure, would be easy to dismiss if you just heard their radio songs from a certain era, but are fantastic live and have huge depth and versatility hidden on their actual records; plus their singer mesmerised the crowd with a capella pieces in Gaelic in-between their more popular stuff - and post Hothouse Flowers that's exactly what he's gone back to doing - traditional music.

That concert impressed me so much I also went to see them at the Belvoir Amphitheatre that week; much better venue - open-air and great acoustics.  In Sydney (2002-2004) I went to see the Harlem Gospel Choir at a wonderful small-ish classical venue - very like our Albany Town Hall, where I saw the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 1999 when they and me were all young'uns, and lots of other people from various genres.  We pay between $30 and $50 per person for entry to those local concerts - and when the Perth International Arts Festival sends acts down to us they're subsidised, so I've seen international acts for under $50 at various venues around town - and most memorably, Capercaillie on the sloped lawns behind the Vancouver Arts Centre in a wonderful, intimate gig in which complete strangers ended up dancing around in big circles with each other and little kids were doing cartwheels around the picnic blankets - if you saw them in a city, it would be a far bigger crowd, so this was fantastic - to see a well-known band in such a small venue!  :)



Quote from: Ulrich on May 03, 2021, 17:13:34Thanks for the report (if only more people would tell us about the gigs they went to in the form you talk about the ones you missed!).

I'll say!  :cool  It's fantastic to have these stories!  :smth023  :smth023  :smth023

I've just gotten around to @Oneiroman's most recent post above - the first-hand account from way back of going to see The Cure in 1979.  Really enjoyed the read.  ♥  A good recount is a fine thing, and nostalgia becomes something of a hobby as the years go by - but then, what's wrong with re-visiting the interesting, lovely, amazing things we've been part of in our lives and celebrating them, as long as we continue to get out there so we can experience more interesting, lovely and amazing things.  :)  I've kept journals all my life and I think it's true that to write is to live twice (and it's wonderful to go back and keep good things fresh in our memories).  How does it go again? The underexamined life is not worth living.  The overexamined life is not being lived (AKA the paralysis of analysis).  Aim for the Goldilocks zone... appreciate the best bits of the past, and the best things in your life right now, and continue to explore etc etc etc.

I think it's hilarious how @Oneiroman was barely 20 and referred to people a handful of years younger than him as juveniles:winking_tongue   Also how he converted his hippie friend to punk, and just the general descriptions!  :)  The lead singer of BTZ has a really unfortunate surname if you know any German.  :angel   And nice to be a fly on the wall vicariously, through another person's account.  :cool


Quote from: Ulrich on May 03, 2021, 17:13:34In the beginning, when I first started liking The Cure, I missed a few gigs ('85 and '87 tours), but I was way too young and under-experienced to travel to any shows back then. The one I really do regret missing is the 1989 "Prayer Tour", they played the Rock am See festival among other shows (Munich I think?).  :'(

Well I got my "happy end" (or was it more like "the start"?) when I saw the band live in Stuttgart 1992. (And more times after that. As reported in various topics.)

Another "missed opportunity" for me was their festival appearance at Southside in 2004 - well there was a new album, so I'd hoped for a "normal tour" instead of a festival, but it didn't happen.  :unamused:

Last time I saw the band live (so far) in 2016 even (kinda) "made up" for me missing the 1989 shows, simply because they played a lot of "Disintegration" songs (almost the whole album)! :happy:

It's funny, when I heard about the Prayer tour back in the late 80s I was thinking, "What, is this like Madonna?" :beaming-face

You know, the problem is, if you hear 3-4 songs from a band and you don't like those songs, it's so easy not to want to dig, and to dig instead with other artists whose first 3-4 songs you heard you actually liked at least half of...

So you hear pop songs and you hear "Prayer" and you go, "OMG, it's more pop!" because of the Madonna overtones loaded onto that term at that point...

True story - a pal from another forum had actual tickets to The Head On The Door tour and was then grounded by her mother...

