The Cure, The Twilight Sad at Manchester Arena, 29/11/2016

As the legendary goths The Cure step into the Manchester Arena for a packed show, they prove they’re still possibly the best band in the world.

Over the last few months The Cure have been returning to high form, from their sporadic touring schedule features three-hour sets to their Bestival 2016 headline slot, it seems like the 57 year old Robert Smith led band isn’t looking to slow down.

However, first in the night was their support act. The Scottish gothic rock band The Twilight Sad, who seem to be a modern Scottish interpretation of The Cure itself, sadly without the strong songs. While they are often claimed as “ear splittingly loud”, they seemed tamer than usual.

While their set was a good attempt at supporting a band like The Cure, there wasn’t enough to hold our attention very long.


Just around 22:10, the lights came down as The Cure hit stage, excitement was in the air and like planned, the crowd blew up once Robert Smith was seen on stage, opening with “Shake Dog Shake”.

It’s magical, for the next few hours we’d be in the palm of their hands. It’s hard to say there’s any band with the longevity of The Cure who still sound as good as they did in yesteryear.

For the next few hours, The Cure focused solely on the back catalogue, pulling off a hit-packed set void of any new material.

“Sinking” proved that tonight was a show along with a concert, the lights perfectly in-time with the music to create an atmosphere expected for the band. A few songs later, we were treated to the duel-smack of “Lovesong” followed quickly by “Just Like Heaven”.

Ending the set of “Give Me It”, a few people left unfortunately. Sure to be unknowing to the fact that The Cure usually have three encores, while they did tonight, it was different. Instead of three songs in each, they played a different game.

Coming back after what felt like hours, the band performs “A Forrest” to delight before leaving again. After longer, they return for “Burn” before going once again.

The final time they return, it’s for good. They’re in it to please us, they hit us with “Lullaby”, the soft brooding song that sounds very different live. Immediately after, they hit a stride of hits with “Friday I’m In Love”, “Boys Don’t Cry”, “Close To Me” and ending eventually on “Why Can’t I Be You?”

It seemed Smith injured his voice on “Boy’s Don’t Cry”, after a few moments danced instead of singing. Luckily, he continued for the final two songs almost without fault. Everybody enjoyed themselves (albeit with the obvious moaning about the missing appearance of “Lovecats”).

After a wonderful show, The Cure surely proved that they’re still possibly the greatest live band on the planet and it’d be a treat for anyone to see them in true form.

They play Wembley for three nights December 1st, 2nd and 3rd and some tickets are available.

Words by Jack Cinnamond, photography by Jess Sharpe.


  1. They were absolutely superb……I have seen them a few times, but this gig, in my opinion, was the best I have seen them…..and that includes the Pornography tour when I met them afterwards…..!


    • It was a fantastic night, that’s great that you saw them during the Pornography era, that’s so cool!

      This was definitely one of our top gigs of 2016 and to be honest, we’ve ever seen. Robert Smith surely is the great he’s said to be.

      Thanks for the comment, appreciated!


  2. They played in Lisbon, Portugal on the 22nd November- and the set list was totally different, 2h50 of non stop Cure genius I saw them sometime in the late eighties,the first gig I went to here (in Lisbon) and all I can say is “you make me feel like I am young again” Those were the days.
    The Twilight Sad weren’t the ear blasting band claimed to be. Ok, nothing to write home about.


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