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The Cure- Trilogy Live DVD

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by The Mock Turtle Regulator, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. I bought this on saturday.
    It's a double-DVD set covering the band playing the "Trilogy" of albums, 1982's Pornography, the tour of which saw bassist Simon Gallup fight with Robert Smith and quit the band, 1989's Disintegration (during the recording of which founder member Lol Tolhurst was fired) and 2000's Bloodflowers, in their entirety in Berlin.

    it's a pretty intense concert- as explained in the interviews in the 2nd DVD- reliving the emotions of the times of the Pornography album and tour- the stage is gloomily lit, and the band members rarely smile, unlike other Cure concert videos in which the doomy songs were interspersed with lighthearted pop songs.

    Simon Gallup uses a variety of basses from the different periods-

    a Rickenbacker 4001 for the pornography set,

    the custom black Knight semi-acoustic (from the Wish tour) for the Disintegration set, with a Musicman Stingray for one song with dropped-D tuning.

    a Gibson Thunderbird for the Bloodflowers set, with an Epiphone Jack Cassady sig. for a D-tuned song (plus "The Kiss" in the encore)
    he also plays a Fender Bass VI sparsely on one song.

    one criticism is his tone when he uses distortion is a bit ratty- I thought he got a much better distorted tone in the 1992 "Show" video.
    his clean tones are good as ever, and it sounds like he's got some kind of synth effect mixed in on "the loudest sound".

    as on other Cure live videos it's great to see exactly what bass parts are going on, as on some recordings the bass is buried eg. on the Disintegration album- the bassline for "Untitled" can be heard clearly for once.
  2. Too bad that of all their albums they chose the two ones I like least (unlike "Disintegration" which is my second-fave one next to "Wish") - "Bloodflowers" is such a "weak" album, in my opinion. And "Pornography" is depression in pure culture. But anyway, I hope to get the opportunity of watching this DVD at some stage.
  3. Didn't Benny Hill die already years ago?
  4. Benny Hill may be long gone, but his spirit seems to live on in the drummer of The Now, in many ways.

    yeah, Bloodflowers isn't a fave album of mine either- I actually prefer Wild mood swings- you can tell Gallup had more input in that album- more upfront basslines on that.
    however, hearing/seeing the songs live has made them grow on me.

    overall, the Trilogy idea seems more of an emotional endurance experiment.

    another bassline I've only fully understood from watching the live DVD- "swimming the same deep water as you"- it's another chordal idea, a bit like "a thousand hours" on the Kiss album.
  5. Unbelievable that "Wild Mood Swings" has been their worst selling album! I was surprised about how good it actually is when listening to it for the first time!

    PS: My condolences! @ "Benny Hill" - by the way, it took five changes until our band found the right drummer. There was a time we got so frustrated we were even using a drum computer ;)
  6. I reckon it's even worse on the "Entreat" album which is basically songs from the "Disintegration" album in live versions. The bass sound lacks some essential deep frequencies, in my opinion.
  7. I don't have Entreat, but have The Cure Play out which is from the same era, and also taped their Great British Music Weekend Wembley appearance in 1991 - he used a Gibson EB2, which sounds a bit slack in string tension, and there's a lot of fretbuzz and not much note definition.

    but he got a great tone on the 1992 Show live video, and Paris live album, from the long-scale Knight semi-acoustic.
    - I could actually figure out what he was playing on "from the edge of the deep green sea" and "a forest".
  8. ...and nice long hair, too! ;) But yeah - amazing that a semi-acoustic bass can sound that good! I was quite impressed when I saw that video.

    One thing I often remark after trying to figure out how to play his lines and then see the way Simon actually plays it himself is that he seems to avoid using open strings! "Play For Today" for example is very easy to play when using open strings...and it's a real "fight" playing it a la Simon Gallup *laughs*
  9. I think he uses the fifth fret and the open strings pretty much equally- eg. on "a forest" the ascending scalar fill in F uses open strings,
    and "Pictures of you" is based around open A and D strings.

    also in songs with drop-D tuning he often uses both D strings open "doing the unstuck", "open", "the kiss".
  10. that reminds me-
    they put up a new mp3 every month at the SG fanclub (there certainly seem to be lots of goth girls fawning over his looks- but there doesn't seem to be an equivalent Peter Hook fanclub, strangely enough)-

    and they have lots of Fools dance mp3's.
  11. Thanks for the link! I haven't heard Fools Dance yet!

