Music review: The Cure, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow

The Cure have always been a better pop group than rock band. Annoyingly, their devotion to heavy industrial sludge far outweighs their love of charmingly eccentric bubblegum hooks. More’s the pity. Headlining Glasgow’s first mud-caked day of the Summer Sessions festival, their first Scottish gig since 1992 was dominated by an interminable procession of colourless dirges which made Atmosphere by Joy Division sound like Atmosphere by Russ Abbot.

Robert Smith of The Cure PIC: Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Robert Smith of The Cure PIC: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

The Cure, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow **

The first hour of this lengthy set was particularly punishing, so much so than when they eventually launched into those indelible indie Chart Show classics In Between Days and Just Like Heaven, it felt like the sun coming out to play.

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I almost wept with relief. Alas, it was a false dawn. After an intense, extended version of A Forest – the acceptable face of their gloomy minimalism, it even triggered Radio Ga Ga audience handclaps – it was back to boring business.

Robert Smith’s strident yelp hasn’t aged at all, he sounded great, but would it have killed him to engage a bit more with the crowd?

Smith is a witty, personable gent, and while I wasn’t expecting a torrent of gags from the Goth Ken Dodd, he trudged through the motions while we schlepped through the mud.

A wonderful closing pop trifecta of Friday I’m In Love, Close to Me and the immortal Boys Don’t Cry offered a belated reward for enduring the epic display of drear which preceded it. Paul Whitelaw