Concert Reviews

The Cult Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 30, 2011    
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The Cult - Manchester Academy, Manchester (UK) - 30th of January 2011.

In walked the band after a short musical intro, against a backdrop of stars and a skull and crossbones,and struck into a new Cult track 'Every Man And Woman Is A Star'. Astbury strode quickly and confidently across the stage channelling the late great rocker Jim Morrison with long wavy locks, a mix of darkness and mystique with his Hells Angel attire, black leather gloved hands and a dead furry friend dangling on his belt, with his requisite cowboy boots. Whilst Billy Duffy under the white shaft of light with his white Gretsch guitar shining brightly, bearing more than a passing resemblance to Gordon Ramsey. The backdrop now changed to a rolling silent movie which played throughout the whole show, from war torn images to Diva's of music, the 60's, right through to American Indians and plenty more evocative imagery.

The band launched into 'White'' from the album 'Ceremony' whilst the background showed a moving scene of winter, with snow covered trees. After 'Ghost Dance', the band left the stage for a ten minute break whilst Astbury asked us to watch this short movie – bizarre footage about a South Dakota reservation, as Astbury says, it gives us more about what the band are about, but in reality left me bewildered. Astbury yelled as he walked off 'When we come back we are gonna kill ya'

The crowd seemed a bit too quiet initially and I wondered when the natives might start to get restless and start jostling. However we didn't have long to wait, as soon as the more popular numbers rang out; 'Horse Nation', 'She Sells Sanctuary' and 'Go West' had the masses moving again. Then Astbury roars and spouts out 'Dirty Little Rockstar' and you're so convinced he's been there and done it all. I've gotta say Astbury did forget a couple of words from the lyrics and the vocals could have been a tad higher in the mix.

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Amongst my favourite tracks were the rocky 'Sweet Soul Sister', the up-tempo rocker 'Love Removal Machine' and the howling sacred song 'Wild Flower'. As the night wore on Astbury got grumpier and grumpier and spat his dummy out a few times, smashed a tambourine and throwing it into the crowd, and keeping us guessing what his next move might be.To bring the set to a rousing close Astbury declared he was going to do a cover from a famous Manchester band, but then launched into 'Break On Through' by The Doors. It'll be the closest we will ever get to witnessing a superb Doors cover live – you could almost sense Jim Morrison's spirit applauding. Even speaking as an ardent Cult fan I wouldn't say the show was worth the money, as I'm sure many of the packed crowd would have preferred more of a greatest hits show, which I'm sure the band will go for at their planned UK festival appearances at the Isle of Wight Festival and Download in the Summer.

Mark Warburton


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