Author Topic: 2018.07.07 London, Hyde Park (England) "British Summer Time"  (Read 18534 times)

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Offline Ulrich

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Re: 2018.07.07 London, Hyde Park (England) "British Summer Time"
« Reply #180 on: July 12, 2018, 20:17:10 »
@helloimageifonly: well done!

I am there with the Peru t-shirt lol https://youtu.be/_34TOrkomos?t=9m33s

Cool, nice to see you there!
but memory's not life... and it's not love.

Offline Ulrich

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Re: 2018.07.07 London, Hyde Park (England) "British Summer Time"
« Reply #181 on: July 13, 2018, 10:51:02 »
but memory's not life... and it's not love.

Online dsanchez

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The Cure 40th Anniversary Concert: A fan's review
« Reply #182 on: July 14, 2018, 11:48:14 »
The Cure 40th Anniversary Concert: A fan's review
by dsanchez

When The Cure announced a unique European show last December to celebrate their 40 years (1978-2018) I didn't think it twice and bought right away the tickets for the gig which later I found out was part of an enormous festival called "British Summer Time" sponsored by a known bank. No-one knew what to expect of this 40th Anniversary celebration, and there were speculations of former members joining the event. Sadly, this never happened, and both Andy (whose Tweet I can't find now) and Lol wrote on Twitter:


Those posts seemed to me a bit melancholic. I have the impression they wanted to be part of this celebration.

I arrived to London on Thursday 5th of July and headed to Reading (1h from London) the hometown of my other favorite band: Slowdive. On Friday, I went to the Cure fan meeting at the Hawley Arms in Camden town. We had the place booked for us from 6pm to 9pm and had an excellent time with people from all over the world, this forum included! The place didn't have air conditioned and that weekend proved to be one of London's hottest days in year. Still, we had a blast. During the gathering, the match Brazil - Belgium was screened, and one of the most bizarre moments came when, as the match ended (and so did Brazil in the World Cup), "End" was played in the background. The gathering was followed by a show of The Cureheads, also in Camden, to which some of us attended.

Around 13:00 on Saturday I headed to Hyde Park, a huge park in the center of London, wearing a Peru football t-shirt (is World Cup time and I love that t-shirt anyway!) . There was an airport-like security in the gate and we all were carefully examined before getting in. Just after my entrance, there was a kiosk where I could get the festival program, but to my surprise I had to pay £5 if I wanted to get one (in every other festival I went to this was free). Of course, I was not willing to pay £5 for a festival program!

I rushed to the enormous main stage (the "Great Oak Stage") which was already full of (Cure) fans. It was REALLY hot and we could feel the sun's force, burning our heads. The stage had two big trees which, from far, gave the appearance of holding it but once you got closer, you realized they were just fake plastic trees. I wanted to get right in front of the stage but to my dismay I found out that people who arrived early (i.e. around noon) got wristbands that gave them access to that area, which was surrounded by a fence (by the way, it is the first festival where I see this separation). I paid an extra £10 to have a "primary access" (means you could enter before everyone else) but there was nowhere written that wristbands would be distributed to access the sector right in front of the stage and that without them you could not get in later. This unclear information turned into chaos, and a 100-people queue (who paid the extra £10 to have a "primary access") was formed near the main stage with the hope of getting a wristband to see the bands closer. A friend from Switzerland didn’t want to wait and got a ticket upgrade for an appalling £100, just to find out it didn’t give her access to the area right in front the stage.



As I was walking, I could hear Slowdive playing the beautiful notes of "Slomo", the opening track of their latest album. It was a bitter start for me at the festival because I could not see them from a close position: instead, I had to see them from behind the fence which was very, very far. In the image below, you can see the "General Admission and Garden View" sector. I was right behind it, and it meant I could only watch Slowdive on the screens.



I got better news as I met Jojo after the excellent Slowdive gig, and he was kind enough to hand me a wristband of a friend of his who didn’t need it, so I was lucky enough to get access to the "General Admission and Garden View” at last. Luckily, all the people doing the queue to get wristband got them as well, although they had to wait at least one hour under the sun.

The festival area was huge and I really didn’t realize until I was there the gigantic festival I was in. The OFF Festival in Katowice, Poland, with 20 000 or the Pohoda Festival in Slovakia, with 30 000 people capacity, seemed tiny by comparison to this 65 000 people festival.

