Friday, June 15, 2018

Robert's BBC 6 playlist

Missed it or want to hear it again? Listen here.

Psychedelic Furs - India
Placebo - The Bitter End
65daysofstatic - Radio Protector
Vessels - Radiart
Alcest - Kodama
Eat Static (with Robert) - In All Worlds
Suzanne Vega - Small Blue Thing
God is an Astronaut - Shores of Orion
Death Cab For Cutie - The New Year
Maybeshewill - Sanctuary
Kiasmos - Drawn
MONO - Halo
The Libertines - Heart of the Matter
The Notwist - Boneless
Manic Street Preachers - A Design for Life
Deftones - Anniversary of An Uninteresting Event
NIN - Every Day Is Exactly the Same
Low - Point of Disgust
Kristin Hersh - Crooked
My Bloody Valentine - Blown a Wish
Frightened Rabbit - I Feel Better
Mogwai - Batcat
The Cure - The Same Deep Water As You

Robert on BBC 6 Music today

Full schedule of Meltdown events

Thought it might be useful, or at least interesting, to compile the full list of Meltdown events here. If I missed anything, please let me know. And to everyone going, whether to one event or all of them, have a fantastic time! It's an amazing lineup, and if I could be there, I'd be at every show possible. Excellent job of curating, Robert! Congratulations on such a superb event, and best wishes on everything running as smoothly as possible with the minimum amount of hassles. Cheers!

June 15th

Royal Festival Hall
Friday Lunch: I'm in Love
7:30 PM Psychedelic Furs and The Church
Friday I'm in Love Party

Queen Elizabeth Hall
Friday Tonic: I'm in Love
7:30 PM 65daysofstatic and Tropic of Cancer
11 PM Concrete Lates: Kiasmos DJ set

Purcell Room
7:45 PM Joycut and Indian Queens

June 16th

Royal Festival Hall
Buskers Stage
7:30 PM Placebo and kaelan mikla

Queen Elizabeth Hall
7:30 PM The Notwist and Drahla
11 PM Concrete Lates: Vessels DJ set and live

Purcell Room
7:45 PM Jambinai and Tropic of Cancer

June 17th

Royal Festival Hall
Sunday Surprises
1-1:30 PM False Advertising
2-2:30 PM De Rosa
3-3:30 PM Is Bliss
4-4:30 PM Midas Fall
5-5:45 PM The Penelopes
6:15-7 PM Kagoule

7:30 PM The Libertines and Yonaka

Queen Elizabeth Hall
7:30 PM Alcest and Emma Ruth Rundle

Purcell Room
7:45 PM Loop and Planning For Burial

June 18th

Royal Festival Hall
7:30 PM Death Cab for Cutie and Fear of Men

Queen Elizabeth Hall
7:30 PM God is an Astronaut and Jambinai

Purcell Room
7:45 PM Emma Ruth Rundle and Planning for Burial

June 19th

Royal Festival Hall
7:30 PM Manic Street Preachers and The Anchoress

Queen Elizabeth Hall
Frightened Rabbit and Pumarosa
"We are deeply saddened by the recent loss of Scott Hutchison. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and the band at this difficult time.
In agreement with their management, we have decided not to replace Frightened Rabbit for the forthcoming show on 19 June as part of Meltdown. That night, out of respect to Scott and Frightened Rabbit, Queen Elizabeth Hall will stay dark. All ticket holders will be fully refunded.
Pumarosa, who were due to support Frightened Rabbit, will now perform on our riverside stage during Meltdown on 24 June, free to the public.

7:30 PM Mental Health and the Music Industry
The music industry has seen a number of devastating losses of life in recent years, and ever-increasing numbers of musicians are speaking out in the media and in their songs about struggles with mental health.

Musicians Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses), Stefan Olsdal (Placebo) and Dizraeli, along with mental health professionals from Help Musicians, discuss the current state of mental health in the music industry. The conversation is moderated by clinical psychologist Dr Jay Watts.

This special event replaces the cancelled Frightened Rabbit performance in Queen Elizabeth Hall on 19 June.

