QuoteThere have been a lot of goth books this year following LTW editor John Robb's 'The Art of Darkness – The History Of Goth'. The latest is by former member of The Cure, Lol Tolhurst.(Read more at the link above)
With Lol's good friend and collaborator Budgie having penned the foreword, there's a wholly reliable endorsement of what's to come.
Here comes my declaration of interest. I first met Lol back in September 2016 when invited by his publisher to do a Q&A for the release of his previous book, Cured. We've not since asked one another round for tea as there's an ocean between us, but we've remained cyberfriends. While writing this book, I was one of a number of people from whom Lol sought input. I was/am an outsider, a misfit, and yes, a post-punk goth. I told him how much The Cure had meant to me as a sad and shy young girl who'd just moved to London, and we shared experiences of what it was like to grow up in Coventry, in my case, and in his, Crawley. We were hicks dreaming of what the rest of the world might offer, itching to wriggle from our respective cocoons and flutter off into an imagined widescreen, panoramic future, suffering/enjoying what Lol calls a 'melancholy longing'.
Outsiders often find inspiration in literature, and literature certainly features in Lol's tome as he shares how at a tender age, he was significantly influenced by something of a holy trinity; Sylvia Plath, (for whom he has great affection and considers '...the patron saint of postmodern feminist Goths'), Albert Camus (whose novel L'Étranger (The Stranger) inspired The Cure Song 'Killing An Arab'), and Jean-Paul Sartre, (who Lol posits '...directly inspired the interior explorations of goth bands like Joy Division and The Cure.'). As Lol puts it, "Literature inspired music and music inspired literature in an endless recursive loop."
Lol, who grew up at a tantalisingly and comparatively close-but-no-cigar distance from London, has now lived in Los Angeles for over a quarter of a century and is therefore well placed to view and comment upon goth from a transatlantic if not global perspective. He can authoritatively explore, for example, both the English / European pastoral gothicity of And Also The Trees, and conversely the 'bohemian ghost' of Jim Morrison and The Doors – who for many mark the ground zero of goth – that still haunts his local beach.
Elegantly, Lol divides content largely into three distinct sections, with The Doors featuring in the chapter Prototypes in Part One (Origins), alongside Nico, Scott Walker and David Bowie. And Also The Trees, who Lol produced back in 1983, appear in Part Three (Legion), rightfully ensconced with Cocteau Twins (among others) in the chapter Spiritual Alchemists. But for the more casual reader, it may well be Part Two, (Eternals), that delivers the money shot, as it's here that you get the really big guns; Joy Division, Bauhaus, Siouxsie And The Banshees, and The Cure.
The overall tone of this work strikes a healthy and engaging balance between personal reminiscence and social anthropology.
Lol embraces all opportunity to diversify while seeking the dark melancholy in a wider context of which music is just part, and this includes fashion, art and architecture. In his view, The Cure albums Seventeen Seconds, Faith and Pornography collide to form a Francis Bacon-style triptych, while elsewhere in the book he delves into German Expressionism in the context of art and cinema, making vibrant and solid links with goth.
QuoteDespite the amended schedule, an unopposed festival closing set by The Cure went off without a hitch, taking place over the course of nearly two and a half hours on the Riot stage.
Four hours earlier, Oxford shoegazers Ride appeared on the same stage, performing at Riot Fest for the first time since 2019.
"I saw The B-52s here last time. And I was really pleased with that. I enjoyed that. It made my day - made my year," said Ride singer and guitarist Andy Bell backstage prior to the group's set. "The Cure of course," he said with a smile when asked what artists he looked forward to seeing this time around.
As Cure frontman Robert Smith continues his battle to rein in prices, the group undercut just about everyone else on the three day bill, once again selling t-shirts for just $25.
Clad in an Amy Winehouse tee Sunday, Smith kept banter to a minimum in Chicago, letting the music do the talking as the group continues their most profitable tour yet (even after lowering ticket prices).
Following a jubilant U.S. arena run which found the group shaking up the setlist each night amidst three hour plus performances, The Cure put a slightly greater emphasis on the hits Sunday amidst a shortened festival set - but still worked in a trio of new tracks from the forthcoming studio album Songs of a Lost World, the group's first since 2008.