Around 16:00 we decided (I was with a couple of friends) to get some food and look for a place to take a rest (let me repeat this: this was probably the hottest day of the year in London!). We were surprised that there were not big tents for people to eat (a big tent means you can eat your food in the shadow and not under the direct sun) and instead there were only a few scattered tables in the festival area.

The day went by and it was already 19:00 (yes, I did not see any other band besides Slowdive until then)  ut the sun was still there hitting all of us very strong. I wanted to charge my phone and there was a place to do it, but, oh surprise! I had to pay £5 for it. I remembered that a bank sponsored the whole thing and realized they only care about taking advantage of our passion for their profit.

In another, smaller stage, the Ride show commenced around 19:20. This is a band that I wanted to see for a while and they didn’t disappoint. They played tracks from their latest album “Weather Diaries” and classics such as “Vapour Trail” or “Leave Them All Behind”. The connection between the band and audience was clear from the start. The people sung almost every song. In front of me was a blond guy in their forties with an old Ride t-shirt and I could imagine him following the band in the 90's. The sound was crystal clear and for a moment I wished The Cure played in this stage and not in the gigantic Oak Stage.



The festival program didn’t allow much time to switch between Ride and The Cure. As we rushed to the Oak Stage, we could hear the notes of “Plainsong” opening the show. Robert said previous times he hates sunny places and he was clearly uncomfortable by the sun hitting the stage (and thus his face) directly, despite it was already 20:20. On the stage we could see Reeves in the right side followed by Robert in the center and Simon and Roger more to the left. A little behind was Jason. Simon, the man who does not age, had a pink bass guitar and his 1993 look and I immediately though in the Great X-pectations Festival 1993, the last concert with Boris, with him wearing his black-red shirt and similar look. “Plainsong” was followed by “Pictures Of You” and then “High”. Having followed The Cure heavily in the last years I predicted the main set would be like the one the band has been using since 2012. And it was.

As the show continued I was wondering if there would be any surprise at all, and not necessarily in the setlist. Then I remembered Lol’s tweet and I realized we wouldn’t see any ex-member doing a triumphant entrance (something like Alan Wilder appearing in a Depeche Mode concert). One of my favorites, “Push”, was played and I had a flashback, remembering Robert with his short hair in Orange and me watching that video in a VHS player when I was sixteen. Fourty years of The Cure and nearly the half of that time me listening to them. I got a little melancholic for a moment but then somewhat happier as I my attention refocus to The Cure and I hear  Robert singing “like strawberries and cream is the only way to be…”. I realize I am a lucky man to have the chance to celebrate this anniversary of the band I love, with the band I love.

I look around in the audience and I see the devotion of the people, people from everywhere. There was someone with an Argentinian flag on my left and someone with a Mexican flag on my right. I hear people speaking different languages: a French girl next to me, a German in front drinking wine, Portuguese, Greeks, Scottish… and not only a mix of nationalities: also, ages. It shows how The Cure’s music trascends anything: borders, ages, religions, you name it. You can see only happy faces around. Yes, again, I know this is not the best concert setlist by The Cure, but like I said, it does not matter. When someone invites you to his party you go and enjoy, you’re not complaining why they don’t serve cocktail instead of beer. Yes, I though it would be more special, setlist-speaking, but it turns out CURAETION-25 was better in that aspect. In retrospective, I think Robert just wanted to throw a party and get there as many people as possible. And I think he got it: sixty-five thousand people prove that.

As with any Cure show in the last years, a mainset that starts with “Plainsong” finishes with “Disintegration” and this is not the exception. Although I miss the dynamics of the “Entreat” version, Robert’s voice was great and this classic proved to be, as usual, a must in every show. I still miss more "punch" (I don't know what English word to use. Passion?) in the drumming. Compared to the Slowdive and Ride shows earlier in the day, both with top-notch drummers, there was something missing in this component in The Cure's set.

After a short break, the band returned for a final encore. It’s a pop one and starts with “Lullaby” followed by “The Caterpillar”. Jojo, in front of me, makes a grin as the notes of “Friday I’m In Love” start. I think hardcore fans must be tired of this one but this is a still a great pop-song and, in a such an event, “Friday” would be probably more missed than “Siamese Twins”.

Before the most popular Cure song ever is played, Robert does a short speech (see video below): “Forty years ago on this weekend is the first we played as The Cure in Crawley… and if you asked then what I would be doing in forty years I would have been wrong with my answer (…) Thank you very much” and I realized again how lucky I am to be part of such a special moment.