Purcell Room
7:45 PM Vex Red and Douglas Dare

June 20th

Royal Festival Hall
7:30 PM Deftones and pg.lost

Queen Elizabeth Hall
7:30 PM Low and Jo Quail
Jónsi, Alex Somers & Paul Corley: Liminal

Purcell Room
7:45 PM Moon Duo and Hilary Woods

June 21st

Royal Festival Hall
8 PM Mogwai and Kathryn Joseph

Queen Elizabeth Hall
7:30 PM Kristin Hersh and Matt Holubowski
Jónsi, Alex Somers & Paul Corley: Liminal

Purcell Room
7:45 PM pg.lost and Thought Forms

June 22nd

Royal Festival Hall
Friday Lunch: I'm in Love
7:30 PM Nine Inch Nails and Black Moth Super Rainbow
Friday I'm in Love Party

Queen Elizabeth Hall
Friday Tonic: I'm in Love
7:30 PM Mono and Jo Quail
Jónsi, Alex Somers & Paul Corley: Liminal

Purcell Room
7:45 PM The Joy Formidable and Kidsmoke

June 23rd

Royal Festival Hall
Buskers Stage
5:30 PM Meltdown Big Busk
7:30 PM My Bloody Valentine and The Soft Moon

Queen Elizabeth Hall
7:30 PM Suzanne Vega and James Walsh
11 PM Concrete Lates: Eat Static DJ set

Purcell Room
7:45 PM And Also the Trees and A Dead Forest Index

June 24th

Royal Festival Hall
Sunday Surprises
1-1:30 PM Kite Base
2-2:30 PM Martinez
3-3:30 PM Blue Crime
4-4:30 PM Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard
5-5:30 PM Skinny Girl Diet
6-7 PM Pumarosa

7:30 PM CURÆTION-25 - Robert Smith and 'Curious Friends' and The Twilight Sad
10:30 PM Melted afterparty

Queen Elizabeth Hall
7:30 PM Maybeshewill and I Like Trains

Purcell Room
6:30 PM The Soft Moon and The KVB

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Important Meltdown ticket info

Anyone waiting for e-tickets for Meltdown:
'We identified a glitch in our system which meant that not all e-tickets were generated as expected. We’re in the process of rectifying the issue, They’ll come in a separate email from Some email providers often move these to your spam/junk folders. If for whatever reason they don’t arrive by the day of the show please bring your confirmation email with you to the ticket office and we’ll happily print these onto physical tickets for you there." Thanks, @mattsmudge.

Last chances for a Meltdown

Robert interview with Time Out London

Another new interview with Robert, this one in Time Out London. Some excerpts:

Let’s talk about Meltdown. Have you been to Meltdown shows as a fan before?
'I came to see Bowie when he put on his Meltdown [in 2002]. I saw all his [Meltdown] shows, actually. And I saw Tricky one year. I think the curator was… Oh, I’m terrible. Reggae bloke, wears a tinfoil hat.’

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry?
'Yes! I saw Tricky at that festival. It was one of the weirdest backstages I’ve ever been to in my life – you could cut through the smoke with a knife. So yeah, I’ve been to a few over the years, and it’s an honour to be able to put it together.'

Does it feel weird doing something like this solo, not as The Cure?
'I’ve never done anything this public where it’s just me. It wasn’t how I intended it at all – it was going to be The Cure’s Meltdown. But this big Hyde Park show came up at the same time and they were very iffy about exclusivity, so it became my Meltdown. It’s actually a good thing, because it would have been utterly impractical to have a five-piece curating a festival. We can’t even agree what to listen to on a tour bus.’

A lot of the bands you’ve picked are from the same sort of era and genre. Was that deliberate?
'I wasn’t trying to be everything to everyone. I listen to loads of stuff, and none of it’s suitable for Meltdown – if I started to bring it all in, it’d be a right hotch-potch. So I limited it to bands that were really great live bands. I’ve always been drawn to more emotional music, and they all wear their hearts on their sleeve.’

They’re major acts too.
'I went on Wikipedia and looked at everyone else’s line-ups and thought: Right, I’ll just aim ridiculously high. So my first invitation was to The Rolling Stones. They knocked me back,
but my next shortlist of acts all said yes, which I was incredibly honoured by.’

You announced Frightened Rabbit for the line-up a month before the tragic death of their frontman Scott Hutchison. How did that make you feel?
'It’s awful. They were one of the bands that I was really, really looking forward to seeing. I’ve been listening to them for ten years. I’ve never met him, but I feel I know him because of his voice.’

