One of the best 1980s bands (Can you guess?)
I was never a dedicated Cure fan. For starters, I wasn’t a goth: I had weaned myself on Heavy metal, before moving onto punk and the alternative scene in the early nineties — then a bit of techno just before I left school.
That didn’t mean that I didn’t notice them; they were impossible not to know of. In fact, I took them for granted that they existed, and would never not exist. And they were always on the periphery of my musical interests — like most of the bands I enjoy now.
But I remember living for a few months at my Aunty’s house in the innercity suburb of Lewisham — an area with a distinctly 19th-century feel about it with Victorian terraces and old-school streets — and hearing ‘Love Cats’ on the radio while sitting out on the front door step, enjoying the sun.
It was also an exciting time in my life: I had just discovered the counter-culture in a big way, going to arthouse cinemas and watching documentaries about C.G. Jung, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes; keeping a dream diary and talking incessantly. I took photos and hung out with friends at a local cemetery; and my one goal in life was to be a filmmaker.
And if that doesn’t sound like a goth, I don’t what does. But still, I swear I wasn’t.
Anyway, I think over the last twenty years, the Cure are not one of the bands that future generations have embraced whole-heartedly, not in the way that Fleetwood Mac saw a resurgence a few years ago. Or a band that powered through the following decades like U2 or Madonna.
But I remember sitting in a packed student pub a few years ago, eating fish and chips by myself, and seeing ‘The Forest’ come on the video ‘jukebox’ — and thinking to myself: my god, this is a good song; these guys really were one of the best bands of the 1980s.
And that is the one thing about the Cure that was important, no matter how gloomy they were perceived to be, there was an underlying feeling of genuine optimism in their music. They made you feel good about life.
And in a world that you discover as an adult is almost about making you feel the opposite, something that has the power to make you feel positive about life, really fucking means something!