ONE of the joys of travelling as a reporter is the opportunity to work with great photographers, and I’ve been unusually blessed in that respect – as I was on this trip, travelling with Melody Maker’s Stephen Sweet. And one of the frustrations of working as a writer is realising how little impact thousands of your words might have when measured against a single frame snapped by a great photographer, which was what happened when this story originally ran. I’d mumbled something to Sweet about maybe focusing on the odd relationship between The Cure’s Robert Smith and his mascara-smeared legions of lookalike fans, and Sweet nailed it the first night, outside the band’s hotel in Chicago.
That’s the cavernous isolation and agonizing emotion that comes from listening to goth rock. It’s one of the most divisive genres of music, reviled by those who pigeonhole it and adored by those who give it a fair chance. What exactly is it, and why should you want to spend your time listening to such gloomy, self-indulgent sounds?
If you didn’t catch the (excellent) first part of this series – Strange Days: part one 1977-1979 – I thoroughly recommend you read that first.
Site back and enjoy the Cure’s journey through Seventeen Seconds and Faith.
The second chapter finds our (cult) heroes trying to re-group following the departure of one of the members of what was really the first stable line-up of The Cure. How important was Michael Dempsey in the creation of the material and to the stability of the group?