I’ve heard that you want to watch every single band at the festival. Is that possible?
'Theoretically it’s possible. I’m not sure if it’s physically or mentally possible, but I intend to try. How I will feel by day six, I’m not sure.’

And what are you planning for your own show: Curætion 25?
'The show that I’m constructing for the final night is utterly different to anything we’ve done for a long time. There was something on the website saying the audience is encouraged to stand. I was like, hold on! I’m putting together a show that is utterly morose! Hyde Park’s a big festival vibe, Meltdown’s going to be two hours of doom and gloom. We probably won’t be playing the big singles.’

Did you expect to still be playing shows at all, at nearly 60?
'No. If I had ever been intent on being the number one band in the world and was still relentlessly banging my head against that particular wall, I would hopefully be dead – and if not, I would just be a moron. The process was what I enjoyed: to be an artist, if I want to be poncy about it. Everything The Cure’s ever done is purely selfish. I’ve only got one life, and I should really be doing stuff that brings me satisfaction. Anyway, one day my hair will all fall out and I won’t look gothic any more. So just wait for that.’

Jetstream Pony with Robert

Meltdown posters, prints, postcards, t-shirts

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Robert interview in The Guardian

The Cure's Robert Smith: 'I was very optimistic when I was young – now I'm the opposite'

New interview in The Guardian. Some excerpts:

This year, the Cure are marking the 40th anniversary of their first concert under that name (they started in 1976 as Malice) with a flurry of activity. Smith has been rummaging through boxes for a documentary directed by regular collaborator Tim Pope. “I knew a few people wanted to – what’s a nice way of saying exploit? – celebrate the 40th anniversary with projects,” he says. “I said no, but I knew that they would probably go ahead anyway unless I made it very obvious that we were doing something.”

First up, Smith is curating the Meltdown festival at London’s Southbank Centre: a walloping 90 artists over 10 days. Smith will close the event under the name Cureation 25 – which promises a lineup of previous bandmates and more – shortly before the Cure headline a sold-out Hyde Park. “Meltdown’s going to be doom and gloom and Hyde Park’s going to be hands in the air,” he says. He sent a handwritten letter to each name on his wishlist and almost all of them said yes. It’s striking that everyone on the lineup, from the Manic Street Preachers to Mogwai, Nine Inch Nails to the Twilight Sad, has been influenced by the Cure in one way or another. Does Smith only like bands who like the Cure?

“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find many artists who don’t like the Cure,” he says. “I think people admire us, even if they don’t particularly get the music. It sounds very conceited, but it’s not about me, it’s about the band. We’ve stayed true to ourselves. If you’re in a band, you realise how hard that is. I think people admire our tenacity.”

The Cure’s position is certainly enviable: loved with cult-like fervour yet mainstream enough to be covered by Adele (Lovesong) and featured in Ant-Man (Plainsong). There’s even a Reese Witherspoon romcom named after their 1987 hit Just Like Heaven, not that Smith has seen it. They are the only band, Smith notes, who are routinely perceived as both suicidal and whimsical. And they have maintained their integrity. Currently without a record label, manager or publicist, they tour (often) or record (not so much) only when Smith feels like it. It’s not true that he’s the only Cure member who matters (if bassist Simon Gallup left, then “it wouldn’t be called the Cure”), but he has always been in the driving seat. When was the last time he did something he didn’t want to do? He points at my Dictaphone and laughs. “Sitting here.”

These days, the Cure are predominately a live act, renowned for their epic, multi-encore shows. In Mexico City, as a 53rd-birthday treat, Smith tried to break Bruce Springsteen’s record of 4hr 6min, but miscalculated and fell three minutes short. “I was a bit crushed,” he says, “because we could have honestly kept going for another half an hour.” Friends, bandmates and critics have all suggested he leave the audience wanting more, but he keeps going because he enjoys it so much, and because he thinks he owes it to the fans. “I still think of that person who’s there thinking, ‘I wish they wouldn’t stop. I wish they wouldn’t stop.’” Hyde Park, he warns (or promises), will be a relatively brisk two hours.