Anyway, @Ulrich, it seems you never got grounded out of going to a concert, and have managed to attend a goodly number of them in your life to date.  And may there be maaaany more!   :cool
SueC is time travelling

SueC

May the 4th be with you, everyone, by the way.  :angel


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 02, 2021, 14:16:12In a previous post I mentioned the fact that I didn't attend many gigs before I was in my mid-twenties, despite being a big music nut.  I bought records, listened to the radio, watched bands on TV, and bought music papers but seeing bands live was never a priority, perhaps because I didn't particularly like being around other people!

Neither Brett nor I are fond of large crowds, or smaller inebriated ones with the potential to behave badly - so there go most big gigs, and quite a few pub ones.  Albany Town Hall seats around 300, and the new Albany Entertainment Centre 600 - I'm never uncomfortable at either venues - I'll know quite a few people in the crowd and people don't get loudly intoxicated and rude or violent - it's all very laid-back.  There's a blues club in town and while we're not crazy about the blues we went to see the Chicago All-Stars there quite recently (review right here:angel on this forum!).  Some of that crowd was inebriated, but it was a weepy, sentimental sort of inebriation and nothing aggressive.  (If any of you think I'm over-concerned about that, Australia has quite a violent drinking culture, and if I go to Northbridge, for example, it's really uncomfortable for me because of a lot of trolls and rude people and leering, disrespectful men - and fights, including glassing and people getting punched with resultant brain damage, which aren't uncommon either in Northbridge or in a number of other places - and we've had glassing and assaults causing brain damage right here in Albany, around the pub scenes.)

Perth Entertainment Centre was 8000 seats; that's the biggest crowds I've been in and if you get a hysterical crowd it gets uncomfortable - but it seems to me that this is less of a problem with older and mixed-age crowds, so I've not experienced a hysterical crowd for decades.  Actually I was looking at the crowd in Trilogy and thinking I'd have been OK with that, it seemed like a pretty nice lot on the whole - ditto the concert from Helsinki I'm watching at the moment.


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 02, 2021, 14:16:12But having researched my favourite acts on the internet during lockdown I could weep when I realise how many opportunities I missed in the late 1970s especially.  And I had quite a few chances to see The Cure.

Well, yes, that would be a bummer... :frowning:

...and I'm still buying CDs that I couldn't afford when I was a young person! :)
(...and a lot of them are half-price now! :-D)


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 02, 2021, 14:16:12This was a seminal night for The Cure.  They were stunned by Wire's performance.  Robert Smith told Guitar World in June 1996:
"It was actually seeing Wire that gave me the idea to follow a different course, to hold out against the punk wave. At the time, it was a lot easier just to play loud and fast, and that was a good night. Everyone went home talking about you. But even then, I felt, "We're gonna go down with the ship if we do that." Seeing Wire pointed out another direction to me. I didn't even especially like Wire - still don't - but this particular performance was just earth-shattering for me. We were supporting them at this small place, like a student thing. We played pretty badly; I was drunk and it was a shambles. We did "10.15" three times and no one really noticed. Then Wire came on, and during the first song about half the audience left. It was the most intense thing I thought I'd ever see - blinding white lights shooting straight into the audience and this incredible wall of noise. But it wasn't like thrash, just ponderous noise. Then they'd stop it and do little quiet bits. I thought it was really excellent.

I remember having a big row in the van with the others about it afterwards because they all thought it was shit, and I thought it was immense. That's what I wanted the Cure to do. It took about a year and a half - between going to play with the Banshees, Michael leaving the band, and Simon joining - before I got to the point where I had people around me who understood that as well. Simon got the idea of doing stuff that had lots of power but didn't have to be fast. I think that's really what the difference was. There's some medium-to slow-paced things on Three Imaginary Boys. At the time, you just didn't do that."

That's really interesting - one of the things I particularly like about The Cure's music is that it generally has enough breathing room, enough space.  When things go too fast I usually turn right off - and that's the same with movies actually - I prefer movies/drama where there's a bit of space to movies/drama where it's frantic action and intercutting and too much happening in too short a time.

