Five reasons we love The Cure

Ahead of their two Royal Albert Hall gigs, we wax lyrical about why Robert Smith's goth-pop giants are (still) amazing

The Cure

The Cure

1. Robert Smith isn’t as miserable as everyone thinks.
Often pegged as the lord of indie gloom, Cure frontman Robert Smith has written some of the most heartrending break-up songs of all time (‘Disintegration’, ‘Pictures of You’, ‘In Between Days’). Surprisingly, though, cheerful Bobby’s love life is pretty sorted: he’s been married since 1988 to his childhood sweetheart Mary Poole. They’re officially the world’s cutest goth couple: he was Tim Burton’s inspiration for Edward Scissorhands, she apparently ‘used to dress as a witch to scare little children’.

2. Age hasn’t mellowed him.
By the time they reach their mid-fifties, most rock frontmen have cut their hair and started dressing at least vaguely sensibly. Smith’s world-famous barnet – greasy, backcombed and thoroughly frazzled – is more out of control than ever, and he’s still rocking the lipstick and eyeliner look that he made de rigueur for sensitive teens in the ’80s. He’s 54. Star.

3. Their first proper frontman was Peter O’Toole.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the late star of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ but a ‘demon footballer and Bowie fan’ from the band’s home town of Crawley. He sang with them for a few months in 1977 then went to work on a kibbutz in Israel, leaving Smith in charge. The rest is goth-pop history.

4. They had the best band nicknames.
Laurence ‘Lol’ Tolhurst met Smith when they were both five years old, and went on to play drums and keyboards for The Cure for 13 years. Which means that for more than a decade, a key member of the UK’s mopiest pop group was called Lol.

5. They never leave an audience wanting more.
The Cure’s 32-song Bestival set in 2011 lasted two-and-a-half hours.Their last few tours have seen them perform three albums back to back, plus encores. Okay, their tickets aren’t cheap – but you can’t deny that you get plenty of Bob for your buck.

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