It has been a decade since the last Cure album, 4:13 Dream. “I’ve hardly written any words since then,” Smith says glumly. “I think there’s only so many times you can sing certain emotions. I have tried to write songs about something other than how I felt but they’re dry, they’re intellectual, and that’s not me.” He wistfully quotes a line from the Cure’s The Last Day of Summer: “It used to be to so easy.” Would he be disappointed if he never made another album? “I would now, yeah. Because I’ve committed myself to going into the studio and creating songs for the band, which I haven’t done for 10 years. Meltdown has inspired me to do something new because I’m listening to new bands. I’m enthused by their enthusiasm. So if it doesn’t work, I’ll be pretty upset, because it will mean that the songs aren’t good enough.”

He has been revisiting old unused lyrics to see if he can repurpose any, but “some of them don’t make any sense to me any more. It would be weird if I felt the same as I did when I was in my 20s. I’d be mental!”

How has his outlook changed? “It’s slightly more cynical and slightly less optimistic, which is strange. I was very optimistic when I was young, even though I wrote very dismal songs, but now I’m kind of the opposite. I have a very dismal outlook on life.”

Smith worries that, at 59, he has become a reactionary who scorns social media, smartphones and the like. “I’m at war with a lot of the modern world,” he says. “I really hate how things have ended up in the last 20 years. I don’t know how it’s happened. There’s a certain tone to this country that’s really changed for the worse.” He’s building a rant, but a melancholy one. “It’s weird how the 70s is often referred to as a period of great unrest and the three-day week, blah, blah. It’s bollocks. The period from the second world war to the 70s, we were on a great trajectory for equality and so forth. It’s only since the end of the 70s, Maggie and Ronnie, that things have inexorably gone wrong. It’s insane, people’s lust for technology and new things.” He sighs. “I’m just turning into a grumpy old man.”

Smith is feeling his age in other ways. He notes that Tom Petty’s last UK show before his death last year was also a 40th-anniversary concert in Hyde Park. “Last time we sold out places in America that we’d never sold out, even in the 80s,” he says. “A darker part of me thinks they like watching us because they think I’m going to fall over and they’re not going to get to see us again.” He shakes off the joke. “I’m just being silly. It will stop, of course it will. I do wake up on a day like today and think, ‘Am I really talking about this band, still?’ I’m honestly astonished at how much love there is for the band. If you’d told me when we started, I would have been quite shocked.” One more encore, then. Maybe two.

More bands added for Meltdown

Some new bands have been added to the Meltdown lineup, as part of the free Sunday Surprises series. The shows take place at the Riverside Terrace, Level 2, outside Royal Festival Hall

June 17th - False Advertising (1 - 1:30 PM), De Rosa (2 - 2:30 PM), Is Bliss (3 - 3:30 PM), Midas Fall (4 - 4:30 PM), The Penelopes (5 - 5:45 PM), and Kagoule (6:15 - 7 PM).

June 24th -  Kite Base (1 - 1:30 PM), Martinez (2 - 2:30 PM), Blue Crime (3 - 3:30 PM), Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard (4 - 4:30 PM), Skinny Girl Diet (5 - 5:30 PM), and Pumarosa (6 - 7 PM).

Hyde Park Aftershow Party

Facebook Event Page

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Hyde Park t-shirt and lanyard

Cure Hyde Park T-shirt (£25) and Lanyard (£8) are up for pre-ordering. Designs are not final, and won't be until about 10 days before the show. Orders will not be processed and dispatched until the design has been confirmed.

"Enter unique code from your email if you paid for shirt with Hyde Park ticket." Thanks @GMFree1.

Hyde Park & Meltdown tickets for sale or trade

Have had a bunch of requests for this lately, so here you go. If you have tickets for sale or trade, post them in the comments.

As always, only list tickets at face value or below (plus the ticket fees & shipping).

Monday, June 4, 2018

'Mixed Up' Deluxe pushed back a week

The release of the Deluxe Edition of 'Mixed Up' has been pushed back a week to June 22nd.

Cure in the new Q Magazine

Cure in Mojo

Cure in Uncut

Cure in Rumore magazine

Meltdown flyer

Meltdown version of 'Obscure' released

Note: The only difference between this "exclusive" version and the regular version is the cover. Here's what Amazon says: "This special edition features a new cover in celebration of Robert Smith's curation of Meltdown Festival in London June 2018. The cover image is Vella's photograph of Robert featured on the posters advertising the festival. The content is the same as the original book." Thanks, @AaronLaw92.