Hilarious about playing 10.15 three times.  :rofl :yum:

Speaking as an audience member, I'm not fond of being spotlit or blinded and neither is Brett, and his one whinge about the Cure gig he went to in 2000 is that he was level the whole time with a blinding light that was flashing on and off.  Good thing he's not epileptic.

In the concert films, though, I've got to say that I enjoy the visual presentation of this band's concerts, which is a lot more low-key and tasteful than with a few other bands I could name.  I mean, personally I'm fine with just the people and their instruments and enough light to see by, but given the crowd sizes I suppose that becomes insufficient, sort of like looking at these tiny ants from far away.  Their use of screens and lights is comfortable for me; again there's space in most of it and it's not overblown.

Whereas I hated things like ZooTV, and even the general propensity a lot of bands have for visual "noise".  I think there's a lot of visual beauty in what The Cure present on stage (in various iterations I've seen), and because they play so utterly professionally, you know it's not something that's being used to distract people from the performance.


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 02, 2021, 14:16:123)  16 June '79.  Headliners with Back To Zero and Joy Division as support.  This gig was at the local Odeon, but promoted by the university Students' Union (Kent Ents).  £1.25 in advance/£1.50 on the door.  I did actually attend this one but I missed lots of other bands who played there during my time, such as The Ramones/Talking Heads/Boomtown Rats (less said about the last of those the better) in '77, Blondie, Magazine, XTC and Siouxsie and The Banshees in '78 and Magazine/Simple Minds in '79.  I also missed The Rezillos gig...

There's a few bands there I'd not have minded seeing myself - particularly Talking Heads (at that point) and XTC.  I've never liked the Boomtown Rats either, though I do really enjoy the Geldof solo album The Vegetarians of Love.  Sort of like I'm not really into The Beatles, but I enjoy some of John Lennon's stuff (though not Paul McCartney's).

Thank you for all the stories, quotes and contextualising in your posts - much appreciated!  :cool

It's funny looking back at history.  In some ways we see more clearly in hindsight than at the time.


Quote from: dsanchez on May 03, 2021, 17:28:36I missed the first ever Trilogy concert by The Cure at Vorst National, Brussels on 7th November 2002! I told myself since I already got a ticket to see them in Hamburg, Color Line Arena on 9th November that it should be enough. One of the biggest regrets in my life. In the other hand, the Hamburg show remains as one of the highlights of my life.

I can tell you that if we had a TARDIS we'd be going right back to that one ourselves!  :)  You're lucky you were there.  I still enjoy watching the film and it gets the occasional revisit.
SueC is time travelling

Oneiroman

@SueC I don't know what the price of a ticket to see the Cure would cost now, but a pint would set you back more than ten times the 30p they charged in the (probably subsidised) college bar in my time.  And while we're on the subject of beer I found it terribly confusing in Australia where the names for the different sizes of glasses varied from state to state.  A middy in Perth was a schooner in Adelaide and a pot in Melbourne.  And don't even mention the Darwin stubby!  Some of the pubs I ventured into could be pretty intimidating but I can't remember any serious violence even when most of the clientele were totally paralytic - perhaps that's why, as they just couldn't stop falling over.  During my time in the Kimberley the most notorious mob were the donkey shooters who would come into Broome to let their hair down.  Feral donkeys were considered a major problem in the area and Mad Max types used to roar around on motorbikes shooting as many as they could.  Broome was also full of "mung beans" - do they still call them that in Australia? - so you can imagine the two groups didn't mix too well.