“Boys Don’t Cry” was followed by unexpected additions such as “Jumping Someone Else's Train” and “Grinding Halt”. The hardcore fans, those who saw The Cure 25, 50, 100 or who knows how many times, are finally (more) satisfied as this improves the usual 'festival setlist'. We already know what is next. Is nearly 10:15 pm Saturday Night in London and the choice is obvious. The two songs of the first single of The Cure, released in September 1978 are played, and "Killing An Arab" proves to be again the best closer song for any The Cure concert - always. The concert finishes and all the members leave the stage, except Robert who walks from right to left, kind of jumping at times and thanking the audience. He says "see you again very soon". His participation in Meltdown as a curator seem that motivated him to release/create new material, as he stated in recent interviews, but time will tell.

I met with several members of curefans.com after the concert (x-phile, Trust.., helloimageifonly, Susanna...). Some of them arrived to Hyde Park around 10:00am so that they could be in the first row. This means that they endured twelve hours under the sun in London's hottest day of the year. I probably would have fainted if I did the same (yes, even if I come from Peru). There's something in The Cure that makes you do things that you would not normally do for any other band no matter how good it is. From the very first moment you listen to The Cure, some people (like me, or like you) have an instant connection, a connection that becomes stronger during the years. There's just no way to explain why or how that happens. I guess is like being in love, only that "being in love" goes away after 2-4 years, and with The Cure, you can be in love a lifetime.
Strangers passing in the street, by chance two separate glances meet and I am you and what I see is me...

Offline Ulrich

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Re: 2018.07.07 London, Hyde Park (England) "British Summer Time"
« Reply #183 on: July 14, 2018, 15:32:52 »
Awesome review, thanks so much for it!
but memory's not life... and it's not love.

Online MeltingMan

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Re: 2018.07.07 London, Hyde Park (England) "British Summer Time"
« Reply #184 on: July 14, 2018, 17:42:55 »
Wonderful report. Well done, David!  :smth023
Tofano nous montre le crépuscule entrant dans le
boudoir d'une jeune miss à Hyde Park.
(J.P.)

Online dsanchez

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Things @BSTHydePark needs to improve
« Reply #185 on: July 15, 2018, 14:38:41 »
Although I had a great time last weekend, I noticed several things in the festival that I did not like. I hope someone at BST will read this and take action. By the way, the below has nothing to do with The Cure or any of the other great bands that played there. My overall impression was that they wanted to charge us for everything and honestly it was an appalling ripoff in some cases. Let's see:

£ 5 for charging your phone battery (no kidding!)

£ 5 for the festival program (which is normally free in any other festival)

£ 3,5 for cash withdrawal (of any amount) in any of the ATMs there

£ 100 to £ 150 for an upgrade to a VIP ticket (which did not include, however, access to the zone right in front of the stage)

Also:

No food tents for people to eat under a roof rather than under the sun. There were only scatered tables in the festival area, but no tent over them. You had to look yourself for some tree or something else if you wanted to eat in the shadow.

Little time to switch between stages: If you wanted to see the full show of Ride (like I did) you had very little time to switch stages and get on time for the next show (The Cure's show!). Either you had to run, or you had to leave before Ride's set ended in order to catch The Cure's full set.

The "Primary Entry" thing was unclear. Several people with this kind of ticket were surprised to arrive to the festival and see others with wristbands. Yes, there was an indication that the area near the stage would be of "limited capacity" but the information about this was overall blurry and prove of that is the hundreds of people queued in the afternoon to get a wristband for the area near the stage (and some of them maybe never got it)
Strangers passing in the street, by chance two separate glances meet and I am you and what I see is me...

Offline Ulrich

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You're right with your criticism of the money-grabbing nature of many festivals these days.  :1f62a:
Which is why I don't go to many of 'em!

£ 5 for the festival program (which is normally free in any other festival)

Not true. It is free with some; depending on the festival or program size (sometimes it's more like a "book") it can cost.
(Just like some bands do sell "tour program" books at their shows.)
but memory's not life... and it's not love.

Online dsanchez

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Not true. It is free with some; depending on the festival or program size (sometimes it's more like a "book") it can cost.
(Just like some bands do sell "tour program" books at their shows.)

Well, I meant those little programs that fit in your money purse, nothing really fancy. I didn't mean a book program or a program such as the one The Cure was selling in the European 2016 Tour - which I was happy to pay 10 EUR for.
Strangers passing in the street, by chance two separate glances meet and I am you and what I see is me...