    By the way, I discovered the "Paris" live album in my girlfriend's CD collection and just had a listen: Yep, I agree - great album, and not only in regards to the bass stuff! The version of "At Night" is even better than the one on "17 Seconds", in my opinion.

    And speaking of live recordings, I reckon the best version of "A Forest" can be found on the "Concert" live album - even though it's not Simon playing on this one.

    PS: Not a lot of The Cure/Simon Gallup fans around this forum, eh?
  12. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    I was a huge fan of cure back in the days in 1991-1995... I had all their albums, and lots of bootlegs. Other bands I liked were Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sisters of Mercy, etc...
  13. yep, 17 Seconds suffers from having a drum machine on every song (Lol Tolhurst used synth pads, but I suspect they just programmed them on the album).
    similarly I was impressed by "a strange day" on The Cure In Orange live video and bought the Pornography album, and was really disappointed by the sound.

    the Concert/Curiosity (rare recordings) cassette was the first Cure album i bought- agreed that the version of A forest is good- with the panning of the guitar solo.
    Phil Thornalley's playing style and sound is a bit different to Gallup's. (I think the Stingray he used was the same one that's in the Cure In Orange video- presumably it's Robert Smith's).

    I think Thornalley plays bass on the albums by artists he produces eg. Natalie Imbruglia, Hepburn.
  14. Wasn't Thornally also replacement singer for "Johnny Hates Jazz" (Bleurgh)? I didn't know he used a Musicman bass when he was with The Cure - thought it was a G&L 2000?!

    The first song I ever heard by Smith & Co. was "The Love Cats', back in '84. And it was their 1st singles collection that got me really interested in them. My own bass playing/song composing got influenced a lot by their music. Then, during the '90s, The Cure somehow escaped my attention. And it was only about two years ago when I got back into them; That was when I met my girlfriend, and she's a big, big Cure fan. :)

    "17 Seconds": Yes, it would be a much better album if the snare drum sound wouldn't be the same in every song. I guess that's one of the reasons why I prefer the "Faith" album to that one.
  15. Hello Ari! Thanks for participating! :)
  16. yep, re. Johnny hates jazz. I think he also attempted a solo career.

    there's pic in the Cure Visual documentary book of Thornalley with the black stingray, maple neck, white scratchplate- same as the one Gallup's playing in the Orange vid (also for one song in the Trilogy vid).

    Fools dance was pretty much watered-down Cure- some interesting bass playing- and also a rare lead vocal from Gallup on "the ring"- which suggests why he never sings with the Cure:p.
    on the whole a bit lacklustre- when Lol Tolhurst was fired from the Cure he formed Presence with Fools dance's singer Biddles.

    one of the mp3's on the fanclub site, "they'll never know" was recorded after Gallup returned to the Cure- it's actually JJ Burnel of The Stranglers playing on that track.

    they also had a couple of mp3's by the Magspies, a band Gallup was with before the Cure- fun punk-pop- more interesting than Fools dance, and I wonder if they did an album.
  17. That's one thing I regret a bit about The Cure live; with Robert Smith being the only voice, all the cool harmony vocals aren't possible.

    By the way, since listening to the "Paris" album two days ago I just can't get the typical bass line of "At Night" out of my head *laughs*
  18. I found a pic of Thornally playing the Stingray in a book called "Ten Imaginary Years" (see attachment). So you were right, Mock. The guy playing the G&L must've been Derek Thompson then (from SPK).

    In the same book it says regarding The Magpies, that only 100 copies of a record with them on one side and two guys called The Obtainers on the other side were produced.

    Before The Magpies, Simon obviously played bass for a band called "Lockjaw" (in sound similar to The Clash), and they had an album, "Radio Call Sign" - Simon: "If I see any around today, I break them!"
  19. the Gallup fansite put up an mp3 of Lockjaw- pretty basic, run-of-the-mill punk stuff.

    I gave Paris another listen- "dressing up" is an interesting one as the bassline is very clipped/staccato in phrasing.
    I downloaded the original from "The Top", on which Robert Smith himself played bass, and it sounds looser (with some envelope filter or synth bass).

    there's a version of Lovecats with Gallup playing on the "acoustic hits" CD that came with the Greatest hits album (lame attempt to sell the same stuff over and over by the record company- but I downloaded it instead)- he plays it surprisingly close to the original- as close as you can get to a double bass using a fretted ABG with a pick.

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