As for seeing live bands, when I moved back to Manchester in 1984 (I had done a master's degree there before my first trip to Australia) I tried to catch up and see some of the acts I had missed in the late '70s/early '80s such as Public Image Ltd, The Fall, The Associates and Mark Stewart from The Pop Group.  One of the wildest nights was when I saw Nick Cave at the Hacienda.  Before the gig we went to a pub over the road and it was full of blokes with Cave's trademark electric shock hairstyle.  Inside the venue the mosh pit was threatening to take over the entire dancefloor so we had to defend ourselves robustly if we wanted to stay on our feet in order to actually watch the band.  At one point the singer got involved in a fight with an audience member.  There is some video footage of the performance on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sQ-faRqNbAo - I was one of the hecklers (I used to do that a lot when I was pissed) but some of the chanting (not me - I wouldn't stoop that low) strikes me now as rather boorish.  To be honest I quite liked a confrontational gig - I can't stand the crowd-pleasing antics of some rock stars and am allergic to arm waving, fist pumping, fan worship and the rest of it.  The craziest performer I saw was Lux Interior of the Cramps.  He drank six bottles of red wine (or poured half of it over his naked torso), swung upside down by his legs from the stage scaffolding and dropped his gold lame pants to reveal all on at least one occasion.  And the two female guitarists were pretty manic too.

I also went to see some of the up-and-coming acts such as Husker Du and the Beastie Boys but I do think rock music was in a steep decline at the time.  We started going more and more to hip hop, house and funk nights.  The two worst bands I have ever seen were Sonic Youth and the Jesus and Mary Chain.  They were both so contrived - no spontaneity whatsoever.  You just knew they were aching to be the "coolest" band on the planet.  No fun at all.  I had to work very hard to avoid the Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses but I think I managed it, although I can't remember all the acts I did see.  One quick story.  My mate Sid used to drive us to a lot of gigs, which was very handy, and I'd buy him a drink in return.  On one occasion he couldn't find a place to park so he told me to go into the venue (the International) and get a round in.  While I was waiting at the bar a middle aged guy came up to me and asked me what I was drinking.  As I thought he was trying to pick me up I nearly told him to, er, push off but managed to restrain myself and tersely muttered "a pint of bitter".  He turned to the barman and said "a free pint for this gentleman."  When Sid came in I pointed to the guy and he said "oh, that's Gareth, he runs the club."  He was also the Stone Roses manager!  I was also served a drink once or twice at the Hacienda by New Order's Bernard Sumner but that's another story.

The Cure are one of the few bands from the era in my opinion that have remained fresh in terms of their performances.  But I still wouldn't pay big money to see them - they headlined Glastonbury a couple of years ago, which is about twenty miles from where I live, but you wouldn't catch me there if they paid me £200 and not vice-versa.  All that arm waving and compulsory happiness not to mention the camping and the mud.  No thanks.

SueC

Quote from: Oneiroman on May 04, 2021, 17:16:39@SueC I don't know what the price of a ticket to see the Cure would cost now, but a pint would set you back more than ten times the 30p they charged in the (probably subsidised) college bar in my time.

We need to ask @Ulrich to calculate the price of the average Cure ticket since the turn of the millennium in beer equivalent units (BEUs).  I trust his expertise in the matter.  :angel



Brett says he'd like to see a graph of Cure ticket prices in BEUs for the course of their entire career - and a separate graph comparing both Cure ticket prices and beer prices against the consumer price index for the same time period.  To make this simpler, it could just be for the UK - it would be a heck of a lot of work to do this for every country they've ever played a concert.


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 04, 2021, 17:16:39And while we're on the subject of beer I found it terribly confusing in Australia where the names for the different sizes of glasses varied from state to state.  A middy in Perth was a schooner in Adelaide and a pot in Melbourne.  And don't even mention the Darwin stubby!

It's like the Inuit and snow -  many specialised words.

It is interesting actually that we might have more regional variation for beer vocabulary in Australia than you do in the UK, while it's the opposite with regional accents - where you have so many distinctive ones, and we very little difference.


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 04, 2021, 17:16:39Some of the pubs I ventured into could be pretty intimidating but I can't remember any serious violence even when most of the clientele were totally paralytic - perhaps that's why, as they just couldn't stop falling over.  During my time in the Kimberley the most notorious mob were the donkey shooters who would come into Broome to let their hair down.  Feral donkeys were considered a major problem in the area and Mad Max types used to roar around on motorbikes shooting as many as they could.  Broome was also full of "mung beans" - do they still call them that in Australia? - so you can imagine the two groups didn't mix too well.

