The Minutes provided a powerful support with a performance full of punky energy. The songs were not particularly memorable but this three-piece powered through them, swaggering around the stage. The moustachioed frontman traded rock clichés with the guitarist, while the drummer’s infectious playing kept the band on even keel. Their set culminated with an exciting and irreverent In My Time of Dying.
After a long, old-school-style wait, The Cult took the stage, strutting their stuff to the ringing guitars of Rain. Guitarist Billy Duffy recreated the older Cult material pretty well but singer Ian Astbury was another matter altogether. Never the most credible character back in The Cult’s heyday, unfortunately he has bulked up considerably, meaning the leather trousers of yore have been replaced by an enormous pair of tracksuit pants.
There was little chemistry between Duffy and the tragic-comic Astbury. Appearing to perceive himself as the reincarnation of Jim Morrison, the gulf between his perception and the reality was vast.
The music was quite good, guitar anthems like Spiritwalker and L’il Devil got the crowd going, although the momentum was not helped by an intermission midway through for a short unintelligible film.
Love Removal Machine was performed pretty well, though the encore was somewhat shambolic as the band kicked off Firewoman without Billy Duffy, to much sniping from Ian Astbury. Halfway through the song the band came to a juddering halt before the AWOL guitarist returned, and after a third attempt they had to move on. The evening ended with the karaoke mess of The Doors’ Break On Through (To The Other Side).
It was clear enough that all the band except Astbury could see this for what it was: a take the money and run gig. Astbury on the other hand was full of bravado as he waddled around the stage. But you can’t be a rock god while wearing giant tracksuit pants.
By Killian Laher.