O2 Academy, Bournemouth

20110123 - The Cult

After many years playing large arenas, festivals and stadiums; The Cult return to smaller venues to recreate some of the atmosphere which seems to be lost a some larger venues. The band arrive in Bournemouth as part of their ‘New Blood, Deep Cuts Destroy Europa’ tour which is one of their most extensive tour for a long time.

20110123 - Romance

Tonight the doors of the venue opened unusually early at 6pm and the first band Romance were on at 6:45pm which saw most people missing the majority of their set as they turned up late. Romance are a four piece band from London fronted by Jamie Lovatt who cavorts around the stage like a very confident young Billy Idol, the band’s alternative rock sound seemed to hit the right spot with the audience. The twin guitar sound coupled with their style and energy showed lots of promise.

20110123 - Masters Of Reality

As Masters of Reality took to the stage the place seemed to have filled up much more with a few jostling down to the front to see what they were all about. The heavy electronic dark keyboard sound mashed up with sweet guitar rifts and pounding bass lines produce some excellent ear candy with songs such as the haunting ‘Counting Horses’ and ‘Always’ entertaining the audience prior to the main attractions appearance.

At just after 9pm the lights went down and the intro music started, the new skull and crossed bones logo appeared on a huge video screen at the rear of the stage. The band kicked into ‘Everyman and Woman is a Star’ a newly released number with an unmistakable guitar style. Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy stood on the front of the stage and as I looked around many fans were just in awe of their presence on stage in this intimate setting.

After the 1st number things really picked up in amazing style as the band launched into ‘Rain’ and virtually all the audience young and old started to move and sing along with the band in a very enthusiastic style. I have been a Cult fan since seeing them live supporting Simple Minds in 80’s at Milton Keynes Bowl, I love the fact they almost have two sides, their dark gothic side from early material up to the ‘Love’ album and the new American rock style from the ‘Electric album onwards, tonight both of those sides are being embraced. This is really apparent in some of their new material such as the brilliant ‘White’ which was accompanied by a breath-taking video of snow scenery landscape. The clock was soon turned back with the ever popular ‘Nirvana’ and the very early ‘Ghost Dance’ from the ‘Death Cult’ album. This saw some rather enthusiastic possibly ex-goths (Including me!!) slam dancing down the front. Ian was seemingly getting a little frustrated with some of the crowd to get more involved, almost baiting them to get some sort of reaction.

The band left the stage and on the screen a film was shown depicting some North American Indian imagery, which the band have been well known for over the years with the artwork on their releases. This gave the audience and the band an opportunity to get a much needed liquid refreshment. The band came back and performed the excellent new single ‘Embers’ which is a slow burning number with Billy pulling out an trademark guitar solo, which I just did not want to end, it just floated in the air and just kept flowing over the audience.

The moment that everybody was waiting for soon came around, Billy Duffy stood their with his shining white Gretsch guitar and played the opening lines of ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ which caused an almost riot on the dance floor with every one leaping around reliving their youth of past indie discos. The pace continued with the addition of the up tempo ‘Love Removal Machine’. Earlier in the set Ian had promised the Bournemouth crowd a surprise and as the band arrived back on stage for the encore, the former front man of reformed 60’s band The Doors performed ‘Break on Through’ with another rip roaring guitar solo from Billy to send us away with our ears ringing.

The Cult return triumphantly performing in a way that would impress everyone in the audience and certainly no one left the venue disappointed.

Everyman and Woman Is a Star
Horse Nation
Sweet Soul Sister
Saints Are Down
Dirty Little Rock Star
Ghost Dance

Film Interlude

Go West
Wild Flower
Until The Light Takes Us
She Sells Sanctuary
Love Removal Machine
Break On Through(The Doors)



Words and pictures by;
Dave Chinery(Chinners)


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