Around the South Coast, the term "mung bean" tends to be a derogatory reference to a hippie ("feral" is also in common use for that), or just a general term of insult.

Interesting that you never saw alcohol-fuelled violence during your stay - perhaps that's more an urban phenomenon?  I consulted Brett for another data point and he says he went out a lot to see bands in pubs and clubs in the 90s and "noughties" in Perth and personally was only uncomfortable once or twice, but he says this may be because of the kinds of bands he went to see, with nice crowds, and also the arthouse cinema scene.  He says he personally went to Northbridge without problems but stayed away from the "dodgy end" of that suburb, and observes that a lot of the violence that went on was between different groups with existing grudges - and less of it random trouble.

I can provide a data point for Albany - the Earl of Spencer hosted folk, roots music etc and I was never uncomfortable there - and went there a bit because friends and colleagues were performing.  It's a different kind of crowd to the bars on Stirling Terrace though.  You just don't get rowdy people in the Earl of Spencer.


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 04, 2021, 17:16:39To be honest I quite liked a confrontational gig - I can't stand the crowd-pleasing antics of some rock stars and am allergic to arm waving, fist pumping, fan worship and the rest of it.

Arm waving as a sort of tai chi to music I think would be OK, but fan worship, blergh.  :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 04, 2021, 17:16:39One quick story.  My mate Sid used to drive us to a lot of gigs, which was very handy, and I'd buy him a drink in return.  On one occasion he couldn't find a place to park so he told me to go into the venue (the International) and get a round in.  While I was waiting at the bar a middle aged guy came up to me and asked me what I was drinking.  As I thought he was trying to pick me up I nearly told him to, er, push off but managed to restrain myself and tersely muttered "a pint of bitter".  He turned to the barman and said "a free pint for this gentleman."  When Sid came in I pointed to the guy and he said "oh, that's Gareth, he runs the club."

Bwahahaha!  :lol: :evil:


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 04, 2021, 17:16:39The Cure are one of the few bands from the era in my opinion that have remained fresh in terms of their performances.  But I still wouldn't pay big money to see them - they headlined Glastonbury a couple of years ago, which is about twenty miles from where I live, but you wouldn't catch me there if they paid me £200 and not vice-versa.  All that arm waving and compulsory happiness not to mention the camping and the mud.  No thanks.

Hahaha!  :angel  It's like church in some ways.  I don't like any situations where I feel that there's manipulation going on to try to make me do certain things.  I'm not a sheep, or a lemming.

Camping and mud are OK if it's not with loads of other people, I think.

Was that price for general entry to everything, or just to see The Cure?
SueC is time travelling

Oneiroman

@SueC The ticket price for Glastonbury 2019 was £248.00 for the four days of the event - as well as The Cure you could have seen Stormzy, The Killers, Kylie Minogue, Miley Cyrus and many others.  Mavis Staples would have been particularly worth witnessing.  But I had my fill of living in a tent when I was in Australia as I probably spent the best part of a year in one.  It was dirt cheap in those days to stay in a caravan park/campsite and you had access to showers and laundry facilities and even catering in some of them. One drawback was that they were often a long way out of town so you either had a long walk or you had to hitch.  The term "mung beans" was certainly used in a derogatory way but the hippies themselves also used it.  Broome is now three times the size it was in 1982 and looking on Google Maps I wouldn't recognise it.  Cable Beach in particular has been much developed whereas back then it was just a campsite (full of hippies) and car park at the end of a dirt track.  A long, lonely walk if you couldn't get a ride, especially at night (no lighting).  One evening I was walking back when a car pulled up as if to give me a lift, but a bloke stuck his head out and shouted "Why don't you piss on the road and surf on it?" before the vehicle sped off.

