The Cult @ Metro City, Perth (12/05/10)
Without wanting this review to resemble a scratched record of the The Cult’s existing FasterLouder reviews, let’s try another angle.
Q: Did The Cult rock at Perth Metros?
A: Yes they did. Especially during the ‘second half’ of the performance when Lil Devil, Sweet Soul Sister, Wildflower and Love Removal Machine were aired.
Q: How did the performance of Love in its entirety prevail?
A: It was a touch lacklustre. The album, regardless of its rockisms, showed its age and the fillers on the album made for perfect premeditated drink runs /toilet stops. At times the band seemed rather uninspired and were obviously going through the motions. As much as the band may credit Love with being the album that really started The Cult, it was certainly a gamble on their behalf. If Electric or Sonic Temple had been chosen instead, the show would have an absolute stormer!
Q: What was the Astbury/Duffy combo like?
A: Ian Astbury seems to be still shaking off his Jim Morrison panto-mojo looks (and doing a bad job of it) His once rich and full set of pipes now sound as if they’ve rusted and clogged up. Many a note was missed, approximately 306 less ‘Babys’ were sung than were necessary, and there was less shimmying and shaking than Cult gigs of yore, but he maintained a buoyant rapport with the appreciative crowd. Billy Duffy was the highlight of the show by a mile. No guitarist can rock a White Falcon like Duffy and despite his monitor problems, pulled off a brilliant display of lead work without it ever tilting into shred territory.
Q: How was the crowd?
A: Plentiful, drunk and loving it. One punter loved it a bit too much and threw a cup of ice at Duffys back, mid-solo during She Sells Sanctuary. Duffy looked as if he was about to walk off stage when he grabbed the mic and invited the chap onstage to throw ice at his face. Hilarity ensued about Australian homosexuality and the laughs continued as Duffy finished his spiel and launched back into his lead in perfect time. One of the unplanned highlights of the show.
Q: Any other interesting observations?
A: Astbury’s ‘back-up’ /2nd tambourine player. Not only did Astbury have ten tambourines at his disposal next to his Red Bulls and fluffy towels, he had a chap crouched behind the backline playing tambourine into a microphone whilst Astbury banged away at his onstage. Ok, a second guitarist may be necessary, perhaps a keyboard player if needed, but back-up tambourine? In hindsight it isn’t all that surprising, if any band were to do such a thing it would be The Cult.
Q: All in all?
A: A pretty solid rock show beginning with an album performed by two stocky, Pommy fifty-somethings (with crack backing band) written when they were two gaunt, goth English lads twenty five years ago. The performance of the album, if anything, punctuated the second half of the set with added bite. If Love was the album that defined and introduced the cohesive ‘Cult sound’ to the masses then the selection of hits in the latter half of the show brilliantly showcased how a move to the United States to record whilst listening to plenty of AC/DC was their shotgun to arenas and platinum sales.
This show didn’t even come close to the brilliant Perth Big Day Out performance in 1995, but then, with the hi-octane rock that is the Cult live in concert, adding fifteen years vintage to the band was never going to do them any favours. In keeping with the theme of Astbury’s frequent comments about the merits of alcohol (he does seem to be a walking advertisement to the demon drink), like any good wine, theres a shelf life, ideal drinking period, correct storage etc. The Cult, on this occasion, showed signs of oxidisation related to age and a bad cork.