As a big fan in the mid 80s, and being totally blown away by their big hit song She Sells Sanctuary, I decided to pop along to Hammersmith Apollo to see what The Cult were up to these days. The Mission are also doing a slot tonight before the Cult, sadly, killing Joke pulled out for reasons unknown.
My main objective for attending a gig is always about the music first and foremost, but I admit I was keen to see how the Flamboyant frontman Ian Astbury would be decked out.His attire was quite practical, black jeans and a practical jacket, I was expecting leather trousers, but the black shades were present.
The show began with Lil Devil followed by Rain with Ian doing his famous dance and beating the tambourine, there is still an air of Jim Morrison going on.
I had noticed that the crowd were rather reserved and quiet, some looking slightly bored, and I think this may have been frustrating Ian as he commented, why are you all sitting down? why come to a gig and sit down? loosen up, he always struck me as out spoken.
He was doing his best to work the crowd being very friendly and sociable, he really wanted to see everyone enjoying themselves, which I must admit sadly was not working, but kudos to him for trying.
My mind goes back to when I first saw them in the mid 80s, where their image was very psychedelic , a Doors and Zeppelin influence, mixed with a look of the North American Indian.The line up was different then, with Jamie Stewart on bass, and Les Warner on drums.
After the Love album, the band went through a major musical turn around.It became rather stadium AC/DC if you like, but Ian had the voice to back it, and Billy had the guitar skills.
Various tracks were played from the new critically acclaimed Album Choice Of Weapon, which has a powerful cover of what looks like a shaman.The Wolf, Lucifer, sounding quite aggressive then to the one I was waiting for, She Sells Sanctuary. This tune came out when radio stations were brave, and not ruled by advertising spits Ian.
Lead guitarist Billy Duffy still plays a white Gretsch guitar, still has the spikey hair and the hard working musician look on his face.
Ian is an entertaining character, enthusiastic and witty.The Cult still have what it takes, strong vocals authority and energy.
The new Album Choice of Weapon released May 2012 on Cooking Vinyl Records.