Talking of Broome I had to laugh when I read about the exploits of one tourist.  "On 12 July 2010, Michael Newman, a visitor from Melbourne, climbed into Fatso's enclosure in Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park near Broome, Western Australia. Newman, who was ejected from a nearby pub called Divers Tavern earlier that night for being overly drunk, scaled the barbed wire fence surrounding Fatso's enclosure and attempted to sit on the crocodile's back. Fatso bit Newman on his right leg, and Newman subsequently escaped the enclosure and returned to Divers Tavern. Mark Phillips, the manager of the pub, noted that Newman had pieces of tree bark hanging off him and chunks of flesh missing from his leg. Newman was given a beer and ordered an ambulance, and was taken to Broome Hospital, where he received dozens of stitches to his leg.  Malcolm Douglas, then-owner of the Crocodile Park, called Newman "fortunate", stating that "Fatso was a bit more sluggish than normal, due to the cooler nights we have been experiencing in Broome. If it had been warmer and Fatso was more alert, we would have been dealing with a fatality."" What is it with Aussie blokes and crocs?  The maniac who took me upriver in Maningrida, Arnhem Land (his father had opened the original trading post in the '40s) and taunted the maneaters is now I see a buffalo hunter offering hunting trips to wealthy tourists.  Personally I'd rather shoot the tourists.

When I said I didn't encounter any violence on my travels I completely forgot that I was punched three or four times in the eye at a party in Fitzroy, Melbourne after I protested to some bloke that he was being unfriendly (in a somewhat blunt way) because he told me to get lost when I tried to start a conversation.  I ended up in the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear for a couple of days.  Actually without wishing to give offence to anyone Melbourne was the one place I visited where I did feel uneasy at times.  I had to meet a friend at a pub in Essendon, and arrived a long time before he did.  Not an experience I'd care to repeat.  A bloke dropped dead in front of me in Footscray.  Someone I befriended broke his ankle trying to swing on a pub sign.  And worst of all my visit (during my second trip to Australia in 1985) coincided with the launch of Neighbours.

I'll leave it to you to produce a graph to represent the changing relationship between the price of a pint and the price of a Cure ticket since 1978. To be honest I don't drink much beer these days - a good whisk(e)y is much kinder on the bladder.  I don't go in pubs if I can help it either given their prices - a friend of mine used to like to indulge in a glass of wine and I nearly passed out ten years ago when I had to fork out over £6.00 for a Shiraz.  Fortunately he's dead now so that's no longer a problem.  A quick search on the internet shows that a pint in Bristol in 2019 would cost an average £4.36.  A ticket to see The Cure in Glasgow in 2019 cost £66.70.  So you could have bought 15 and a half pints instead of going to see the band if they had come to Bristol that year and charged the same for admission.  But in Glasgow a pint would have averaged £3.79, so you could have had 17 and a half pints - in other words the normal daily intake of a Glaswegian.  I can't find any record of them playing in Bristol since 1984.  This may have something to do with the fact that we still don't have an arena (one is promised, but that has been the case for decades).  Personally I wouldn't want to go to a huge arena or stadium anyway.  Fortunately when we saw The Cure in Canterbury we were in nice seats near the front just at the right level so that we didn't have to look up at the stage.  The largest venue I have been to is the Apollo in Manchester (an old cinema - capacity approx 3,000 when it was all seated).  Fine if you were at the front - we were within spitting distance of John Lydon when we saw PiL (and yes, people were still "gobbing" in 1986, which is why the poor fellow was wearing a matching bright yellow waterproof coat and sou'wester) - but at the back you really needed opera glasses.  I saw Run-DMC there and they just looked like puppets dancing on stage.  At least co-stars the Beastie Boys had a giant hydraulic phallus and girls dancing in cages (oh, the irony).  Two of their gigs on that tour of the UK ended in riots and one of the Boys was arrested on assault charges.

