August 1, 2021

Back in Time: the day the Cures gave their first concert

There are memorable days in rock history and Pixbear makes you (re) discover them. On December 18, 1976, the Cure, then known as Malice, gave their first concert at Worth Abbey in Crawley (England). Back on the first performance of this group which will become a few weeks later Easy Cure then The Cure in 1978.

The genesis of The Cure dates back to 1973 when Robert Smith (piano), Michael « Mick » Dempsey (guitar), Laurence « Lol » Tolhurst (percussions), Alan Hill (bass) and Marc Ceccagno (guitar), then schoolchildren at Notre Dame Middle School in Crawley (England), decided to start a group called The Obelisk. In January 1976, Marc Ceccagno enlist Robert Smith, Michael Dempsey and two classmates from St Wilfrid’s Comprehensive School in a new project called Malice. This group mainly engages in covers of David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Alex Harvey. In April 1976, Marc Ceccagno and his two classmates are replaced by Lol Tolhurst (drums), Martin Creasy (vocals) and Porl Thompson (guitar).


“To get the date, we had to pretend we were a folk group! “

The quintet rehearses and composes its first songs with a view to giving concerts. He got a first date on December 18, 1976 at Worth Abbey in Crawley (England). ” We quickly started writing our own songs and on December 18, 1976 we played our first gig at a place in Sussex called Worth Abbey ” remember Robert Smith. “It was an acoustic concert, we sat on the floor and played bongos. We didn’t call ourselves Malice for this one actually because, to get the date, we had to pretend we were a folk band! “.

“This is where the Cure sound started!” “

For Malice, the real baptism of fire took place two days later, on December 20, 1976, at St. Wilfrids School Hall in Crawley (England). This time, the band takes out the drums and amps. “Personally, I consider that the first concert we did as a group that became The Cure was on December 20, 1976, it was Malice’s in our old high school, St. Wilfrid’s Comprehensive School” said Lol Tolhurst. “Granted, we had done a sort of concert a few days earlier in the Minstrels Gallery at Worth Abbey for Upjohn’s Christmas party, and a rather odd ‘performance’ in 1973 as The Obelisk, but it was our first full concert. (…) The St. Wilfrids School Hall concert had drums and amplified guitars. This is where the Cure sound started! “.

During this service, Malice plays in particular the covers Wild Thing and Foxy Lady from Jimi Hendrix as well as Suffragette City from David Bowie. It also offers a first version of the original song. A Night Like This which will be found later on the sixth album of Cure Head on the Door (1985). “No one could make out anything! “ recalls Robert Smith. “It was just a wall howling with feedback!” Three hundred people came, 200 left and the rest took to the stage! Lol started singing Wild Thing, Porl felt so humiliated that he hit him and Martin ran away saying “This is crap! »No one has seen him since… We immediately disbanded the group! “.


A few weeks after this concert, Martin Creasy officially leaves training. The quartet then takes the name ofEasy Cure inspired by the title of a song by Lol Tolhurst and tries to recruit a new singer. Finally, it is Robert Smith that sticks to it. In 1978, Porl Thompson leave the group, Robert Smith wishing to favor a more minimalist approach.

It was then that the trio composed of Robert Smith, Lol Tolhurst and Michael Dempsey will take the name of The Cure. Will follow the signing with the label Friction Records in September 1978 and the release of the first album. Three Imaginary Boys May 8, 1979, the starting point of an extraordinary career. But that’s another story…


Do you want more ?

11 things you didn’t know about cures
Robert Smith: the 56 good words of a musician who did not want to grow up
Back in Time: the day Robert Smith (The Cure) was born

Published on 12/18/2020

Andy Anderson Boris Williams Jason Cooper Lol Tolhurst Mark Ceccagno Martin Creasy Matthieu Hartley Michael Dempsey Perry Bamonte Peter O’Toole Phil Thornalley Porl Thompson Reeves Gabrels Robert Smith Roger O’Donnell Simon Gallup The Cure