I have not been to the new Eventim Apollo since it changed names, although I wnt to a lot of gigs there when it was the Hammersmith Odeon. And Also The Trees and the Cure, both of whom share tonight’s stage, last played here back in 1984.

The Cure have promised much this year, but have failed to keep up with their promises. I have, however seen them twice this year and at two different venues. The Cure's current line-up consists of Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, Roger O'Donnell and new boy, Reeves Gabrels, who was previously in David Bowie's Tin Machine.

2014 saw the band release their first new material since 2008's ‘4:13 Dream’. They covered the Beatles ‘Hello Goodbye’, which saw the band play as a three-piece accompanied by Paul McCartney's son, James, on keyboards. On the same covers album, ‘The Art of McCartney’, and the Amazon exclusive version, Robert also covered Wings ‘C Moon’.

Tonight, is the first time the band have played near Christmas for a good number of years. As they have no new material to showcase of their own, you just never know which part of their huge back pages they will turn too. They have not toured with And Also The Trees since 1984, and speculation and hope is high that they will play the same set as they did back then. Of course, the Cure being the Cure don't do what you expect them to do.

They come on at 8.08 p.m. and play for just over three hours. Gabrels has given the Cure a greater rock direction but – thank God - they still remain an oddity. After kicking off with ‘Shake Dog Shake’ from 1984’s ‘The Top’, the Cure go on over the course of the night to present that whole album in full, but not in the order it appears on the record.

The main set lasts 105 minutes, soundtracking mostly material from 1984 and 1985, with ‘The Wailing Wall’, making its first airing since it came out in 1984. They play another rarity as well with ‘A Man Inside My Mouth’ from 1985’s ‘Half an Octopus’ EP.

The Cure mostly ignore their recent albums, but we do get ‘Alt-End’ and ‘Before 3’ from 2004's ‘The Cure’, while the only nod to ‘4:13 Dream’ is ‘The Hungry Ghost,’ a regular inclusion of their sets since then. The mood of the set is black, showcasing their more Gothic side which pleases the sold-out crowd.

They deliver four encores, which are equally as melancholic, playing tracks once more from ‘The Top’, and three numbers from my favourite album, their second studio record, ’Seventeen Seconds’. For their final Christmas kiss, they decide, however, to go soft on us, and show off their more commercial side with ‘Love Cats’, ‘Let's Go to Bed’, ‘Why Can't I Be You?’ and 1980’s ‘Boys Don't Cry’, which is the oldest song here played tonight. The final song ‘Hey You’ is a strange choice, and an album track from 1987’s ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’.

Tonight’s set has showcased forty songs, and for over three hours has featured the Cure at their darkest. With all happening a few days before Christmas, what more could you ask for at this time of year?















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