To finish, returning to Glastonbury, if I had a time machine I would love to go back to the free festival in 1971.  If my parents had been hippies they might well have taken me but as they were both old enough to have served in WW2 that wasn't very likely.  Partly because of lockdown I have, for the first time in my life, grown my hair to shoulder length so I would fit right in even if I am an old codger.  And I do really like hippie music - I was a massive fan of Pink Floyd and Hawkwind when I was a kid.  At Glastonbury that year you could have seen Bowie, Joan Baez, Edgar Broughton Band, Arthur Brown, Fairport Convention, Family, Hawkwind, Henry Cow, Melanie, Mighty Baby, Pink Fairies, Traffic and more.  Two bands with Australian connections appeared, both of whom I love, so I'll leave links to two tracks:

Quintessence 'Giants': https://youtu.be/VHf5OANEGoc - Hare Krishna!

Gong 'Fohat Digs Holes in Space':  https://youtu.be/Pk1jsxcXWqE - apparently Fohat is a Tibetan term "used to represent the active (male) potency of the Sakti (female reproductive power) in nature. The essence of cosmic electricity."  Who knew?

A film of the event, Glastonbury Fayre (filmed by Nic Roeg of Walkabout fame), is available on YouTube - at least here in the UK.  Well worth a watch to witness life in another era.

Get your orgone accumulator ready!

Oneiroman

An interesting article about a small venue The Cure played on 2 June '79 on the Three Imaginary Boys tour two weeks to the day before I saw them in Canterbury: https://behindthescenegloucestershiregigguide.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/witcombe-lodge-brockworth - it's not far from Bristol and as I think I was at home that weekend because I wasn't around for the Keynestock festival at the University of Kent on the same day it could be counted as a another lost opportunity.  There are three fascinating photos of the band playing at this place which was in the middle of nowhere.  One of the support bands were the Glaxo Babies and I recently (April 25) posted a link to a video of their performance on a local tv show in the 'Currently listening to' strand, with an amusing story about the gig.  The promoter who booked The Cure presumably also booked them to play at The Plough Inn in nearby Cheltenham on 10 March '79.

SueC

Quote from: Oneiroman on May 05, 2021, 20:27:58@SueC The ticket price for Glastonbury 2019 was £248.00 for the four days of the event - as well as The Cure you could have seen Stormzy, The Killers, Kylie Minogue, Miley Cyrus and many others.

To stay with your previous theme, I personally would not go see Kylie Minogue and Miley Cyrus even if I was paid £248.00 each to do so. 😾  No idea who the others are and on the whole I am blissful in my ignorance.


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 05, 2021, 20:27:58But I had my fill of living in a tent when I was in Australia as I probably spent the best part of a year in one.  It was dirt cheap in those days to stay in a caravan park/campsite and you had access to showers and laundry facilities and even catering in some of them.

It's still not too bad in some places - we love the Seven Mile Beach Caravan Park in Tasmania, where we've stayed in a chalet as well as brought a campervan and a tent on separate occasions (we have a thing about Tasmania) - nice and quiet and clean, good value, and that place even had an international book exchange, through which I read a novel in German which I didn't realise was translated from English (it was such good German! :lol:), so that I thought Simon Beckett was a German crime novelist until @Ulrich pointed out to me that he was actually British... :beaming-face

Also if you're going across the Nullarbor, your own tent is decidedly cleaner than a lot of the accommodation on offer there, and there's some fabulous campsites hosted by local sports grounds.  Warning:  Bring a sledgehammer if you try to camp in Hahndorf, or you won't get the tentpegs in the ground.

The biggest rip-off ever was paying $37 back in late 2009 to pitch our tent for a single night at the St Helens Big4 on the Tasmanian East Coast (there was nowhere else and we spent hours trying to find a non-stony spot in the back woods for the night before caving in) - a normal tent camping fee was between $10 and $20 per night with access to showers etc.  The next night we stayed in the wilderness at Evercreech for free; it was New Year's Eve and as if on cue there was a spectacular electrical storm at midnight - best New Year's ever. ♥


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 05, 2021, 20:27:58A long, lonely walk if you couldn't get a ride, especially at night (no lighting).  One evening I was walking back when a car pulled up as if to give me a lift, but a bloke stuck his head out and shouted "Why don't you piss on the road and surf on it?" before the vehicle sped off.

OMG, that's so rude!  :1f635:  I don't get people like this.  Personally I think the best use for such specimens is crocodile food.  Could stand to lose a few like this, given the overpopulation and the apparent downward slide of the human race.   :evil:


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 05, 2021, 20:27:58Talking of Broome I had to laugh when I read about the exploits of one tourist.  "On 12 July 2010, Michael Newman, a visitor from Melbourne, climbed into Fatso's enclosure in Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park near Broome, Western Australia. Newman, who was ejected from a nearby pub called Divers Tavern earlier that night for being overly drunk, scaled the barbed wire fence surrounding Fatso's enclosure and attempted to sit on the crocodile's back. Fatso bit Newman on his right leg, and Newman subsequently escaped the enclosure and returned to Divers Tavern. Mark Phillips, the manager of the pub, noted that Newman had pieces of tree bark hanging off him and chunks of flesh missing from his leg. Newman was given a beer and ordered an ambulance, and was taken to Broome Hospital, where he received dozens of stitches to his leg.  Malcolm Douglas, then-owner of the Crocodile Park, called Newman "fortunate", stating that "Fatso was a bit more sluggish than normal, due to the cooler nights we have been experiencing in Broome. If it had been warmer and Fatso was more alert, we would have been dealing with a fatality."

ROFL.  Was that before the Darwin Awards?


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 05, 2021, 20:27:58I see a buffalo hunter offering hunting trips to wealthy tourists.  Personally I'd rather shoot the tourists.

If this is the trophy hunter subset, you'll get no arguments from me!


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 05, 2021, 20:27:58When I said I didn't encounter any violence on my travels I completely forgot that I was punched three or four times in the eye at a party in Fitzroy, Melbourne after I protested to some bloke that he was being unfriendly (in a somewhat blunt way) because he told me to get lost when I tried to start a conversation.  I ended up in the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear for a couple of days.

You see?  That's what I meant by alcohol-fuelled violence...  :1f636:


Quote from: Oneiroman on May 05, 2021, 20:27:58Actually without wishing to give offence to anyone Melbourne was the one place I visited where I did feel uneasy at times.  I had to meet a friend at a pub in Essendon, and arrived a long time before he did.  Not an experience I'd care to repeat.  A bloke dropped dead in front of me in Footscray.  Someone I befriended broke his ankle trying to swing on a pub sign.

Also not wishing to give offence, I found Sydney a far friendlier place than Melbourne.  That's not to say there aren't friendly and decent people in Melbourne, obviously there are, it's just the vibe - and I've been there several times.  I don't feel comfortable there walking in the city streets, even museum-hopping in broad daylight - more comfortable in London, though that was in the 90s, and no issues in Sydney, Hobart or Adelaide.  The homeless problem in Melbourne is massive and I don't know why the people whose inflated salaries we pay so they should govern don't do something to get these people into accommodation.  But an experience I've personally not had elsewhere is being aggressively accosted for money in the street by an obvious alcoholic (though I'm sure that this happens elsewhere too - just I didn't get that in London or Sydney, going around alone).

On the plus side, here is a fantastic community project that dealt with homelessness:

https://choirofhardknocks.org.au/



Quote from: Oneiroman on May 05, 2021, 20:27:58And worst of all my visit (during my second trip to Australia in 1985) coincided with the launch of Neighbours.

Yeah, aaargh. 🤮
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on May 05, 2021, 07:36:03We need to ask Ulrich to calculate the price of the average Cure ticket since the turn of the millennium in beer equivalent units (BEUs).

My expertise in beer is not questioned, but I must admit I'm still bad at mathematics... :1f629:
A day without substance, a change of thought
The atmosphere rots with time

Oneiroman

@Ulrich So long as we don't get into a debate as to which is better - British beer or German beer?